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Masisi kingpins plot Balopi downfall

A group of leading kingpins within Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s camp are plotting to prevent secretary general and Gaborone North parliamentary aspirant, Mpho Balopi from accumulating power.


This publication has been informed by party insiders close to developments that there is a growing discontent within the Masisi camp about the presence of Balopi, whose victory as party secretary general in Tonota and possibly as Gaborone North  legislator is believed could propel him to the vice presidency in two years time. Already, the Gaborone North branch has reached a consensus on Balopi and wants him to be the party parliamentary candidate for the constituency.


“Balopi is one of Masisi’s loyal and trusted allies. They know if he becomes the party secretary general and also wins the Gaborone North constituency in 2019, Masisi will consider him for vice presidency,” the source revealed. “He is already close to Masisi, the idea is to prevent him from accumulating power because a few individuals in Masisi’s camp also fancy their chances for the vice presidency.” This publication was further informed that Masisi will next year; upon becoming president appoint a stopgap individual as his Vice President.


“He is considering appointing someone who will not be contesting for a parliamentary constituency in 2019. That is why Batshu [Edwin]’s name has been cropping out recently as potential appointee. He is also looking for someone who is calm and who won’t give him trouble,” the source revealed. “The bigger picture is 2019. A lot of people are positioning themselves within the Masisi camp and others are pushing for personal interest. They would also want the VP to be someone who will lend them their ear once Masisi is in power.”


Weekend Post also has it on good authority that those who are wary of Balopi’s potential rise and accumulation of influence are also planning to identify a strong candidate who would challenge Balopi in Gaborone North. Gaborone North, a constituency currently under Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) will be among the 19 constituencies to undergo primary elections in November this year.


In what is seen as a jostle for Masisi’s attention, who is guaranteed the presidency next year, a group of his loyalist believe Balopi is too close to Masisi. Balopi is a businessman who has previously served as party secretary general from 2011-2015. Sources indicate that Balopi has been one of Masisi’s chief campaigners since the 2015 Mmadinare Congress where Masisi was first elected party chairman. However, notwithstanding that fact, Balopi’s Secretary General bid divided opinion within the Masisi camp.


Initially, Jacob Nkate was persuaded, in a move facilitated by Balopi himself, to give up the chairmanship bid and contest as secretary general under the Masisi camp. The deal however fell through when Nkate revealed his future presidential ambitions. The departure of Nkate meant the Masisi camp reluctantly settled for Balopi. A second attempt to bring back Nkate to the Masisi camp by BDP Treasurer Satar Dada also hit a snag, leaving Balopi as the final candidate for secretary general in the faction.


“Most of them believe Balopi wants to ride on Masisi’s back to rise to the position of secretary general. They are of the view that by campaigning for Masisi they are also literally putting Balopi in the secretary general position,” the source contended.

Windfall for Botsalo ntuane

The internal bickering within the Masisi camp has availed the incumbent secretary general, Botsalo Ntuane the opportunity to retain his position with little resistance from the camp. This publication further learnt that, the Masisi kingpins are secretly campaigning for Ntuane instead of Balopi.


“Earlier on, there were suggestions within the Masisi camp that Ntuane should be allowed to retain the secretary general position because many believe he knows the party more than Mpho [Balopi], and that he has little political ambitions, posing no threat to those with ambitions,” he said. “The talking is that, it is Masisi who they are pushing for, not Balopi.”   


Ntuane has already stated that he is not contesting parliamentary elections billed for November this year. Ntuane was one of the causalities of the 2014 general elections, losing his Gaborone Bonnington South parliamentary seat to UDC deputy leader, Ndaba Gaolathe.
It is believed that the contest for the secretary general position will be mainly between Nkate and Ntuane, with Balopi seen as a dark horse in the race.


Masisi’s chairmanship bid, which is seen as consolidation of power prior to the succession next year has attracted a number of key figures that were previously viewed not to be seeing eye to eye. Both Dada and Deputy Treasurer Jagdish Shah, who were perceived to be having some animosity between them, Tati East legislator and businessman Guma Moyo and his former business ally, Balopi all find themselves in the same camp.

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BDP decides Balopi’s fate

22nd November 2021
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The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Central Committee (CC) meeting, chaired by President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi late last month, resolved that the party’s next Secretary-General (SG) should be a full-time employee based at Tsholetsa House and not active in politics.

The resolution by the CC, which Masisi proposed, is viewed as a ploy to deflate the incumbent, Mpho Balopi’s political ambitions and send him into political obscurity. The two have not been on good terms since the 2019 elections, and the fallout has been widening despite attempts to reconcile them. In essence, the BDP says that Balopi, who is currently a Member of Parliament, Minister of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development, and a businessman, is overwhelmed by the role.

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BDF-Namibians shootings autopsy report revealed

22nd November 2021
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The Botswana Defence Force (BDF)-Namibians fatal shooting tragedy Inquest has revealed through autopsy report that the BDF carried over 800 bullets for the mission, 32 of which were discharged towards the targets, and 19 of which hit the targets.

This would mean that 13 bullets missed the targets-in what would be a 60 percent precision rate for the BDF operation target shooting. The Autopsy report shows that Martin Nchindo was shot with five (4) bullets, Ernst Nchindo five (5) bullets, Tommy Nchindo five (5) bullets and Sinvula Munyeme five (5) bullets. From the seven (7) BDF soldiers that left the BDF camp in two boats, four (4) fired the shots that killed the Namibians.

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Gov’t confused over Moitoi’s UN job application

22nd November 2021
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The former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi’s decision to apply for the positions of United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and their deputies (DSRSG), has left the government confused over whether to lend her support or not, WeekendPost has established.

Moitoi’s application follows the Secretary-General’s launch of the third edition of the Global Call for Heads and Deputy Heads of United Nations Field Missions, which aims to expand the pool of candidates for the positions of SRSG) and their deputies to advance gender parity and geographical diversity at the most senior leadership level in the field. These mission leadership positions are graded at the Under-Secretary-General and Assistant Secretary-General levels.

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