- Says constitution does not permit Khama to attend NEC meetings
- Detractors say Butale is smarting from Khama’s inquisition
- BPF publicist says Khama attends by special dispensation
FRANCISTOWN: Embattled Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) president Biggie Butale is reportedly angling to have party patron Ian Khama barred from attending meetings of the National Executive Committee (NEC) because the constitution of the BPF does not permit him to do so, The Botswana Gazette has heard.
However, he faces slim chances of success because other members of the NEC are presenting a bulwark against any moves against their high profile patron.
Sources say Butale sudden eyebrow-raising stance follows an altercation between him and Khama at an NEC meeting over Butale’s purported inconsistence about his entanglement in issues of sexual misconduct.
Butale flatly denied everything when news of the alleged sleaze first dripped into the public domain. He dismissed it all as the stuff of a political witch hunt but changed tack after audios of his conversations with the student at the centre of the alleged ‘affaire’ went viral.
Sources say in the aftermath of his altercation with Khama, Bu-tale is retaliating by questioning the presence and legitimacy in NEC meetings of a man he always held in awe. It is said Butale also holds that as patron of the BPF, Khama does not have any powers to ask or probe him about the alleged sexual misconduct.
However, those in the know say other NEC members have poured scorn on this view and have reminded their embattled president that a resolution granting Khama special dispensation to attend NEC meet-ings was long taken at a congress in Palapye. “It is not disputable that while the BPF constitution may not have a clause that allows the patron to be a part of NEC meetings, a resolution that allows the patron to attend the meetings was taken at the Palapye congress. What remains is to insert the clause in the constitution,” a source said.
The official spokesman of the BPF, Lawrence Ookeditse, has confirmed that Khama attends NEC meetings on the basis of a special resolution. “The congress resolved that the patron is a part of NEC meetings and we are not apologetic about that,” Ookeditse said. “Anyone who questions this is just a frustrated person.”
Another source said Butale no longer wants Khama to attend NEC meetings because he fears that the patron’s influence has the potential to turn people against him.
Butale did not answer repeated calls made to his phone and has ignored text messages from The Botswana Gazette.