Mmegi Online :: BDP's 10 most influential women
Banners
Banners
Banners
Banners
Banners
Last Updated
Friday 23 June 2017, 09:49 am.
Banners
BDP's 10 most influential women

In a patriarchal society like ours, where men have always had a domineering influence it is not always easy to notice the positive role played by the womenfolk. In this article, Mmegi staff writer RYDER GABATHUSE assesses the influence of the 10 most powerful women in the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP)
By Staff Writer Fri 23 Jun 2017, 10:47 am (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: BDP's 10 most influential women








Dr Margaret Nasha:
She is the first female Speaker of Parliament in Botswana. Nasha is a shrewd politician who has advantage of exposure for having served the country as a civil servant in her hey day. This gives her extensive knowledge of the government systems and procedures. She first entered Cabinet in 1994, serving at some of the powerful ministries of local government, presidential affairs and public administration.She is so outspoken she has attracted sobriquets like  "The Iron Lady of the BDP" mainly because of her firmness. At political rallies and parliamentary debates, Nasha never ceased to amaze. She has chaired the powerful BDP Women's Wing with aplomb before. She has also chaired the party's sub committee of Political Education and Election Committee (PEEC).Before the 2009 general election as she had indicated that she was not contesting the party primary elections, she was charged with the responsibility of launching the party's leadership training manual commonly known as 'Domkrag Kgomo Ya Motswana'.

Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi:
She is one of the few women politicians President Ian Khama trusts. She often speaks on first name basis with Khama. The President always calls her funny names, mma-di Beans (derived from Binns).Venson-Moitoi is a journalist-cum-politician. She entered Parliament in 1999 as one of the four specially-elected MPs and was re-elected in the 2004 general election. She calls a spade a spade.She served at powerful ministries of works, transport and communications, ministry of trade and industries and the then wildlife and tourism. She would later serve as Minister Of Communications, Science and Technology.She is an indefatigable fighter, who strives to get what she wants. Take, for instance, the political fight with her party nemesis, Ambassador Tebelelo Seretse. Venson-Moitoi fought so hard for the BDP ticket in the Serowe South constituency, leaving Seretse bruised.
She easily avails herself to do the party political dirty work at freedom squares and can fare well even in boardroom politics where party policies and programmes are traded.

Venson-Moitoi has always warbled her love at party meetings, which always work wonders for her at both political rallies and party meetings. She has been trusted with tough assignments, like being part of the team drafting the BDP strategic direction before, and the think-tank was credited with good work. She has brains and energy to deliver. Her main undoing could be that she is often temperamental.In the last general election, she emerged as one of the only two women who won their parliamentary seats in a 57 parliamentary seats contest. She is also one of only four women in Khama's Cabinet.

Dorcas Makgato-Malesu:
Pressident Khama is showing much trust in Makgato-Malesu and a fortnight ago she was assigned as a co-director of ceremonies with her Cabinet colleague Kitso Mokaila at the party's 50th anniversary celebrations at the University of Botswana (UB) stadium.The anniversary is deemed to be a bigger stage given its line-up of guests and value. And to have roped in a political novice in Makgato-Malesu to run the show, is indeed a vote of confidence in her by Khama. Talk abounds that the President is mentoring her as one of his future deputies.Makgato-Malesu presides over the powerful Ministry of Trade and Industry where she is seemingly performing very well.A columnist in one of the local publications once said about her: " I have never met her yet and therefore do not know her personally, but there is something about Makgato-Malesu that gives me all the reasons to be very confident that she is probably one person who could do a lot in reshaping the economic terrain of our country for the benefit of more Batswana." He even suggested that given Makgato-Malesu's performance, she could become the country's state president.She was previously CEO of Botswana Export Development and Investment Authority (BEDIA), a director at Barloworld Botswana Trading, chairperson of Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC) and other institutions where she served in various capacities.

Tebelelo Seretse:
Her decision not to defend her position as chairperson of the BDP Women's Wing to challenge BDP powerful man, Daniel Kwelagobe for the BDP national chairman shocked many people.Seretse went to Kanye in 2009 fighting from Khama's corner after the President had showered her with support to topple Kwelagobe. BDP factional fights were at their all time high and Khama hid behind empowerment of women to support Seretse and company but the President's sponsored team was vanquished.A perennial loser at the BDP primaries, Khama indeed rewarded Seretse for her bravery and loyalty through a diplomatic posting as Botswana's Ambassador to the United States (US). Seretse is a known fighter who believes that it's never over until it's over and is commonly known for her brash political style.A lawyer and economist by profession, Seretse was previously a Cabinet minister and her contributions to society have been various and her political focus has been inclusive of women, youth and the plight of the needy. She serves as a director of various institutions.She is a known schemer and master strategist according to those who served with her in the BDP central committee, and other party structures indicating that the woman wields much influence. She has the President's ear and enjoys support across the party structures.

Moggie Mbaakanyi:
She is an educationist and a fighter for inclusion of women in decision-making processes. This affords her access to women politicians in her party - a large constituency in terms of numbers.   Formerly a Cabinet minister after

Banners

she was specially elected as an MP, Mbaakanyi is currently president of Caucus for Botswana Women in politics, which brings women from across the political divide together for a common purpose.She last fell out with Khama during a stormy Bulela-Ditswe primaries' victory in Lobatse. Ever since that debacle she has been concentrating on her businesses.  All is not lost though, for this powerful woman who is reportedly working behind the scenes to redeem her political career. She has been succeeding in defending her bid for the BDP ticket in Lobatse.

Motlhagodi Molomo: 
Until recently, Motlhagodi Molomo, wife of former Education Minister, Ray Molomo, was Botswana's High Commissioner to South Africa where she was posted by former president Festus Mogae in 2007.For Mogae's then government, the posting was ideal and could have not been done at a better time because Molomo as one of the assertive female politicians, incessantly stirred trouble in the Kgatleng District Council (KDC).As a councillor, she would defy party caucus resolutions not to stand as a chairperson for the KDC. It was perhaps against this backdrop that Mogae decided then to send her across the border. She was KDC chairperson from 2001-2004.Molomo led a faction of civic leaders who included male councillors to her side and as a master strategist, she was firm.Amongst her BDP colleagues, Molomo has always commanded much respect and it was not by fluke that she found a place in the BDP central committee before she resigned as she accepted her diplomatic posting. She has served government before at the Ministry of Health, as she is a pharmacist by profession. She left the civil service in 1982 to pursue business interests and political activism.

Lesego Motsumi:
She made a mark for herself when she challenged Gomolemo Motswaledi for the position of BDP secretary general at the controversial Kanye congress in 2009. Although she did not make it, she left a positive impression in the mind of President Khama who had openly declared his support for her and other women.Motsumi, who lost a bid for re-election as MP for South East South after losing the BDP primaries, was roped into Khama's Cabinet for a powerful ministry of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration. She worked very close with Khama at the Office of the President (OP) until she was sent to India as head of mission in New Delhi. She previously served as health minister, works and transport and after some cabinet reshuffle she reverted to the health ministry before moving to state president where she later got a diplomatic posting.

Gladys Kokorwe: 
She may have not defended her parliamentary seat in the last general election but she is still an influential player in the BDP politics. Formerly deputy Speaker, Kokorwe was a powerful debater during her days.She has held Cabinet positions at both local government and youth sports and culture as assistant minister. Her background in the local authorities as a civil servant provided her with the requisite knowledge as a Cabinet member.She has since been posted to Zimbabwe as ambassador. The Zimbabwean mission is also accredited to Malawi, Mozambique and Mauritius.Kokorwe has served government for over 23 years in various capacities and the nation and in particular the BDP will continue to tap into her experience. She is also into business.

Botlogile Tshireletso:
As a civic leader in the vast Central District Council (CDC), Tshireletso impressed as she held onto the position of the council chairperson until she graduated to become an MP. Since this is an elective position no one was able to topple her. She would later become a long serving chairperson of the BDP Women's Wing.Whilst serving as chairperson of both the CDC and the Women's Wing, Tshireletso rubbed shoulders with the party's bigwigs. For a long time she was part of the decision making group as she sat in the Central Committee by virtue of chairing the Women's Wing.She has been roped into Cabinet as an assistant Minister. Khama respects Tshireletso as an organiser from both the CDC and Women's Wing days. At all party events, it has become a tradition that Khama will spice up the event with a remark about Tshireletso's appearance.At one of the past events in Mahalapye Khama had said: " I want a woman who is tall, slim and good looking..." Khama unexpectedly turned on Tshireletso just to show what he did not want: ... I don't want a woman like this Tshireletso, she may fail to pass through the door, breaking furniture with her heavyweight and even break the vehicles' shock absorbers." Tshireletso is a powerful politician, and she is always close to the President.

Angelinah Sengalo:
As BDP Women's Wing chairperson, she holds a powerful position in the party given that there are more women in the BDP than men. Within the BDP inner circles, Sengalo is reputed to be a master schemer to the extent that whenever her colleagues want to take items to the central committee, they go through her and they succeed.
She is one of the ageing politicians and a disciplinarian who commands much respect amongst her peers.  Now in her second term as the Women's Wing Chairperson, she is completely in charge.The 64-year-old was formerly Francistown deputy mayor. She retired from the civil service in 1999 to take active role in politics in Botsalano ward, which she apparently inherited from her late father, Solomon Madibeng Mmolotsi.

Banners
Banners
Banners


Banners
Banners
Exchange Rates
FOREIGN EXCHANGE: Friday, 23 Jun 2017
FOREIGN / PULA
PULA / FOREIGN
1 USD = Pula   10.2564
1 GBP = Pula   13.0208
1 EUR = Pula   11.4548
1 YEN = Pula   0.0922
1 ZAR = Pula   0.7906
1 Pula = USD   0.0975
1 Pula = GBP   0.0768
1 Pula = EUR   0.0873
1 Pula = YEN   10.85
1 Pula = ZAR   1.2648
have a story? Send us a Tip
Banners
  • Previous
    Everything, Everything
    Next
    Masa Centre
    ::: Friday 23 Jun - Thursday 29 Jun :::
    Everything, Everything
    Rough Night
    Cars 3
    Transformers: The Last Knight
  • Previous
    Rough Night
    Next
    Riverwalk
    ::: Friday 23 Jun - Thursday 29 Jun :::
    Rough Night
    Everything, Everything
    Cars 3
    Transformers: The Last Knight
  • Previous
    Everything, Everything
    Next
    Gamecity
    ::: Friday 23 Jun - Thursday 29 Jun :::
    Everything, Everything
    Rough Night
    Cars 3
    Wonder Woman
Selefu
BMD, BDP
Banners
Banners