BY THOBO MOTLHOKA
Tati East Member of Parliament and interim President for the new Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Biggie Butale has vowed to make it his mission to ensure President Mokgweetsi Masisi and Vice President Slumber Tsogwane do not return following General Elections. Speaking in Parliament on Thursday, August 1st Butale did not mince his words when expressing his disdain for the two.
Butale advised that no one stood in his path “because I just want those two people. They cheated me in the primaries, trying to humiliate me, replacing me with an illiterate, who cannot even count up to 10.”
Butale said he was cheated in his constituency and went to court. “When this evil party realised I was going to win the case, I was suspended for six months, so that the six months come after the elections even if I had won. Anyway, October is coming. I am going to dismantle the BDP in Tati West and in the whole country with every ounce of my power. The reason why I am saying this is that these people are evil.”
He vowed to go back to Boteti West and de-campaign Tsogwane. “It seems like we didn’t do enough the last time. I am going back. I plead with Batswana from the bottom of my heart; if they allow themselves to vote this evil party again…, I have respect for Batswana. I know that they (BDP) will not even reach 10 seats. I prophesy, I speak a curse on your party sir,” Butale told Tsogwane in parliament, who in turn responded “Well, I am not interested in whether you go to my constituency and do whatever you want to do, I am not interested because I know the cause of your anger, and all Batswana know the cause, you are going to be the first person to lose in your constituency. Bear with me, I will be here and you will be out. You have also declared that you will be getting all your goods and leaving the country. We do not mind.”
Butale complained of being followed 24 hours by the DIS. “Every time I enter a place to talk to business people to try and ask for funds, the DIS will follow and ask, ‘What was Butale doing here?’ This is just third world democracy for the likes of Idi Amin in Africa.” The BPF leader was on the floor debating the proposed Declaration of Assets and Liabilities Bill.
He said whilst, in principle, he supports the idea of passing a Bill that will deal with the declaration of assets, he feels that he cannot support the current document.
He said while a Declaration of Assets Bill is a powerful tool that can prevent corruption, detect illicit enrichment and conflict of interest his main gripe with the current Bill is that it does not talk about publishing of the declarations so that members of the public can have a look at the registers.
“Where you talk about declaration of assets and the only person who will have access to that register is the Director of Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC), we are starting on a wrong footing. The current regime has abused state institutions. They have abused Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS) and Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS),” Butale argued. But Gabane-Mmankgodi MP Piers Mokgware was quick to refresh Butale’s memory. “So, this is the Government you were part of some few months ago, right? These are some of the things which we talked about ourselves, which we suffered ourselves, right? Now, be very open and say, ‘I am sorry, you have opened my eyes, and I did not know what they were doing to you people’.” Butale’s response was that he has no problem with the BDP. That he has never had a problem with the BDP. “My main problem is with the current leadership of the BDP, starting with the President and the Vice President. That is where my problem is, that is why I was in Boteti, to explain that we are giving you (pointing to Tsogwane) notice, you are out. If these two can win, I am telling you my heart will be so sore,” Butale said.