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More charges for embattled Butale

TSAONE BASIMANEBOTLHE
BPF president Butale and patron Khama PIC: THALEFANG CHARLES
Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) president, Biggie Butale is finding it difficult to untangle himself from the brewing trouble within the party that he leads as he faces more misconduct charges other than the one relating to sexual involvement.

According to party official communication, Butale is alleged to have recruited some party members so that they retrace their steps back to the  Botswana Democratic Party (BDP). BPF is an offshoot of the ruling BDP.

In the communication, the BPF has given him seven days to respond to the allegations failing which appropriate measures will be taken against him. Butale has a pending case of sexual misconduct, which, was reported to the party by a youthful operative.

A letter written by the BPF disciplinary chairperson, Emmanuel Orateng dated June 1,2021 reads in part: “It is reported against you that on May 15, 2021 you convened a meeting aimed at paralysing, causing and breaking up the BPF at a farm near Mahalapye.

The farm is suspected to be belonging to one Molebatsi who is a BDP member. At that meeting, you are alleged to have told attendees to go back to their former parties. By so doing you contravened clause 6.1.5 of the BPF constitution.”

The letter further stated that Butale, at that same meeting, allegedly labelled the party patron, Ian Khama, as a dictator and by so doing he contravened clause 6.1.3 of the BPF constitution. 

Furthermore, Butale is also accused of having gone to the media houses and tarnished the party’s name by alleging that he was set up  in his sexual misconduct matter. The party also said Butale also claimed that some people want to remove him from his position as BPF president because he is not a Mongwato.

Yet another accusation is that Butale is alleged to have referred  to BPF national executive committee (NEC) on May 10,2021 as a kangaroo court. The letter continued: “The acts, as alleged above to have been committed by you, amount to misconduct which, if proven, would warrant disciplinary action against you.

Accordingly, you are hereby required to respond in

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writing to these allegations within seven days of the receipt of this letter.

Should you fail to submit your explanations as required, it will be presumed that you admit the charges and have no explanations to offer.” When contacted for comment this week, Butale acknowledged receipt of  the letter. He, however, preferred not to comment on the accusations levelled against him. Meanwhile, Mmegi has learnt that the party disciplinary committee does not have the powers to expel nor suspend a member. It could rather make recommendations to the party congress to make final decision on the member.

Therefore, Butale, a lawyer by training, would have to defend himself from all the charges at the party’s coming virtual congress that will be held in July 2021. 

Already, the NEC is divided into two camps. One group is sympathetic to Butale whilst the other wants serious action taken against him for all charges he is facing.

 Butale has refused to step down for a month from the party leadership to allow investigation to continue on his case of sexual misconduct. The NEC had requested him to step down for at least a month for investigations to be carried-out without his interference.

Still on the matter, Mmegi has learnt that the BPF disciplinary committee will sit next week to decide on Butale’s fate. It is also understood that Butale’s sympathisers are supposed to meet over the weekend, according to a source. At the meeting, the source said, the sympathisers will map the way forward on whether he should attend the hearing or not.

The source revealed that some believe that the NEC and disciplinary committee would not have strong grounds to convince the congress to fire Butale. If they manage to do so, the BPF president’s sympathisers will defect with their leader back to the BDP, it is claimed.



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