FRANCISTOWN: The election petition of ex-legislator for Tati West, Biggie Butale, had a false start and was subsequently struck off the roll on a technicality after he failed to secure a surety on time.
Butale, who is the president of Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) whose patron is former President Ian Khama, came third behind Simon Moabi and Tshepo Makhani of the UDC respectively in the October national polls.
At least 1,622 people voted for Butale, while 6,236 and 4,738 voters chose Moabi and Makhani in that order.
After Moabi soundly trounced him, Butale like some UDC election losers claimed that the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) carried out a massive election rigging exercise hence the UDC ended up formally lodging petitions before the courts of law.
He said that the BPF had properly followed the Electoral Act by filing its petition 30 days after the results, but only failed to secure a surety seven days after they filed the petition.
However, Butale’s petition hit a brick wall during roll call before its merits (or lack thereof) could be heard because he
Asked why the case was struck from the roll, Butale said that BPF managed to secure the surety late.
He said: “If you don’t have a surety seven days after you have filed your petition it therefore means that your petition is not proper before court and is therefore struck off the roll”.
Butale said that the surety was vital because in the event you lose your case with costs and you don’t have money to pay the respondents, the surety will bear the respondents’ legal costs.
However, Butale did not disclose the amount of money that the surety should have deposited with the court in the event that his petition were to be successful or not.
Butale’s petition was before a panel of Judges, Phadi Solomon, Bashi Moesi and Tshegofatso Mogomotsi.