The Movement for Democratic Change split in an almost slow-motion manner over 2005/6, although it was the Senate elections that finally put paid to the idea of a single MDC opposition. The stakes in being the opposition are discussed here – not just the stakes in opposing a ruthless government, but in remaining itself democratic under external and internal duress. The author was a key mediator in the effort to bridge the rift between the two MDC factions and draws upon first-hand knowledge and documentation – after first giving a detailed account of the rise of the MDC in the first place. This is an expanded version of a paper published by the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, to which the Editors give thanks.