Embattled Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) president, Biggie Butale on Thursday dragged party patron Ian Khama, Secretary General Tshekedi Khama and other members of the central committee to court, challenging allegations that he has resigned from the party.
As the power struggle within BPF deepens, a faction led by the Khama brothers wants Butale and others, among them Samson Moyo Guma kicked out of the party. They have on different platforms alleged that he resigned from the party presidency, a development he disputes.
In an interview on Friday, Butale said he remains a member of BPF in good standing and its president. “I approached court together with other members of the party to seek for justice. I have never resigned from the party, and I continue to serve. They must prove that indeed I resigned,” he fumed.
Butale is suing alongside Ford Moiteela and Reitumetse Aphiri who are also facing a purge by the Khama faction. Other members of BPF who are dragged to court by Butale are Deputy Secretary General (DSG) Vuyo Notha, Moiseraele Goya and Dr Kolaatamo Malefho among several others.
Recently, Tshekedi wrote a letter to Butale ordering him to desist from addressing party members as he has resigned from the party after he walked out from a central committee meeting.
“While your position of resignation is fully understood, we are surprised that you are now conducting party activities where you were spotted in Eastern Region in Selebi Phikwe where your addressed members under the pretext that you are the BPF president,” Tshekedi warned Butale.
Meanwhile, BPF internal squabbles continue to deepen as factions are clashing over the upcoming congress. The Patriot on Sunday is reliably informed that the faction aligned to the Khamas defied a central committee resolution to host an extraordinary congress rather than an elective congress in July 2023.
It is said the Khamas have indicated to the central committee that an elective congress should be convened, despite the central committee resolving for an extraordinary congress. “Both Ian and Tshekedi are not party to the resolution of an extraordinary congress whose main purpose is to iron out differences in the party and preach unity. Since he is eyeing the BPF presidency, Khama is pushing for an elective congress to pave way for primary elections,” said a source.
However, Butale buttressed that BPF will hold an extraordinary congress as per NEC resolution, adding that the resolutions of the central committee are binding everyone to respect its decision stand.
Efforts to get a comment from BPF DSG Notha and party spokesperson Lawrence Ookeditse were unsuccessful.
Political analyst Frank Mogotsi said the BPF is headed for a split and it must admit that it is finished. According to him, it is clear that the Khama family has taken control of the party and as such they will never allow anyone to lead the party after Ian has shown intentions to contest for its presidency.
“BPF has reached a splitting point and it will never be intact. And Butale must admit that he is no longer wanted by the founders of BPF. Khama brothers will control BPF forever,” he added.
Meanwhile, when being welcomed back into Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) by President Mokgweetsi Masisi on Thursday, former BPF vice president Caroline Lesang said BPF was dying.
Lesang, who resigned from the party early this year, told Masisi that more BPF members will retrace their steps to BDP, adding that BDP should intensify the pace of recruiting BPF members.
“There is no democracy at BPF and I and other members found it fit to come back to the BDP. We will continue to encourage other members who left to come back home to BDP,” she assured Masisi.