n Journal of African Elections - Zimbabwe's 2005 parliamentary elections : lessons for the Movement for Democratic Change

Volume 4, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1609-4700



The paper analyses the theoretical and practical weaknesses of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the main opposition political party in Zimbabwe. To do justice to its struggle for political power, the MDC must wage a decisive war against these weaknesses, which are among the key reasons why it lost the March 2005 parliamentary elections and are important challenges it is facing in its struggle to defeat the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu- PF). In focusing on these weaknesses the paper makes extensive use of the literature produced by critics of the ruling party. The paper maintains that the MDC has not recognised either in theory or in practice the strategic importance of mobilising for political, economic and ideological hegemony and has failed to provide comprehensive theoretical and practical alternatives to the ruling party as prerequisites for the realisation of its aim to replace it. As a result, the paper concludes, the MDC faces the danger of being reduced to exerting pressure upon the state of Zimbabwe and other Southern African countries for policy changes and victories which will not be sufficient for it either to achieve political power or to consolidate or expand these changes and victories.

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