MASUNGA: The spectres of former President Ian Khama and Tati West legislator Biggie Butale dominated proceedings during the launch of Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentry candidate for Tati West Simon Mavange Moabi on Saturday.
Melton Monyamane when briefing the gathering that was largely dominated by people bussed from other constituencies accused Butale of being a biblical Judas Iscariot.
Monyamane said that Butale has self-destructed and deserves to be denied votes.
“We will meet Butale at the ballot and I assure you that we will win resoundly. Butale has betrayed us and he does not deserve your votes,” Monyamane said to a round of applause.
When briefing the gathering about their campaign update, Tati West branch chairperson Farai Bonyongo said that a few people have defected from the BDP to the new party on the block, Botswana Patriotic Front, but nonetheless the defections are too minimal to cause any upset to the fortunes of the ruling party.
Hitting below the belt, a member of BDP Youth Wing Tony Sebabi even jeered for President Mokgweetsi Masisi to cut his predecessor’s mane off.
Although not mentioning Khama by name, Sebabi said: “BDP is going to win elections with a big margin. BDP has laid a strong solid foundation to lead this country. The opposition is clueless about how to govern the country. The UDC is a political none-entity. Mavange would vanquish Butale come October”.
It is public knowledge that most people know former president Khama as Tshetlha (a lion) and Sebabi called on Masisi to cut Tshetlha’s conspicuous trademark afro off.
To a round of applause he said: “Down with Tshetlha, down! Down with Tshetalha, down!”
Health and Wellness minister Alfred Madigele also took to the podium to chastise Butale for being a bitter loser whose defection from the BDP was caused by nothing else but his lose to Mavange during the BDP primary elections.
Madigele said: “BDP will win the elections in October. Butale needs serious and urgent help. As a medical doctor, I have long seen his problem, but I am very sorry that I did not diagonise him. He will repent and come back to the BDP. I lost the BDP primary elections but I did not defect from the party. I just accepted the situation. I am begging you to vote for Mavange and in retrosepect, you would have voted for President Masisi”.
Former Tati West legislator Charles Tibone also took a swipe at Butale labelling him a sour grape who could not just handle his primary election lose to Mavange maturely.
“Butale is just longing for position and money. He is a Judas Iscariot who does not deserve your vote. Don’t vote for Butale. BDP is a very strong organisation that cannot be shaken by the opposition. None from opposition will win this constituency. Vote for Mavange and Masisi. Masisi is a hardworking person with good leadership skills. Opposition leaders are no match for Masisi. Duma Boko and Dumelang Shaleshando are collectively doing a job at shrinking the economy of this country. They are just like a person baking bread without baking powder,” Tibone said.
As unprecedented, a councillor from Serowe – the stronghold of Khama – Keneilwe Monageng also made veiled attacks on Khama.
Describing himself also as a pastor, Monageng biblically said: “Vote for prosperity. Don’t vote for someone who is secretly killing his brother”.
Many as a veiled attack on Khama interpreted Monageng’s statement.
The secretary general of the BDP Mpho Balopi also characterised Butale as a bitter person who could not accept that he lost the BDP primary elections.
Balopi told the gathering that his wife is the daugther of former Tati West MP Chapson Butale who is a close relative of Biggie Butale.
He said: “The whole Butale family is fully behind the BDP. Please don’t link the Butale family into the defection of Biggie Butale. His defection is ill-advised. The Butale family members are staunch supporters of the BDP. Please pray for Biggie Butale. His defection is just a ploy to dissapoint President Masisi who is experiencing the unsual as the party president”.
Launching the parliamentary candidate and his councillors, President Masisi also said that Butale defected from the BDP becasue his term in Parliement was coming to an end more so that he lost the BDP primary elections.
Careful not to mention or cast aspersions on his predecesor Khama, Masisi said that Biggie Butale has always being a suspicious character.
“Vote for a visionary person like Mavange. He advocated for the use of indigenous langagues in the school curriculum hence we included that in our manifesto... Our difference with the opposition is that we are in power but they are just opposing for the sake of opposing. The opposition’s pledge to pay workers a minimum P3,000 per month is unrealistic. How many of you here can afford to pay their maids of herdboys P3,000 per month? Raise up your hand if you can afford to do that. As the BDP, we will pay workers a minimum living wage of P1,000 although this does not go well with some people,” Masisi said.
He urged his candidates to shun corruption in all its manifestations adding that the party will take stern action against any BDP member who is involved in corrupt practices.
“As civic leaders, you are in a privileged position to know about certain information that the public is not privvy to in the beginning. Don’t use your position to line your pockets. Also, don’t help those in the opposition who want to mortgage Botswana to foreigners. Some opposition members want to exchange our country’s natural resources to foreigners for personal gain,” Masisi said.
Giving a vote of thanks, the chairperson of BDP northern region, Anthony Chebani said that it was very clear from the onset that Biggie Butale was a traitor.
“Butale was not working with party structures in the constituency like the Village Development Committee and others hence his downfall... Even in Serowe we have staunch members of the party who refused Ian Khama’s overtures. These people don’t want to follow people who will lead them astray,” Chebani said.
Briefly motivating why he deserves votes into Parliament, Moabi said that he grew up in the constituency and knows all its problems.
“I promise to solve all your problems like shortage of water among others when you vote for me in October. Please send me to Parliament so that I can solve these problems,” Moabi pleaded.