BPF Gears Up For Future Without Founding President

  • Party factions plan and hold separate recruitment drives

The Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) is preparing for a future without its founding president Biggie Butale, who faces an uphill battle to prove his innocence in what his supporters describe as “a court of chickens trying a cockroach”.

Butale is mired in allegations of sexual misconduct involving a student but he insists that the entanglement is the result of a witch hunt by internal enemies who are out to oust him from his perch as president of the BPF. Insiders say the level of animosity between the factions reflects irreparable damage to unity and trust, which are essential values in politics.

The party is grappling with finding a ‘suitable’ replacement of Butale by isolating him while Butale and his faction are digging their heels in and fighting back see as a dirty plot to oust him.

The two factions are reported to be planning to embark on separate recruitment drives with each organising and holding campaign activities, as happened in Molepolole and Mahalapye recently for the Khama lot and Butale supporters respectively. Political observers say these meetings illustrated a party in disarray.

BPF spokesman Lawrence Ookeditse told the media afterwards that the Molepolole meeting was an authentic party activity and the Mahalapye meeting the work of Butale
and his friends. This has predictably been dismissed as hogwash by the faction of the president of the BPF who has refused to step down in the face of the serious allegations
that he faces.

The Secretary General of the party, Ian Khama’s younger brother Tshekedi, has struck a pose and unleashed a tirade against Butale. But observers say Tshekedi’s proximity to the patron of the BPF, Ian Khama, is a major disqualifying factor because he is seen as a purveyor of Khama’s parochial interests.