- Reportedly to be appointed as the Assistant Minister of Local Government
- Molale to replace Balopi at the ministry responsible for Employment and Labour
- Lesaso claims ignorance of the alleged appointment
Former opposition MP for Shoshong, Aubrey Lesaso, is reportedly being considered for appointment to the cabinet in an imminent reshuffle occasioned by the resignation of the Minister of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development (MELPSD), Mpho Balopi, days before Christmas last year.
Sources say Kgotla Autlwetse, who was the Assistant Minister at Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), is to be elevated as a full minister to replace Eric Molale while Lesaso will become Assistant for Autlwetse at Local Government and Rural Development.
If this informed speculation turns true, Lesaso – who defected from the opposition Umbrella for Democratic Change to the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) in early 2021 – will join Setlhabelo Modukanele and Mabuse Pule as assistant minister.
According to sources, Molale is headed to replace Balopi as Minister of Labour Productivity and Skills Development (MELPSD). Balopi resigned from the cabinet days to Christmas, saying he wanted to devote more time to his constituency and to the position of Secretary General of the BDP.
“As with every journey, the end is inevitable,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “I have tendered my resignation from the cabinet as the Minister of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development and it was accepted graciously by President Mokgweetsi Masisi. I now move on to serving Batswana in other capacities as MP for Gaborone North. I will also devote more time to the position of Secretary General of the BDP, the organisation that I so dearly love.”
Balopi and President Masisi have reportedly not been on the best of terms for some time now. Since early 2020, rumour has been rife that the fallout started after it became clear that Balopi was not in Masisi ‘s succession plan. Balopi has consistently dismissed the rumours. It is rumoured that he has been under pressure from his family to resign from active politics and focus on his businesses.
Reached for comment, Lesaso has claimed ignorance of his being considered for a cabinet post. “No one has ever communicated with me concerning a cabinet post,” he said. “However, if called upon, I would definitely accept the mandate.”
Efforts to reach the Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration Kabo Morwaeng and the Press Secretary to the President Batlhalefi Leagajang proved futile at the time of going to press.