The ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has fired its Executive Secretary Sechele Sechele and his Deputy Lee Lesetedi, together with the head of political education and accounts manager. Fresh information from BDP headquarters, Tsholetsa House, indicate that an ad-hoc meeting of the party central committee on Tuesday resolved to fire Sechele and Lesetedi together with two other senior employees of the party secretariat.
Sechele and Lesetedi confirmed in an interview that the four most senior employees of the party have been released as part of a restructuring exercise that they were warned about earlier. The recent developments, which sent tremors through the party structures, signal the beginning of a wide sweeping retrenchment exercise that is expected to affect most of the BDP’s 47 employees nationwide.
“Yes it’s true that the BDP has terminated our contracts. They just told us that they were letting us go and did not give us reasons,” he said.
However, reports indicate that the four were retrenched because the party wants to chart a new course and adopt a new strategy that will drive its operations towards the 2019 general elections. The restructuring was instigated by organisational challenges at Tsholetsa House and a dismal performance at the 2014 general elections. Also, the job cuts will cut costs by reducing the BDP wage bill, especially after the party recorded a close to P22 million loss last year after spending heavily on its campaigns.
“The party blames the incompetence of the secretariat for its electoral loss,” said our sources.
However, some within the BDP have opined that the retrenchments are driven by malice and influenced by personal interests ahead of the forthcoming national congress. They fingered BDP Secretary General, Mpho Balopi as the man behind the retrenchments, further asking why he would push for a retrenchment exercise just two months before the lapse of the tenure of the current central committee.
“Balopi is left with two months before he leaves office. Why is he pushing so hard for these retrenchments? Why can’t he let the incoming Secretary General choose its own secretariat?,” they asked.
They further said Balopi sacked the current secretariat because it refused to do his bidding.
“He wants to impose his stooges who will dance to his tune even when he is not Secretary General. He wants to control the BDP from outside. Whoever comes in as Secretary General will have a hard time controlling the new secretariat because it will be beholden to Balopi,” they said. Efforts to contact Balopi before publishing were futile as he was said to be in a meeting.