He may not be the flavour of the moment, but President Mokgweetsi Masisi has lived up to his word to elevate deserving women to positions of power.
He has done it again with the appointment of the Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) and the head of the Botswana Public Service Emma Peloetletse. Masisi has also done it with an indigenous woman that sits in the Court of Appeal, Justice Tapologo Mercy Garekwe.
Since Botswana attained its independence in 1966, the position of the PSP has been dominated by men, making Peloetletse the first woman to hold the position after being appointed this month. The post fell vacant after Ellias Magosi left to pursue his career at Southern African Development Community (SADC) as the executive secretary.
Magosi was appointed after former PSP, Carter Morupisi was suspended from the office pending corruption charges. People close to Peloetletse have described her as a hardworking woman who many believe is a powerhouse, and cannot fail at her new appointment but will deliver as expected. President Masisi recently confirmed her to the position after a few months of acting on the position. “She knows how to cooperate with people regardless of their positions and she proved that.
Peloetletse has been holding high positions and her juniors were delivering well. She is a hard worker who does not easily get intimidated by men and she is not afraid to face any challenge when she believes in the course. If she does not believe in something, it is not easy for anyone to convenience her in any way. She is a good listener. She has been tried and tested when she faced some challenges relating to her work and she came back a winner,” said one of her juniors who did not want to be named.
The executive director of Botswana Centre for Public Integrity Pusetso Morapedi applauded President Masisi for Peloetletse’s appointment adding that deserving women should get their positions without being sidelined. “This could have long happened when women were becoming permanent secretaries. We have women who long qualified to be in high positions but they could not see the light of the day. This is what is supposed to be. It is time they are given what is due to them and more should happen to them. Those women should not think that they are done a favour particularly when they are deserving. More women should be put into those places. Good move by the President and he must keep on appointing more qualified women,” she said.
She said the move would give confidence to women and more qualifying women would come forward since qualified women long existed. Therefore, they should be appointed to positions of power. She indicated that as women they are still 90% behind their male counterparts. A board member at Gender Links Botswana, Chigedze Chinyepi appreciated President Masisi for acknowledging some women who are deserving to be in high positions. “We recognise those women and are proud of them. It shows that women are capable and we urge them to deliver as expected. We have been advocating for 50/50 percent across all positions for women.
The President appointed qualified women like Dinah Marathe to be Prisons Commissioner and finance minister, Serame. We ask the President to keep on doing a good job,” Chinyepi said in an interview on Tuesday. She said some of the qualified women who could long have been in key positions have been sidelined for a long time and this is time for them to be recognised. Chinyepi said as Gender Links, they believe that the government should keep on acknowledging and recognising the input that women had done in the country.
Peloetletse has served as the Accountant General, a position she was appointed to in 2009. She then became Deputy Permanent Secretary to the President.
She holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Botswana, and a post-graduate Diploma in Public Finance from the National Institute of Financial Management in India. Peloetletse has a sound background and carries experience in strategic management and public sector governance issues acquired from the more than three decades of service in government at various levels; from being a trainee accountant when she joined Public Service in 1989 and rising through the ranks to the position of Accountant General.
She has participated in several high level regional and international conferences representing the government of Botswana and served on several boards. She is a member of the Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund Board, Botswana Accountancy College Board and the Botswana Accountancy Oversight Authority Board. She is a member of the East and Southern African Association of Accountants General technical committee.
She is a member of the Botswana Institute of Chartered Accountants and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.