- Elective Congress Postponed to 2021
- Balopi led faction had covered enough ground – sources
- Kentse makes way for Magang
The COVID-19 pandemic has bought President Mokgweetsi Masisi enough time to assemble a stronger and viable team ahead of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP)’s next elective congress, sources at Tsholetsa House have told The Botswana Gazette.
In fact, informers say the postponement of the elective congress, which was initially set for July 2020 due to the COVID-19, is a blessing in disguise for Masisi.
The reported fall-out between Masisi and the party’s Secretary General (SG), who is also the Minister of Employment Labour Productivity and Skills Development Mpho Balopi, has seen a rise of a strong and unignorable faction led by Balopi within the BDP. It is an open secret that Masisi prefers a different SG from Balopi, and a new name that is said to be leading the race is that of Lesang Magang, son of former minister and property mogul David Magang. However, Balopi will not go down without a serious fight.
The Balopi led faction is believed to have covered significant ground work in preparations for the elective congress. In recent weeks, reports have suggested that Balopi had solidified some backing from a number of regions, branches and Members of Parliament (MP’s).
Speaking to this publication yesterday (Tuesday), Balopi said a new date for the congress has not been decided. He noted that the party has invested all its efforts and attention in assisting government save lives in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“All party activities have been suspended and our main focus is on supporting the President (Masisi) achieve the objective of saving and preserving lives,” Balopi said.
He also added that he was un-bothered by reports that some individuals were lining up to challenge him for the role of SG, and furthermore, he would announce in due course his intentions. “I am the BDP SG and in all my efforts, I am laser focused in supporting the President preserve the lives of Batswana.”
BDP Head of Communications Kagelelo Kentse is also alleged to be the man making way for Lesang Magang in Masisi’s SG list. Information gathered by this publication is that Kentse, who was believed to be Masisi’s favorite to replace Balopi is likely to pull out of the race. Efforts to get his reactions on this were futile as he did not take calls from this publication.
Meanwhile, sources say, party Chairman and vice president Slumber Tsogwane remains unchallenged ahead of the elective congress.