Monday, July 22, 2024

Butale admitted to ‘touching and kissing’ BUAN student, called Khama ‘dictator’ – Tshekedi

More details are beginning to emerge about the ill-fated dalliance between the Botswana Patriotic Front, Reverend Biggie Butale and a female student at the Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (BUAN).

In a letter addressed to regional chairpersons, the party’s Secretary General, Tshekedi Khama, says that Butale has “admitted to amongst other things, touching and kissing the young lady at his house but denied any other actions.” This admission was made at a May 20 meeting of the National Executive Committee, more commonly known as the Central Committee. After hearing this admission, the NEC asked Butale to step outside to enable freer discussion of the issue.

“He, however, attacked the NEC and called it a gathering that he does not recognise and one that cannot make any decisions on him. He further said that the NEC is just a kangaroo court that cannot make any decisions. Upon being requested to respect the NEC, he verbally attacked both the Party Chairman and Vice President; and called the Party Patron a dictator who has no right to attend NEC meetings,” Tshekedi writes in his letter, countering with regard to the letter: “It is a BPF Congress resolution that the Patron be a member of the NEC and attend NEC meetings.”

The Patron being to here is former president Ian Khama wo founded the BPF after he fell put with President Mokgweetsi Masisi and quit the Botswana Democratic Party. The Party Chairman is Oboetswe Gabotlale and the Vice President is Caroline Lesang, the former Lobatse mayor.

After a “lengthy period”, Butale is said to have left the meeting and “decided to disappear and not come back as requested.” When Gabotlale failed to raise him on his cellphone, the meeting was adjourned until such time that the former could speak to Butale. Tshekedi’s letter expresses grave concern that Butale has alleged on social media that “he is not wanted because he is a Mokalaka and not a Mongwato. He did not become a Mokalaka after being Party President. It is not his ethnicity that is leading him to where we are today. It is allegations of sexual misconduct. These actions are actions he personally decided to engage in and he wasn’t sent by the party to act in that manner.”

Tshekedi also accuses Butale and some NEC members of plans to recruit other party members “out of” the BPF: “Such conduct is unfortunate and is not expected of a person who is a leader of the party or part of a national executive committee.”

The meeting that had adjourned when Butale disappeared reconvened on May 20 but Butale and six other members (said to be his supporters) didn’t attend.

The BUAN student had recorded a telephone conversation in which a male voice (Butale’s) asks her: “Did you come?” She didn’t, she responds and accuses Butale of having her “pinned me against the wall” against her wishes. While Butale has cryptically hinted that he doubts the authenticity of the audio clips that have been widely shared on social media, Tshekedi’s letter says that during the NEC meeting, he accepted the audio recordings as authentic.

The BPF president has released a statement saying that he would not consider NEC’s request that he should step aside for a month pending investigations.


Read this week's paper