Married to Politics: Dineo Saleshando

Dineo Saleshando. PIC KENNEDY RAMOKONE
Dineo Saleshando. PIC KENNEDY RAMOKONE

In the first installment of Married to Politics The Monitor travelled to the posh Phakalane enclave, where staffer Sharon Mathala sat down with Botswana Congress Party (BCP) First Lady Dineo Saleshando.

A banker by profession, Mma Saleshando is often media-shy. She tells The Monitor she was born in Gaborone but was raised in Mochudi. She was raised by her grandmother because her mother had her at a young age. She schooled in Mochudi all her life until she came to the capital to study at the University of Botswana (UB) where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Accounting. It was during her university days that she would meet her husband, the now president of the opposition BCP and former Leader of Opposition (LoO) in Parliament Dumelang Saleshando. She remembers that Dumelang never proposed. “He still owes me a proposal,” she laughs. The couple met in 1996. “He was two years ahead of me. We were part of the Economics Society Club. He was studying Economics and Political Science. He was the founder and president of the club at the time,” Saleshando recalls. Saleshando remembers that the mandate of the club was to mentor SMMEs. She says together with Dumelang and the rest of the members they would travel across the country hosting workshops where they would teach SMMEs about basic bookkeeping, accounts, and business development. “We got close during those trips. I mean nothing happened then but because it was a small group we found ourselves liking each other's company more,” she recalls.

Dumelang would later graduate whilst Dineo had two more years to go. The couple would continue to keep in touch. It was only until a friend made her aware of Dumelang’s 'intentions' that she started noticing. “You know it started with him borrowing a calculator almost every day and returning it later in the evening. As time went by this friend of mine that I considered very close started asking me to visit him, now with a different tone things took an unexpected turn,” she further shared. The couple would later marry in 2002 and now share three children amongst them two boys and one girl. Asked if she had been aware of all of her husband’s political ambitions she said, "He has always been involved in politics for as long as I remember but yes when we started he was not active in terms of roles within the party". A year after their big wedding celebration, she said he then informed her he had decided to run for a council seat in Gaborone. To her surprise one day when going around town, she spotted posters of her husband announcing his candidacy for a Parliamentary seat and not a council seat as they had discussed. “I confronted him about it because it wasn't what we discussed. I felt at the time that we had just gotten married, we were just trying to build our family, and I felt a Parliamentary seat was just going to be too much for us but his mind was made up by then. And you know after being with him for many many years I eventually understood why he decided to run for Member of Parliament {seat},” Saleshando further shared. According to her, she understands why her husband is so passionate about politics because she sees the same man even at home, in the way he interacts with family and everyone else. “He wants a better life for all,” she said. “I realised that the only way was to allow him to pursue this passion because I suppose everybody has a purpose in life and for him, it’s just that. So it made it easy for me, I think, because he didn’t go into politics because it’s fashionable or he wants to try out this thing called politics, he genuinely believes in the cause and in the calling and the opportunity to impact and change people’s lives,” she added.

Editor's Comment
CoA brings sanity to DIS/DCEC long-standing feud

This decision follows the raiding of the office of the former Director General of the DCEC, Tymon Katlholo early 2022 and his staff officer by the DIS operatives who reportedly took files that they had targeted.After all back and forth arguments, the CoA has set the record straight giving an invaluable lesson to the DIS that it was no super security organ and it does not have any powers to cogently supervise other security organs including the...

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