Friday, July 12, 2024

Balopi, Matsheka gang up against Tsogwane, Masisi

Botswana Democratic Party Secretary General, Mpho Balopi has joined forces with former Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Thapelo Matsheka in a bid to dislodge Vice President Slumber Tsogwane from the position of Botswana Democratic Party chairman.

In a move that pits the two BDP heavyweights against President Mokgweetsi Masisi and his deputy, Mpho Balopi’s faction has listed Matsheka as their candidate for party chairman ahead of what bookmakers define as make-or-break elective Congress.

A source close to Balopi faction indicated that party members have no confidence in the current chairman, adding that Dr Matsheka is the rightful figure to revive party fortunes.

“With due respect to our chairman who doubles as Vice President, party structures have no confidence in his leadership, he does not inspire anything positive, so in this case we want the President to understand that this is not to say we are imposing leaders in him, we strongly feel that we should read early before it gets dark in 2024,” said source.

Sunday Standard could not establish if Balopi is part of an underground movement which includes some opposition members that has been plotting to oust Tsogwane and replace him with Matsheka. The group initially mooted the idea of challenging Masisi for the top post, but the plan did not get enough support.

Masisi is understood to be backing his deputy against the challenge from Balopi and Matsheka. The president is reported to have gone back on his initial plan to support Lesang Magang for party SG position and has instead thrown his weight behind Kabo Morwaeng who is expected to mount a strong challenge against Balopi.

It is believed Magang does not have enough appeal in the party to pose a threat against Balopi.

“Morwaeng will challenge Balopi for the SG position, you would have noticed that when the President went to officiate the North West transmission grid in Maun recently, he had Morwaeng on tow. This was meant to present Morwaeng to the region at a party even there,” said a source.

Sunday Standard understands that Masisi intends to approach Magang to consider dropping from the race for Secretary General and contest for an additional member slot. Indications are that Magang may be considered for the Deputy Secretary General position.

Masisi is however reported to be pushing for a candidate outside the Southern region to contest for the Deputy Secretary Position. It is understood that he is rooting for Party Parliamentary candidate for Maun West Reaboka Mbulawa who currently serves as the party regional chairman. 

Longest serving Party Treasurer Satar Dada will run for the last time before handing the reins to his deputy Jack Dish Sha.

It is further understood that for additional member positions, Masisi has his eyes on Fidelis Molao and Dr Alfred Madigele while the other three members have not been finalized.

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