The Evolution and Development of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy in Zambia

The liberal democratic wave that swept through Africa after the collapse of the USSR and communist regimes in eastern Europe spelled an end to several one-party states and military governments on the continent. Among other things it prompted the formation of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) in Zambia. It began in 1990 as a civil society movement to fight for the re-introduction of multiparty politics after 18 years of one-party rule by the United National Independence Party (UNIP) and became a political party following the repeal in 1990 of Article 4 of the Republic Constitution to allow for the formation of parties other than UNIP. Starting with its defeat of UNIP in the first multiparty election of 1991 the MMP has carried four consecutive general elections, winning again in 1996, 2001 and 2006. This paper traces the evolution of the MMD from its formation and examines the issues associated with Zambia's political and governance climate that have helped to shape the MMD. The discussion essentially centres on six of these questions.