Botswana Patriotic Front Ready For Launching, Could Ian Khama Be In It?
5 July 2019
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Ian Khama pictured with the interim leadership of the BPF.

As preparations for the Botswana general election to be held in October gain momentum, groundwork has been laid for launch of the newly formed Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) with rumours hitting the country that former President Ian Khama could be involved in the new party.

Addressing the media at the party office in Gaborone Tuesday, interim convener, Mr Biggie Butale, interim organising secretary, Mr Foster Seretse and interim administrative secretary, Ms Roseline Panzirah-Matshome, said they were ready for the launch set for Kanye on Saturday.

Mr Butale, also Tati West MP, said the BPF would be formally launched at Lodubeng Park with political formalities set to be followed by musical entertainment.

“We have a committee based in Kanye that has been finalising the preparations. The conference will start at 9am and there will be elections for the party leadership. Members of the press will be welcome, but there will be a closed session before the launch proper takes place in the afternoon,” Mr Butale said.

He also announced that he had formally alerted the Speaker of the National Assembly of his decision to switch from the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) to the BPF.

Mr Butale said the BPF would evolve its vision on ‘compassionate conservative values’ and would bring about a change of government.

“We believe in social justice, equal opportunities for all and we believe we will bring about the first change of government since independence. Botswana yes, is a democracy, for 54 years we have had elections.

But because we have not had a change of government, to some people we do not qualify as a thoroughbred democracy and come October, we believe the country can tick all the boxes,” Mr Butale said.

He said it was a misconception that the BPF was domiciled in the northern part of the country, rather describing it as a national party of patriots.

On their choice of venue for the launch, Mr Butale explained that Kanye was a big village and thus able to accommodate delegates from across the country.

The BPF interim leadership said they expected more MPs and councillors to defect to their party, adding that they were not averse to developing a working relationship with other opposition parties.

They revealed that fielding candidates in all 57 constituencies would be determined by whether they were able to form a coalition with other opposition parties.