Embattled BPF leadership prepared for jail
Following internal bickerings within Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) that recently played out before the courts of law, the party’s Disciplinary Committee (DC) and Youth League have sacked its president, Biggie Butale.
Party spokesperson, Lawrence Ookeditse, this week told a press briefing in Gaborone that Butale was expelled for conspiring with the ruling party to destabilise BPF.
Butale’s sacking follows contempt of court charges meted out against some members of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC).
The respondents, who include Mephato Reatile, Tshekedi Khama, Lazarus Lekgoanyana, Ford Moiteela, Prince Bosilong, party patron, Ian Khama, Motswasele Kganetso, Dr Kolaatamo Malefho, Lawrence Ookeditse, and Amogelang Mokwena were slapped with the charges after failing to comply with Justice Michael Motlhabi’s reversal of Butale’s earlier expulsion on June 5th, 2023. The matter is before Justice Dr Zein Kebonang.
Ookeditse, however, says Butale’s expulsion is not a retaliation to the contempt charges. “This has nothing to do with Justice Motlhabi’s judgment. We are aware of the contempt charges and we will mitigate as required. However, the DC and the Youth League have taken a decision to expel Butale from the party and they are not parties to the matter that is before Justice Motlhabi. This time, he will not be admitted back into the party, unless the matter that is before Justice Kebonang says otherwise,” he said.
In a statement he issued on Tuesday afternoon, Butale dismissed his latest expulsion from the party. “I am aware of a press conference called by the purported BPF NEC that is scheduled for today, Tuesday 25th, July at 1430hrs at Arirang Hotel in Gaborone. I wish to warn members that this will be a further aggravation of the court order. Members are not allowed to call any other meetings in the name of the BPF or structures without my authority or as led by myself as the President and chief spokesperson of the party,” he said in the statement.
Furthermore, Butale warned that if members do not heed this warning, he will be filing an affidavit in aggravation for all persons who attend the said press conference and or any other meetings, for the continuous contemptuous acts and blatant disregard for the rule of law.
“I trust that, as members, you will be more cautious with your actions this time around,” Butale wrote.
During the press conference, Ookeditse and the DC members stated that they are prepared to spend time behind bars since they will not be the first political prisoners in the country. They accused Butale of being an agent of the BDP and using the courts to run the party.