Minister back at work after two-months health scare
Speculation around the health of Minister of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development, Mpho Balopi has of late been a subject of social media and street gossip.
To his detractors, a mere mention of Balopi’s name sparks a conversation of sleaze and misdemeanor.
But the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Secretary-General has on several occasions defended his reputation, pointing to the toxic political atmosphere as the source of his character assassination.
This week when he returned to work after a month and a half under health observation, Balopi spoke to The Voice, dismissing some of the jaw-dropping rumors about the cause of his ill-health.
“I have also been accused of being involved in accidents of Range Rovers and helicopters,” he said in a veiled reference to a recent fatal accident involving a Range Rover in G/West and the infamous chopper crash that claimed the life of a celebrated rapper near Sojwe.
Although he casually parried away the rumors, Balopi was reluctant to confirm or deny allegations that he was recently poisoned by state agents in a failed attempt on his life that left him with a swollen face.
This was after the Member of Parliament for Gaborone North appeared on national television with a swollen face during parliamentary debates, further fueling suspicion around his health.
“I don’t want to discuss the details of what I’ve been going through. What is important is that I am healthy and the fact is that I am alive,” Balopi said.
Two months ago the 52-year-old legislator was first diagnosed with Covid-19 which turned into something more serious, leading to an unexpected and a half months stay on a Sedilega Hospital bed.
Further pressed for comment, the reluctant Balopi said: “Instead of dwelling on the causes and the illnesses let’s look at the positive. I am alive and kicking and I am happy to be back at work. In the midst of challenges, you find things which are pleasing like the top-notch medical care I received.”
Asked to speak on allegations that he recently met with President Mokgweetsi Masisi with the intent to resign from cabinet Balopi responded: “There has never been such a meeting. I am happy to serve the portfolio of the Ministry and that is where my focus is at right now, especially that we are now talking about resetting and aligning our mandate as Government.”
Now that he is back, Balopi who attended his first Cabinet meeting on Wednesday after reporting for duty, says he is focused on delivering Government’s mandate as far as his Ministry is concerned.