Paurina Mpariwa, the MDC-T Secretary General and Chief Whip in the National Assembly is unlikely to go back to parliament when it reconvenes early next month. According to MDC-T insiders, the party’s newly elected President Douglas Mwonzora is set to present a proposal for a full time secretary general stationed at the party’s Harvest House headquarters.
Mpariwa has been a legislator since 2000 and served as the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare between 2009 and 2013. In July last year, the MDC-T appointed her as the party’s Chief Whip in the National Assembly taking over from Mr Prosper Mutseyami who was recalled from parliament.
The duty of chief whips is to secure the attendance of members of a party for the purpose of voting and all other necessary occasions where attendance of the party’s MPs is crucial.
Impeccable sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the party’s national council will be convened anytime this week or early next week to among other things ratify various proposals and recommendations made by it’s newly elected leader.
“A proposal to have a full time secretary general will be among the new changes expected to be adopted by the National Council and Mpariwa will be expected to resign from parliament which will see her forfeiting her powerful position of chief whip and her plum seat in the SADC Parliamentary Forum.
“We don’t expect any drama and arguments. There will be no engagement about it. We will be simply telling them what we’ve resolved, that this is the new policy and it’s long overdue. David Tekeshe, the Makoni Central representative will take over as the Chief whip and the chairperson of Chitungwiza Women’s wing, Nomatter Munyai will be seconded to parliament to fill the vacancy left by Mpariwa,” said the first source.
Another source disclosed that whilst Mpariwa’s authority has been weak in parliament, the real motive for her ouster is to reward Mwonzora’s loyalists and consolidate power ahead of the party’s ordinary congress.
“MDC-T MPs have been complaining about Mpariwa’s management style, with some claiming that she did not prioritise her job as the chief whip. Some are claiming that she doesn’t quite understand the workings of Parliament and her role there. This is now being used to push her out but the real motive is to reward Tekeshe who generously funded Mwonzora’s campaign and cripple Mpariwa financially in order for her not to challenge Mashakada for the post of Secretary General at the ordinary congress,” said the source.
A senior party member confirmed that the party’s highest decision making body will be meeting to consider a number of proposals and deployments including that of Mpariwa.
“The party leadership is set to meet this week or early next week to deliberate on a number of matters,” the MDC-T spokesperson Witness Dube told this publication.
“We are introducing a new kind of politics, we are strengthening parliament to exercise its oversight role effectively and at the same time we want to have a well-oiled party machinery. A number of senior party mandarins will be stationed full time at our party headquarters,” he added.