Butale eyes BDP chairmanship

SHARE   |   Sunday, 15 February 2015   |   By Phillimon Mmeso

Member of Parliament for Tati East Biggie Butale said that he is ready to contest the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) chairperson position. Butale has been regarded as a dark horse in a race that has pitted the two Seretses being former Minister of Defence, Justice and Security Ramadeluka Seretse and former Botswana ambassador to United States of America Tebelelo Seretse.
Many political pundits has dismissed Butale’s ambition to lead the ruling party noting his political inexperience but Butale who is a lawyer by profession  and pastor by calling is adamant he will win come July congress in Mmadinare.
In an interview with The Patriot on Sunday, Butale said that there is no turning back and wont withdraw his candidature for anything. “I have support of BDP members of parliament who have promised to vote for me at the congress and that alone is an encouragement,” he said.
Asked if he has started touring the constituencies to campaign, the soft spoken pastor indicated that he has not yet done so but will embark on a country wide tour very soon.
Since he joined parliament, Butale has been one of the most outspoken BDP legislators and sometimes criticizing government policies.  He once called on government to abolish the sedition law which was used to arrest and detain Sunday Standard editor Outsa Mokone.
“Is not that am against my government I just want things to be done in a proper way because if we don’t we will lose power and the past elections has shown that,” he said.
He said that his campaign tagline is reform within the BDP and make it more appealing to people as its popularity has dropped significantly.
“Even a blind man can see that BDP need to reform and that is what I am going to push within the party especially the electoral system,” said Butale.
BDP’s past success has become its own downfall as they are still basking in the past glory, observed Butale adding that the party has to introspect and he is the right man to do that as its chairperson.
The former President of Evangelical Fellowship Botswana revealed that he does not have a campaign team and doesn’t belong to any lobby group.
This week he shocked many within the ruling party when he tabled motion calling for government to name one of its facilities after the late Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Vice President Gomolemo Motswaledi.
The Tati East MP said that his reforms will not be within the party but will extend to government especially to implementation of government policies. He said he want his government to implement some of the recommendations of the National revised Policy on Education especially the one on the use of other indigenous languages in the curriculum.
BDP goes to its elective congress in July in Mmadinare in which they will elect the new central committee.  The congress comes after the party’s poor performance in the 2014 general elections gaining 46.7% of popular votes which was first for them since they assumed power in 1965.
During a press conference on Wednesday, chairman of communications committee admitted that the party needs reform especially on its electoral system. He informed members of the press that the party has appointed former cabinet minister Peter Siele to lead a commission that will look at the Bulela Ditswe system and whether it needs to be reformed. He appealed for cool heads to prevail ahead of the congress acknowledging that elections are hotly contested but democrats must respect each other.

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