Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Secretary General Mpho Balopi
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) defenders, Secretary General Mpho Balopi and Youth Wing chairman, Andy Boatile have lashed at Johnson Motshwarakgole and his Federation for ‘interferring’ in the party’s internal elections.
Balopi and Boatle are of the view that the Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU)’s efforts to try and influence the outcomes of BDP’s upcoming elective congress will come to naught. BOFEPUSU announced last week that it will influence its members and sympathizers within BDP not vote for Vice President, Mokgweetsi Masisi in his bid to become the party chairman.
This has irked BDP party leadership, and the ruling party’s secretary general issued a subsequent statement castigating the union for what he called “meddling in the affairs of the BDP.”
Balopi defended Masisi’s policy towards workers, and noted that the Vice President believes in a society that is just and opens up opportunity for all its members. “He believes that workers should be renumerated fairly and their conditions of service must also be improved,” said Balopi in a statement.
Balopi said BOFEPUSU is still held on pre-elections rivalries instead of adopting a reconciliatory stand. He further accused, BOFEPUSU’s Labour Secretary, Johnson Motshwarakgole of being a divisive character. “Once again, BOFEPUSU is wasting limited workers resources and time in a political campaign that has nothing to do with them and the interests of members,” he stated.
In the run up to the 2014 general elections, Masisi was among the list of Members of Parliament who were viewed as anti-workers therefore having to be de-campaigned. Among the list include former Gaborone Central MP and Botswana Congress Party (BCP) President Dumelang Saleshando and former Leader of Opposition Botsalo Ntuane who went on to lose their parliamentary seats.
BOFEPUSU has had not a good relationship with Masisi ever since the 2011 public servants strike in which Masisi was then minister responsible for public service. BOFEPUSU has described him an enemy of labour movements therefore deserving to be de-campaigned.
Balopi said BOFEPUSU has lost the true mandate of the trade unions and it is has now lost the plot as its leaders are politicians masquerading as trade unionist. “The race for the BDP Chairmanship is a matter to be decided at congress by members of the party and we don’t understand why Motshwarakgole imagines he has the power to dictate how our people will vote,” he contended.
The BDP Secretary General said Motshwarakgole is still smarting from electoral defeat and he personally is still dealing with having his ambitions of being specially nominated thwarted.
Meanwhile Boatile has observed that Motshwarakgole wants to influence BDP members to vote weak leaders. “The reason why he is afraid of Masisi is that he knows that he is the one who will take the BDP to victory in 2019,” observed Boatile. The Youth Wing chairman said he was ready to defend the Vice President against Motshwarakgole who has lost his sense of purpose as a unionist.
Masisi announced his bid for chairmanship a few weeks ago, changing the race for the coveted central committee position. The battle for chairmanship will see Masisi facing strong contenders in former Cabinet Ministers Ramadeluka Seretse and Tebelelo Seretse, while the youthful Biggie Butale has also been mentioned as a candidate who’s likely to cause major upset in the race.
Tebelelo Seretse, tried her luck in the Chairmanship in 2009, when he faced the than indomitable Daniel Kwelagobe but suffered a defeat.
Masisi’s entrance into the race is viewed as a strategic move to consolidate his power within the party as he readies to take over the presidency in three years time. Masisi will automatically become president of Botswana when the office becomes vacant at the beginning of April in 2018.
BOFEPUSU has made it clear that they will do everything in their power to block Masisi from becoming Vice President, though he will ascend with the help of constitution provision.
BOFEPUSU leadership is convinced that Masisi played a mainstay role in the government’s decision to take away multimillion GEMVAS tender from Unigem (Pty) Ltd, a company which is owned by affiliates of BOFEPUSU save for Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) which de-invested from the company last year for what it called “business reasons”.
“He (Masisi) is the one spearheading the GEMVAS in-sourcing such that by the 1st of June, 2015, it would be totally under the control of government. We disqualify Masisi because if he succeeds Khama as the next President he would be a much worse dictator than him,” said Motshwarakgole.
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.
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.
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.