The Movement for Democratic Change – Ncube (MDC-Welshman Ncube) is a Zimbabwean political party led by politician and attorney Welshman Ncube. It was founded in 2005 when the Movement for Democratic Change split apart. Both now operate as opposition parties.
In 2005 the MDC split into two factions following a dispute over whether or not to participate in the March 2005 senatorial election. While MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, Mutambara, and others opposed participation, Welshman Ncube and Gibson Sibanda led a faction that favored participation. Those supporting the Senate elections won narrowly against the leader Morgan Tsvangirai's vote. Tsvangirai later overruled and overturned the decision of the plebiscite citing two absent members had sent in postal votes that canceled the slender margin.In February 2006 at a Congress of the breakaway faction Movement for Democratic Change Mutambara was elected as president of the party. Commenting on the election, Mutambara said, "My position was that the MDC should have boycotted those Senate elections. I guess then that makes me the anti-Senate leader of the pro-Senate MDC faction. How ridiculous can we get? That debate is now in the past, let us move on and unite our people.
The faction led by Tsvangirai described Mutambara's election as a nullity. In his MDC faction presidential acceptance speech, Mutambara stated, "We believe that our views on land reform in Zimbabwe are different from those of Western governments. Our approach is not driven by the interests of white farmers, but by those of all Zimbabweans, white and black. While we put the failure of the land reform program squarely on the ZANU-PF government, we also acknowledge the complicity of some Western governments which reneged on agreements and the inertia of white farmers in seeking pre-emptive solutions." However, David Karimanzira, a leading member of ZANU – PF, alleged that Mutambara was promoted by the West after Western governments decided not to continue backing Morgan Tsvangirai because the Zimbabwean people had allegedly rejected his party manifesto. He once called the African Union a "club of dictators
In July 2006, after attending a political meeting in the Harare suburb of Mabvuku, MP Trudy Stevenson was attacked and suffered panga wounds to the back of her neck and head. The MDC leadership immediately claimed that the attack was carried out by ZANU militants. However, while recovering in hospital, Stevenson identified her assailants as members of a rival faction of the MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai.
2008 Presidential Election
In the 2008 Presidential Election, the then President of MDC-Welshman Ncube, Prof Arthur Mutambara backed Simba Makoni for the Presidency.
After Mutambara and Tsvangirai failed to unite on a single MDC candidate for the March 2008 presidential election, Mutambara said on 15 February that he would not run for president and that his faction would instead back Simba Makoni. Mutambara instead ran in the concurrent parliamentary election for a seat from the Zengeza East constituency, but he was placed third, with 1,322 votes, according to official results, behind the candidate of the Tsvangirai faction, who won 7,570 votes, and the ZANU-PF candidate, who won 3,042 votes.
The Tsvangirai faction won 99 seats in the parliamentary election and the Mutambara faction won 10, compared with 97 for ZANU-PF. On 28 April 2008, Mutambara and Tsvangirai announced that their factions were reuniting, thus enabling the MDC to have a clear parliamentary majority
SADC facilitated power-sharing agreement
On 15 September 2008, the leaders of the 14-member Southern African Development Community witnessed the signing of a power-sharing agreement between the two MDC factions and ZANU-PF. Under the deal, Mugabe remained president, Tsvangirai became prime minister, the MDC controlled the police, ZANU-PF controlled the Army, and Mutambara became deputy prime minister.
Notable party members
- Welshman Ncube
- Edwin Mushoriwa
- David Coltart
- Ngqabutho Nicholas Dube
- Priscilla Misihairabwi
- Miriam Mushayi