Two weeks after expelling Tati East Member of Parliament (MP) Samson Guma Moyo, and suspending his Lerala-Maunatlala counterpart, Prince Maele from the party, it appears that Tati West MP Biggie Butale's neck is next on the block.
Butale, the assistant Minister of Health and Wellness, has a fixture with the dreaded Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) National Disciplinary Committee (NDC) on May 7, 2019. Recent history has proven that the party has either suspended or expelled members who have appeared before the committee. One example is the case of the youthful former Mogoditshane constituency candidate, Tshepang Mabaila.
He was slapped with a five-year suspension last October after he was charged on several counts said to be against the rules and regulations and General Code of Conduct of the ruling party. Before that, party president Mokgweetsi Masisi had slapped Mabaila with a two-month suspension. Mabaila’s offences included behaving in a grossly disorderly and unruly manner that might put the party name in disrepute contrary to General Code of Conduct number 11 and sowing seeds of discord in the party, using regionalism, tribalism or factionalism contrary to General Code of Conduct number 6.
Next to face the same predicament were Moyo and Maele. April 26, 2019 is the day that the duo might never forget. Moyo was expelled for attending an illegal gathering in Serowe late February 2019. He was called for a disciplinary hearing but did not attend. He is currently in self-imposed exile in South Africa after claiming that the government wants to assassinate him.
On the other hand, Maele was ‘lucky’ to escape with a year’s suspension for voicing his admiration of former president Ian Khama during a kgotla meeting in his constituency.
With the retributive attitude of the National Disciplinary Committee (NDC) chaired by former educationist Damien Thapa, Butale should prepare for life in the political wilderness.
On April 26, 2019, Butale was served with a notice to appear for a disciplinary hearing signed by the vice chairperson- National Disciplinary Committee, Tshepo Kebabonye.
This follows a letter written by Tati West branch secretary, Thalosang Muchauza dated January 21, 2019. Butale is accused of informing some of his electorate during Kgotla meetings that he will be contesting the coming general elections, and this has left the democrats swimming in an abyss
“These (sic) serves as a complainant from Tati West committee against Hon Biggie Ganda Butale who was recently touring the constituency addressing Kgotla meetings in selected Tati West villages, during all his meetings he informed the gatherings that he will be contesting in the coming general elections, therefore his speech left democrats confused as they know that their parliamentary candidate is Simon Mavange Moabi,” Muchauza said.
“We therefore suspect a hidden political agenda. Thereby, he is using government resources and Kgotla meetings as platforms to campaign. We therefore invite the party office to make any immediate intervention and investigate as his speech was malicious and misleading.” Butale lost in party primary elections to BDP Youth Wing leader Moabi in August 2018 in Bulela Ditswe in which several prominent cabinet ministers lost. After his loss, he approached the Appeals Board that dismissed his plea. He did not despair and filed his case with the High Court. In his court papers, Butale accuses BDP secretary general, Mpho Balopi of favouritism against him and other candidates leading to the unsavoury Bulela Ditswe elections outcome.
Butale also revealed in his founding affidavit that Moabi who is cited as the third respondent in the matter was favourite of Balopi and was given support to topple him.
In the affidavit filed through Monthe Marumo and Company, Butale argued that Balopi extended support to the third respondent with the instruction to topple him through supporters’ mobilisation.
He said that he had advised the Appeals Board that Balopi displayed lack of impartiality when the support was extended to Moabi, much to Butale’s detriment and that of other candidates.
Mmegi has learnt that the BDP NDC is yet to reschedule other hearings for over 20 councillors who attended Serowe illegal meeting.
The councillors and others are facing various offences. Their hearing did not take place last week because the complainant did not attend the hearing. The BDP communication chairperson, Kagelelo Kentse said the issue is still before disciplinary hearing.
“The NDC has not informed us on what would happen,” Kentse said.