Mmegi Online :: Top 10 influential politicians
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Last Updated
Friday 21 September 2018, 15:09 pm.
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Top 10 influential politicians

The year that was full of drama has come and gone, and behind remains memories of the eventful 2014. We take a look at politicians who made the news and making themselves big names in the process
By Bame Piet 2013-10-01 09:46:00 php5334.tmp.jpg Tue 23 Dec 2014, 07:01 am (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Top 10 influential politicians








President Ian Khama

The President continues to wield a lot of influence, particularly among the rural and illiterate who see him as the key to warmer winters, a roof on their heads, and an occasional plate of phaphatha and soup. Through his projects such as Ipelegeng, constituency football, President’s music competitions, YES, and others he has managed to win the hearts and minds of the rural illiterates. However, that cannot be said about the urbanite s and enlightened, whom he seemingly so distastes. His popularity has dropped drastically over the past four years after he started behaving like a dictator. In fact, his predecessor Dr Festus Mogae has labelled him as such.

 

Duma Boko

A human rights lawyer who led the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) to a near victory and an unprecedented opposition pulling of 17 seats in Parliament. Boko is credited with bringing stability to the Botswana National Front (BNF), which, until he came in 2010, was facing extinction due to factional wars and rebellious members. The party is  now stronger now than ever before.

Boko is not only influential at home, but is also known to rub shoulders with Hollywood stars like Rick Yune and former presidents Bill Clinton of America and Peter Stayanov of Bulgaria.  His arrival as BNF and UDC president has shaken youth interest in politics and Botswana is now headed for accountable governments in the near future.

 

Dumelang Saleshando

As the leader of the opposition party, Botswana Congress Party (BCP) Dumelang Saleshando remains one of the familiar polititians despite his party’s poor performance in October.  Most of his supporters still believe that he will make his come back into politics. His value may have waned with his and the party’s performance in the October elections, but he still remains a figure of note. But, as analysts continue to argue, his political resurrection may come with the BCP coming around and working with the power that the Umbrella for Democratic Change is proving to be in Botswana politics.

 

Ndaba Gaolathe

Gaolathe’s ability to influence people lies in his quite unassuming, yet greatly reasonable and constructive demeanour. It is difficult even for his political opponents to find leverage for criticism against the man.   Soft spoken as he is, the vice president of the Umbrella for Democratic Change is seen as the ‘working’ brains in the coalition. At the death of his friend and former leader, Gomolemo Motswaledi, Gaolathe stepped in and took to selling the UDC  articulate as  a master tactician. In the run-up to the October elections, he became the hard shoulders that carried the head that Duma Boko was.  His  response to the State of the Nation Address was one the best the country has ever had.

 

Mokgweetsi Masisi

Forget his bolope (bootlicking) confessions, which has become his trademark, Masisi remains an influential member of the Botswana Democratic Party. His position in the party as a member of the central committee and as Vice President of the country makes him

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one of the most powerful people in the country. He is articulate and confident both in Parliament and outside. He just needs to embrace principles of this thing called democracy, which we aspire to be our guiding tool for Botswana. Thus, he should appreciate the importance of opposition parties, private media, and dissenting voices especially that he has stayed a bit longer in a classroom.

 

Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi

She is the most senior Member of Parliament and any young woman would aspire to be in her position. She is a vocal woman who can stand her ground if need be. So far, she has been stable in her political career and her appointment as a ‘Mother of the House’ in Parliament is a recognition of her being longest serving MP. She is one of the women who challenged men for party leadership post in their party. ‘Mma V’ will definitely steer Botswana foreign relations in the right direction.

 

Margaret Nasha

Botswana’s first female Speaker of the National Assembly, and author attracted the attention of the highest office  when she vowed to fight for the independence of Parliament from the Executive – Office of the President.  Her book in which she revealed a lot about the ruling Botswana Democratic Party, its president, and the government attracted the hardest attitude ever from the OP. This deteriorated to a full-blown political tension between the OP and Parliament, as the former targeted Nasha. It was even more evident after the October general elections when OP took to the High Court the BDP, and other parties represented in Parliament to challenge Standing Orders. Nasha’s popularity swelled during the court case, which OP lost with costs. Now it remains to be seen whether Nasha’s successor, Gladys Kokorwe, will fit the shoes or just a puppet of the ruling party.

 

Johnson Motshwarakgole

The unionist who has been in the sector for over two decades is also a political activist who has sensitised workers on their rights. Such rights, he has emphasised, include active political participation and that workers should have a say in the affairs of their country. Motshwarakgole is the man behind the UDC ‘Moono’ slogan that cost several ministers their jobs and other surprises in the October general elections.

 

Bagalatia Arone

He was the youngest MP during the 10th Parliament after winning the most impoverished constituency (Okavango) from the ruling party. Arone is very articulate and confident despite growing up in what can be termed as a ‘bush’ and in a most disadvantaged section of society.  He still has to build his profile though.

 

Botlogile Tshireletso

She may be labelled illiterate assistant minister by some, but Mma Tshireletso has survived the storm over the past 10 years proving her worth. She is very articulate, but most importantly she is an independent thinker. She speaks passionately on issues affecting ordinary women. Before her appointment as assistant minister, she called for government funding of political parties stating that the move will enhance democracy.

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