The MDC Alliance was a coalition of seven opposition parties that was launched on 5 August 2017 at the Zimbabwe Grounds in Highfield, with the aim to challenge Zanu-PF in 2018 harmonised elections. It was later registered as a political party with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) in 2019.
The electoral coalition brought together MDC-T and former MDC breakaway parties Welshman Ncube and Tendai Biti who had left in 2005 and 2014 respectively) together with other parties including Zanu Ndonga, Transform Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe People First.
Nelson Chamisa was the President for the MDC Alliance and was the party's 2018 presidential candidate. Tendai Biti, Welshman Ncube and Lynette Karenyi were Vice Presidents of the MDC Alliance as they were voted at the party's congress in Gweru in May 2019. In 2022, Nelson Chamisa moved on to head and form the Citizens' Coalition for Change (CCC).
Parties in the MDC Alliance
- Nelson Chamisa led MDC-T
- Welshman Ncube led MDC
- Tendai Biti led People’s Democratic Party
- Jacob Ngarivhume led Transform Zimbabwe
- Agrippa Mutambara led Zimbabwe People First
- Multi-Racial Christian Democratic Party
- Zanu Ndonga
Video: Welshman Ncube Explains MDC Alliance Founding
MDC Alliance Manifesto
The MDC Alliance launched their Manifesto on 7 June 2018.
Attack on Thokozani Khupe
MDC-T Vice President Thokozani Khupe who was absent at the signing process was attacked at the MDC-T's Bulawayo offices together with the next day together with Lovemore Moyo, the MDC-T National Chairman and Abednico Bhebhe, the party’s national organising secretary. The attackers were members of the MDC-T Youth Wing.
Internal opposition with the MDC-T
Tsvangirai's top top lieutenants - Vice President Thokozani Khupe, organising secretary Abednico Bhebhe and national chairperson Lovemore Moyo - distances themselves from the alliance saying that Tsvangirai had acted unilaterally without consulting them.. The trio wrote a letter to Tsvangirai urging him to postpone the launch of the MDC Alliance in Bulawayo so that he could meet with party leaders and resolve concerns they had.
Joice Mujuru's refusal to join the coalition over name
Leader of the opposition National People's Party Joice Mujuru said that although her party was fully behind the formation of the coalition, she was not going to join it unless the name MDC was removed from the MDC Alliance. She said doing otherwise would imply that her party had been swallowed by the MDC. She said
As long as the coalition has an MDC name, I am not part of it, but I would be happy if we meet and give it a different name.
...If parties go under the MDC name, it means we ave been swallowed. However, the issue is not about positions, but the people first.
Gender imbalance in the coalition
Don’t you think there is something fundamentally wrong in seven men standing up and say we are standing up and we are asking you to define a new Zimbabwe, with no woman standing up.
Because when they started the process we were not there, they picked each other, went to some corner, somewhere, and we don’t know where it is, defined the agreement and ran with it.
Testimony before the American Senate
In December of 2017 the MDC alliance delegation appeared before a United States Congressional Committee on Foreign Relations in USA to appraise Americans on the situation in Zimbabwe.During the testimonies ,the alliance appealed for a free and fair election with regards to the 2018 poll which was scheduled for 2018.
Recalling of MPs and Senators
The MDC-T led by Thokozani Khupe lodged a case against Nelson Chamisa's illegitimacy as the leader of the MDC Alliance which they won in March 2020 at the Supreme Court. This ruling led to the recalling of MPs and Senators aligned to MDC Alliance led by Chamisa. Some of the notable MPs and Senators to have lost their seats in the National Assembly and Senate are:
- Chalton Hwende
- Thabitha Khumalo
- Keresencia Chabuka
- Spiwe Ncube
- Phyllis Ndlovu
- Meliwe Phuti
- Gideon Shoko
- Bhebhe Sinamphande
- Tapfumaneyi Vunganayi
- Hellen Zivira
- Lilian Timveos who later joined Zanu PF in February 2021.
- Lynette Karenyi-Kore
- Prince Dubeko Dube
- Erick Murai (Highfield East),
- Wellington Chikombo (Glen Norah),
- Ethrage Kureva (Epworth),
- Dorcas Sibanda (PR Bulawayo),
- Caston Matewu (Marondera Central),
- Concilia Chinanzvavana (PR Mashonaland West),
- Suzan Matsunga (Mufakose)
- Unganai Tarusenga (St Mary’s).
- Alex Magaisa (August 12, 2017). "Big Saturday Read: MDC Alliance – an oasis or a mirage?". BSR. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
- Nqobani Ndlovu (August 29, 2017). "Come down: Khupe tells Tsvangirai". NewsDay. AMH. Retrieved August 29, 2017.
- Mashonaland East Correspondent (August 28, 2017). "Mujuru demands removal of MDC name in Alliance". New Zimbabwe. Retrieved August 29, 2017.
- Staff Reporter (August 21, 2017). "Priscilla Misihairabwi says everything wrong with the MDC Alliance, call me CIO spy if you so wish". New Zimbabwe. Retrieved August 29, 2017.