The Lobatse High Court has rejected the self-reinstatement of Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) member, Biggie Butale, who recently reinstalled himself in the position of president of the party.
Ruling in an application brought to court by acting president of the BPF, Caroline Lesang, Justice Matlhogonolo Phuthego said Butale remains barred from discharging duties as BPF president because he failed to appeal the decision of the party’s Disciplinary Committee to pardon him as just an ordinary member.
In demanding to be fully reinstated, Butale had argued that he had not been furnished with any charge sheet or given a disciplinary hearing by the party since his suspension over a year ago after allegations of sexual offences involving a student arose against him.
The High Court ruling is in consonance with Lesang’s wishes for Butale to be barred from reinstating himself as president of the BPF and discharging duties in that regard after Butale demanded unconditional reinstatement and proceeded to reinstate himself as BPF president when his demand was not met.
In addition to rejecting Butale’s reinstatement president, Justice Phuthego also nullified all decisions taken at Butale’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meetings.
The decisions included postponement of the party’s congress that is scheduled for the end of this month, as well as suspension of presidential hopeful Samson Moyo Guma, party spokesperson Lawrence Ookeditse, national organising secretary Ford Moiteela and other members of the party’s NEC.
It is not known what Butale’s loss in court means to the BPF where he enjoyed the support of the party’s MPs, councillors and influential patron Ian Khama.
The party has been in a state of anarchy and indications are that this will continue for the foreseeable future because the other faction remains resolute and is not likely to yield any ground.