MDC-T vice president Thokozani Khupe’s differences with her boss, party president Douglas Mwonzora came out into the open in the National Assembly on Tuesday showing all is not well in the cockpit.
While the majority of MDC-T lawmakers were among the 191 votes in support of the controversial Constitutional Amendment Bill No. 2, Khupe, Nomvula Mguni, Phelela Masuku, and Paurina Mpariwa voted again the proposals. In total, 22 legislators voted against it.
The Bill now returns to the Senate, where Morgen Komichi, the chairman of MDC-T, previously voted against it while Mwonzora and co-vice president Elias Mudzuri voted in its favour.
Khupe’s refusal to join colleagues and vote with Zanu PF despite a whipping system puts her on a renewed collision course with her boss.
The two had a bitter fallout last December when Khupe lost the MDC-T presidency to Mwonzora in a congress marred by allegations of manipulation of the electoral college, violence and ballot fraud.
Khupe’s spokesperson, MDC-T Senator Khaliphani Phugeni said she voted “against the amendment because, in her view, it is a violation of the letter and spirit of the Constitution.”
Among other things, the Constitutional amendment will give sweeping powers to the President to appoint senior judges without public interviews and extend their term of office after reaching retirement age.
The amendment will also kill the “running mate” clause, and allow the President to appoint his deputies, instead of elected vice presidents.