Balopi weighing options to defend SG position


It is not clear whether Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) secretary-general (SG), Mpho Balopi will defend his position at the forthcoming elective congress or not. Mmegi has learnt that Balopi is still weighing his options while also consulting his supporters. However, Balopi is facing pressure from his family who wants him to quit active politics.

Already, businessman Lesang Magang has indicated that he will contest the seat and has a blessing from some of the party leaders. On the other hand, Balopi said it is up to the members to evaluate if they still need him or not.

The BDP last held its elective congress in 2017, but failed to hold one recently due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mmegi has learnt that the party congress is going to be held early next year.

According to a source, some party members have been advocating that the position of secretary-general requires someone who is not a Minister or an Member of Parliament (MP). They argue the position has a lot of work on the ground especially when it comes to reviving the party.

“A lot of things have happened since 2017 when I was elected to be party secretary-general. I am no longer just the party secretary-general, I am a Minister and an MP.

So it is up to members to decide if I can still serve them while having these other tasks or not. Gape ga ke rate go lwela maemo (I don’t like fighting for positions),” Balopi said.

In his campaign, Magang has been advocating for a total overhaul of the Bulela Ditswe system. The Bulela Ditswe electoral system is a fundamental burning platform in assuring stability in the BDP.

Before and after primary elections in the ruling party, complaints are always raised about the system, hence the basis of the next congress will be the whole Bulela Ditswe.

The debate in the BDP now is how Bulela Ditswe could be reformed or left as it is. In his several writings about his manifesto on social media, Magang had exposed the fundamental problems of Bulela Ditswe.

According to him, Bulela Ditswe’s main problem is membership.

He says the vetting component of the system has been taken away by the Central Committee and overriding the branches, which means the vetting power by the branches is non-existent. Still on the matter, Magang talked about the development and management of the voters rolls.

“This is done by Tsholetsa House under the secretariat. Data management of Bulela Ditswe has been a problem for more than a decade. There is no audit trail why people are transferred from one constituency to another without their knowledge,” he said in his writings.

He said observers complain of Bulela Ditswe’s fairness and that there is no defined process in the complaint resolution as candidates will launch complaints but the Central Committee will appoint a review committee. He said some people complain that the review committee does not have the framework of the procedure leading to further complaints.

Magang believes that those are some of the issues he would want to see addressed if voted into office since that is a breeding ground for disgruntled independent candidates.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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