JOHANNESBURG — The president of newly-formed Movement for Democratic Change Zimbabwe (MDC Zimbabwe), Thulani Ndebele, says his party is expected to beat Zanu PF in the 2023 harmonized elections as he has the people of Zimbabwe at heart.In his first-ever interview after registering his party last month with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, Ndebele said he has already hit the ground running and is optimistic that his party would win the presidential and parliamentary elections.
“I decided to enter the political field after realizing that millions of Zimbabweans are suffering, millions of people are unemployed, people cannot buy basic commodities, people are facing a lot of challenges due to the current harsh economic situation in the country. This makes me believe that we will win the next elections as people want positive transformation in the country.
“I have realized that the MDC led by Khuphe is fighting against the MDC led by Nelson Chamisa, Zanu PF is fighting against the MDC led by Chamisa and as a result people are completely neglected. They are left out. As a result, I believe that we are the only alternative to these parties. We are getting a lot of support from the people and we will do our best to make sure that their dreams of a better Zimbabwe are met.”
He denied allegations that he is being used by the ruling Zanu PF party, saying he is looking for positive social, economic and political change in Zimbabwe.
Ndebele, who was supposed to contest the 2018 general elections under the National People’s Party led by Joice Mujuru, said he withdrew his name in the last minute after realizing that there were chances of splitting votes among opposition parties.
“I withdrew in favour of the MDC candidate. I realized that we were going to split the votes as the opposition. I resigned after I was quizzed by the NPP why I supported an MDC candidate.”
Asked why he chose the name MDC Zimbabwe, Ndebele said, “There is nothing wrong in using the name MDC. We are the true MDC and not these other MDCs.”
However, MDC activists are viewing Ndebele as a ruling party project designed to create confusion among MDC formations.
Douglas Mabuza, a member of the MDC formation led by Thokozani Khupe, said, “I only support the MDC led by Khupe, it’s the only legitimate MDC … This MDC Zimbabwe is fake.”
His views were echoed by Zanu PF member, Joseph Tshuma, who noted that all MDC formation won’t dislodge Zanu PF from power. “These parties are very confused. They don’t know what they want.”
The MDC was formed by various stakeholders in Zimbabwe in 1999 but has split over the years due to differences over political ideologies and push for change.