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Plot to assault Butale revealed

Daniel Chida

I am not funded by the BDP – BPF President

On Friday, the President of Botswana Patriotic Front, Biggie Butale, was once again reinstated by Lobatse High Court as the party’s president, overturning his Monday suspension by his party’s National Executive Committee.

Justice Michael Motlhabi ordered the fighting parties to come back to court on the 30th of June giving the besieged Butale a reprieve from the non-ending fights. In May, Butale was suspended by the NEC but the court reversed that decision.

The Voice staffer, DANIEL CHIDA, catches up with the embattled president to get an update following allegations of plans to assault him so that he vacates office.

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There has been controversy in your party of late, can you take us through that?

It is unfortunate that I cannot discuss such issues because they border on a matter which is still before courts.

Who do you think is behind all the instability then?

Just look at what has been happening since the formation of BPF, who instigated all the problems? The focus should be on that person or persons, not me. I suspect they are paid to destroy our party and are using me or us, the majority, as a scapegoat.

Talking of majority, do you still command respect from your followers?

I believe that I still have the backing of the majority of our members because in all our gatherings they talk of me being targeted. The whole idea is the fight over the presidency and I have lost too much for that seat.

There are also some voice-note circulating on our party groups and some members in groups that I am not part of that; some senior members are in talks to have me beaten in order to resign. That information has been leaked to me and I have shared with security agents to look at so that whatever happens to me they should know where to look.

So some of your party members want to physically assault you?

Of course, but I don’t think our politics should go to such a desperate level where councillors and Members of Parliament can sit around the table and discuss harming the president of their party and his family. Maybe they won’t assault but poison me, so I want the nation to know about the ongoing plan.

There are also allegations that you are sponsored by the ruling party, your take on that?

The allegations that I am being sponsored by Botswana Democratic Party keep cropping up. In 2021, after some of my colleagues had also set me up and wanted to expel me from the party over rape allegations that were manufactured by party members, those allegations were there.

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It is unfortunate that the same people who orchestrated this ordeal that nearly destroyed my life are the same people again trying to suspend me and say I have been bought by the BDP. I sponsored our first and second congresses in Kanye and Palapye respectively together with the manifesto launch, but no one questioned where I got the money, why now?

Where are you getting the resources?

I am using my own resources. There is a narrative that I am a pauper, I have never been one. If you look at my house and the cars I have been driving, you will see that I have never been a pauper. It is only that I am a person who keeps things simple and do not like to flaunt material things.

Your party became the first one to hold its primary elections for Serowe West by-elections, how did elections go?

There are some members who did their utmost to disturb the whole process so that the elections are not held but in the end we had seven members who contested and Onalepelo Kedikilwe became the winner with 443 votes. I can say it was successful and I thank all the party members who contributed in the whole process.

When are you officially joining the Umbrella for Democratic Change?

We are already members of the UDC because our congress did that ratification already, it is only that the UDC is looking at our instability and it makes them nervous. They are right to be nervous, looking at our instability, and one may think that we may take it to the UDC and cause a contagion.

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