It’s good to be back!

Daniel Chida

Fired-up Butale talks unity on his return to the BPF hot seat

Left to rot for over a year in the political wilderness, on the 23rd November, the Botswana Patriot Front (BPF) National Executive Committee took a decision to reinstate its suspended President, Biggie Butale.

The former Tati West MP was removed from his seat in September last year following allegations of sexual misconduct. Many believed it was the end of his political journey; they should have known better!

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Not one to give up without a fight, Butale returns to the BPF hot seat as he looks to breathe new energy into the yellow party’s somewhat static fortunes.

The Voice’s DANIEL CHIDA caught up with the veteran politician this week to find out how he’s been and what he’s got planned for the BPF…

Welcome back after so long…

It is good to be back! I want to thank patriots from all walks of life for the support they showed to me during my dark political days. I really appreciate the NEC for deciding to bring me back; that meant a lot to me as an individual and as a politician.

So what have you been up to?

Mostly focusing on my church.

From matters of God to matters of the state; let’s get straight to business – give us an update on your working relationship with UDC, is it still in place?

BPF has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with UDC for by-elections and we also engaged the UDC, showing a desire to work on other issues. Our congress, to be held next year, will decide our working relationship going further.

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The congress will also give a direction on how we should relate with other opposition parties. But what I know is that we, as a political party, desire that in the next election one opposition candidate should face the Botswana Democratic Party candidate whether on council or Parliamentary seat. Our 2023 congress is very important for those reasons.

Do you plan on defending your seat as party President?

Having lost a lot as an individual, family man, politician, pastor and businessman due to my association with BPF particularly being its President, I cannot just walk away but defend my position.

Have you started preparations for the next general elections? How many constituencies are you targeting?

Constituency allocation will be subject to all opposition parties. It is our desire to have a united opposition and we hope the negotiations will be completed before the year 2023.

There has been some discussion on Electronic Voting Machine which has met mixed reactions, what are your thoughts on the matter?

We are very skeptical of any elections that will be conducted through EVM because we know the ruling party will not be honest. There is suspicion that elections will be rigged again. Remember our 2019 general elections court case that we lost on technicality before it can be argued in court? Now think of EVM, the worst can happen. We don’t trust the BDP government!

Your Patron, former President, Ian Khama, who is a crowd puller, remains outside the country – how are you going to handle your campaigns with him away?

We are hoping for his quick return despite Dibotelo Commission recommendations wanting to ban former Presidents from taking part in active politics. Why take someone’s democratic right? Government should know that the more Khama is forced to stay outside the country the more popular he becomes.

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Talking of the Dibotelo Commission, what is your take on its recommendations?

That is a petty undertaking tailor-made for certain people. It is immoral for people to recommend the death sentence for drug lords and to legalise abortion. You want to kill unborn babies? This thing should bring shame! Should it be adopted, it would take our country back to the middle ages and back to darkness.

can say the whole exercise was a waste of time, that is criminalising witchcraft. The commission should have sat on its own and come with its own recommendations without wasting so much money to tour the country.

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