Review & Mail Writers
The man who claims to have coined the name Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) back in 1999 says he is now relieved after the main opposition party led by Nelson Chamisa dropped the name to s The fight over use of the MDC name spilled into the courts which ruled in favour of Douglas Mwonzora who had challenged Nelson Chamisa’s leadership of the MDC-Alliance and his right to use the name.
Chamisa was later to drop the name and form the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) just a few months before the March 26 by-elections after Mwonzora had indicated he was contesting the elections under the MDC-A banner.
But David Muzhuzha, a former Editor of the ZCTU run The Worker newspaper, insisted he was the brains behind the name and now wants others who are still using the name to stop.
“Looked at objectively, and without fear or favour, the parasitic exploitation of my coinage had increasingly been not only toxic but legendary. The need for it to cease completely cannot, therefore, be overemphasized. That should, undoubtedly, result in complete therapeutic relief, and real personal satisfaction. This had become overdue, to say the least,” he said.
He said he had at one time contemplated legal action over the brand’s continued abuse, but failed to find suitable legislation on which to base his perspective, because he did not possess any related patent.
“Truly, I am now so grateful the healing has finally begun. While the pace has not peaked yet, I remain hopeful that the other formations at Harvest House and in Bulawayo would eventually follow suit, one way or the other,” he said.
Muzhuzha said Morgan Tsvangirai, the former ZCTU Secretary General who went on to lead the party, had spontaneously endorsed his coinage at a meeting held at the Women’s Bureau in 1999.
“Several futile attempts. Undeterred, the facilitator kept asking for better and more appropriate christening, at which I rose to the occasion, without any hesitation. Tsvangirai did not even wait for a secondment, as he spontaneously endorsed my coinage.
“The adoption was effectively sealed, without any alteration whatsoever to what I had spelt out in my humble submission. Indeed, there was never an addition or subtraction to the original proposition, contrary to wishful endeavors which ironically surfaced in the post 2010 era, all of which have, however, failed to last the test of time,” Muzhuzha said.
Muzhuzha however, claimed that those in the MDC had deliberately sought to downplay his involvement and erase him from the history of the formation of the MDC, which became the first opposition to present a strong challenge to ZANU PF since independence in 1980.
He said only the ZCTU had acknowledged him in a citation published, and distributed to individuals and organizations that had taken part in its convention meetings.
“’That this process commencing from the post-convention, 7-9 May, 1999, be known as the Movement for Democratic Change… Thanks to David Muzhuzha, Editor of The Worker newspaper, who proposed this name, Movement for Democratic Change.”
Muzhuzha said details of his story on the coining of the MDC name were Related details of this endeavor are contained in the book: ‘A Travesty of Democracy’, published in 2010, which he said was an indictment on shortcomings of the ZCTU facilitated democratization of Zimbabwe’s politics.