Ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary caucus has prevailed over its Member of Parliament (MP) Biggie Butale to withdraw a motion calling on Government to name a major Government facility after the late Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) leader Gomolemo Motswaledi.
Advancing reasons before withdrawing the motion, the Tati West MP had argued that the envisaged honour of Motswaledi was in due recognition of his immense contribution to the nation of Botswana in the fields of music and politics.
On Friday, Butale confirmed in a brief interview that he had withdrawn the motion. Asked why he withdrew the motion, Butale said that the BDP caucus feels that Motswaledi could be honoured through other means without bringing a motion to Parliament.
┬áPressed to comment on allegations that he was under pressure from the BDP leadership to withdraw the motion, Butale said, “they didn’t put me under pressure. I willingly agreed with them to withdraw the motion.”┬á
He said there was no how he could have rejected his colleagues’ advice to withdraw the motion since he had to rely on the BDP caucus for the motion to sail through.
“It wouldn’t have been a wise decision to object to the advice that was given to me by my colleagues because I relied on their support for the motion to see the light of the day,” he said.
BDP insiders insist that Butale was summoned to a meeting by the party’s leadership and instructed to withdraw the motion.
When Butale tabled the motion last week, a number of ministers started filing out of┬á the parliament buildings. The motion was deferred to a later date only for Butale to withdraw it on Friday morning instead of resuming his debate.
It is understood that the BDP also did not honour a caucus last week in which Butale was supposed to drum up support for his motion. Instead the motion was brought to Parliament without the ‘blessings’ of the party, something which is also said to have incensed the leadership of the party.
Contacted for comment, BDP Chairman of communications and International Relations committee Shaw Kgathi referred queries to Butale. “Ask him as to why he had to withdraw the motion,” said Kgathi.
┬áWhen asked to comment on reports that the legislator withdrew the meeting after an intense meeting in which he was hauled over the coals, Kgathi said “I don’t have information to that effect.”
Motswaledi who was also opposition coalition Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Vice President died in a car accident in which the opposition Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) later alleged it was foul play and instituted private investigations on the cause of death.
For his part, UDC Secretary General Wynter Mmolotsi said Butale was under pressure from the BDP to withdraw the motion and he succumbed to the pressure.
He said BDP MPs were of the view that one of their own should not have been the one to table such a motion because it would appear as if he was articulating and promoting the UDC policies and ideas.