A fight for former President Ian Khama’s allegiance has reached new heights within the two warring factions at Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF).
One faction that wants Khama as party president has taken a decision to form a new party to be led by Khama while a rival faction led by party president, Biggie Butale, wants Khama to remain their Patron.
Last weekend Butale’s faction watered down recent overtones of animosity with Khama, pledging their loyalty and camaraderie to the former state president and describing him as their own.
When addressing a rally in Maunatlala, Butale said that had it not been for his love for Khama, he could be the Vice President of Botswana or a cabinet minister under the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP). He said he gave up all those privileges and chose Khama’s side over that of President Mokgweetsi Masisi. “Khama is not going to join that party they are planning to form, he is our patron. People should stop using him for their own personal gain. We know the people behind that.”
Before Butale’s address, former Minister- Prince Maele, took to the podium sharing the same sentiments.
He said it was because of his love and loyalty to Khama that he was no longer a cabinet minister.
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Maele said when people shamed Khama, he took his side and stood by him. “He is also our Kgosikgolo, I cannot let people toy with him,” he added.
Meanwhile the rival BPF faction calling itself, ‘Ma Hundred Percent,’ has been resolute that Khama was to launch their party this weekend (Saturday).
However, things took a different twist on Wednesday when a delegation of three BPF leaders was selected to pay Khama a courtesy call.
The delegation which comprised BPF Vice President, Mephato Reatile and Party Secretary, Ford Moiteela was to leave on Thursday morning to hear Khama’s views on the decision he will be taking over the weekend.
Speaking to this publication, Ma Hundred Percent’s Spokesperson and Chief Organiser of the launch, Motlhafi Dikomang confirmed the sudden changes. “We have put everything on hold while awaiting the delegation to South Africa. If they don’t meet our demands which include reinstating those suspended and calling an elective congress we will go ahead with a new party,” he said.
BPF Acting Secretary- Reitumetse Aphiri, declined to comment referring all questions to the party’s Publicity Secretary, Lawrence Ookeditse, who could not be reached.