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Molapisi retires again, this time for GOOD!

Publishing Date : 20 January, 2020

Author : AUBREY LUTE

Motlatsi Molapisi has run his race and is ready to hand the baton of leading the oldest political formation, Botswana People’s Party (BPP) to the next cadre of the party. Interestingly he does not want to play any role in determining who takes over from him, “the party will decide at the end of February,” he said when contacted this week.


Being president of the BPP has gloss to it in the current opposition political landscape. The President of the BPP is automatically the chairman of the main opposition formation, Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC). “Yes, it is not about Molapisi but the BPP, whoever is elected at the end of the month will take over as chairman of the UDC,” observed the veteran politician. Molapisi is adamant that he has long completed his race in politics, “remember I long retired but I had to come back at the request of former BPP President, Bernard Balikani who had wanted me to help him at the time.”


Balikani went to retire from politics at a young age because of business commitments and was replaced by White Marobela who was later deposed after suggesting that the BPP should form a pact with the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) in 2010, Molapisi has been holding the fort since then.


“I could have left in 2014 but the UDC also requested that I continue for the sake of the stability of the coalition since our aim was to go in hard into the 2019 general elections,” Molapisi shared. Although he vacates his political positions, Molapisi says he could be available for advisory roles albeit enjoying his rights as an ordinary citizen. 

What is next for BPP?

A few individuals have shown interest in leading the BPP following the 2019 general election in which the party represented the UDC in five constituencies and they won none. Cornelius Gopolang has raised his hand already and intends to become BPP president next month.
“Yes I intend to contest for the presidency of the BPP in February. I have touched base with party structures to share my vision and I believe I am on track,” said Gopolang when contacted for comment. He said he has a vision for the BPP as a party which will ultimately help the UDC in future.


Gopolang has served as the Secretary General of the BPP before and like most BPP cadres, he has been to the ruling BDP at some stage and returned to the BPP. “I have experience in both opposition and ruling party politics therefore I come in handy for the opposition,” he declared. Gopolang claimed that he knows the intricacies of the BDP, “how they do things, why they do things, and what to expect from BDP. This is all because I have been with them. I will help the UDC because the entire leadership is only conversant with opposition politics, I will balance things out,” he said. 


The current Vice President of the BPP, Mbaakanyi Lenyatso has no interest in contesting the presidency of the BPP, “I am not contesting,” he declared. Lenyatso was UDC parliamentary candidate in Francistown West and polled good numbers (0ver 3200 votes) in the just ended election. He was suspended from the BPP in the run up to the polls but defied the party executive forging ahead with his campaign and UDC MP candidacy.


Other party members are expected to spring up from the floor congress as the prospect of becoming UDC chairman lurks. BPP secretary general, Galetshabiwe Venter said nominations for positions will only be known at the congress because those expressing interest should also be nominated from the floor of congress. He confirmed that preparations are ongoing for congress, but he added a word of caution, “our congress is expected at the end of February if it is not postponed.”

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