Family members of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) secretary-general Mpho Balopi recently summoned him to explain the political brouhaha that has seemingly soured his relationship with his principal, President Mokgweetsi Masisi.
According to a source, some want him to quit active politics if at all things are not abating so that he could concentrate on his businesses and family life. The relationship between Masisi and Balopi reached its all time low in 2020 when the ruling party secretary-general and Cabinet Minister was accused of leaking confidential information to former president Ian Khama whom he is accused to be sympathetic to. “It is true some family members are concerned about the tension between Balopi and President Masisi.
According to media reports, the tension is bad and as family members, we cannot allow him to tarnish his name. It is best he focuses on his businesses if his party doesn’t need his services anymore. It's part of life and life has to go on.
As family members, we have asked him to consider our plea to quit active politics or just to become an ordinary member without holding positions. What we have found out is that some people who really want him out are the ones who are tarnishing his name so that their friends may take over,” the concerned family member said.
The family’s fear is that if Balopi does not resign soon, those who are badmouthing him to the President will soon plant something against him so that his reputation is tarnished. However, the family has given Balopi two months to decide on the matter and they pleaded with him not to contest for any party position in future. Last month, Vice President and party chairperson, Slumber Tsogwane and a duo of party elders also had reportedly met with Balopi requesting him to step down.
Of recent, Balopi was being sidelined in a lot of internal party activities and his morale has been low due to the development.
The President is said to have, “made it clear to the Vice President that he cannot work well with Balopi as secretary-general (SG) and he requested that he steps down so that someone could take the position while waiting for the party congress to choose a preferred candidate”. For his part, Balopi refuted the allegations that he was summoned by his family for a meeting.
#But, Mmegi can reveal that the family meeting was held at a place that is known to the publication and was attended by Balopi's close family members - young and old (names of those who attended the meeting are withheld). “Of course my family, friends and some party members are worried about things they hear about me written in newspapers.
I cannot say much about this issue,” said Balopi in an interview this week. Recently, some BDP councillors who support Balopi were suspended on charges of tarnishing the good name of the party.
The suspended councillors will appear before the party disciplinary committee on December 8, 2021. However, it is not yet clear who will replace Balopi if he were to step down. Speculation is rife on social media that the party leadership wants to replace him with former Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Alfred Madigele. Madigele had confirmed to Mmegi recently that he is ready to serve the party if people may elect him for any party position.
On the other hand, Phakalane businessman, Lesang Magang has expressed interest in contesting for the BDP secretary-general position during the party’s yet to be scheduled congress.