Marathe Woman of firsts conviction
22 Apr 2021
When 19-year-old Ms Dinah Marathe joined Botswana Police Service as a Constable in 1983, little did she know that she would be at the helm of Botswana Prisons Services.
Starting as a temporary teacher in Rakops and Kumaga, the Lecheng born Ms Marathe left the teaching service in 1982 to join the police at a time when few women showed interest to join the force.
Ms Marathe rose from the rank of Constable to become the first woman Deputy Commissioner of Botswana Police Service, a position she held until she was recently appointed first woman Prisons Commissioner.
Born in 1963, Ms Marathe believes her recent appointment was not a gender token, but something that she earned from her hard work, diligence and commitment.
Ms Marathe is not apologetic about her ability to lead and said women should also aspire for leadership positions.
Ms Marathe has worked at different police stations amongst them Letlhakane, Serowe, Francistown, Selebi Phikwe and Gaborone.
Because she was courageous and fearless she was given the responsibility to prosecute cases.
She said she has prosecuted many cases and won most of them. After working in the prosecution department for some years, Ms Marathe was promoted to Station Commander at Francistown Police Station.
After three years, she was promoted to Officer Commanding No.10 District. She continued with her hard work and was promoted again after three years to Assistant Commissioner - Deputy Divisional Commander in Francistown.
Her role was to assist the Divisional Commander in the northern region. She was again promoted to Divisional Commander responsible for the strategic interests of Botswana Police Service in the northern part of the country.
“That is where my career was greatly shaped as a leader because I was managing bilateral relations on behalf of the country between Botswana, Zambia, Namibia and South Africa,” she said.
Ms Marathe said she lead Botswana’s delegation on many occasions to resolve issues that could have led to conflicts between Botswana and other countries such as poaching, cross border crime and transnational crime.
“I am happy that during my time issues were resolved amicably that could have led to serious conflicts between us and our neighbours,” she said.
A mother of three and a staunch gardener, she said she was then promoted to police headquarters as the first woman Deputy Commissioner.
Ms Marathe worked under several Police Commissioners starting with Mr Simon Hirschfield up to the current Commissioner, Mr Keabetswe Makgophe.
“I have been promoted by all the police commissioners. It is a matter of earning your badges and not a matter of any leader coming in and giving you any kind of favour. It is through hard work, perseverance, commitment and passion for this job,” she said.
Ms Marathe said she also had several honours bestowed upon her by different Presidents, including the highest honour of meritorious service.
The new Prisons Commissioner has all Botswana Police Service medals ranging from Jubilee Service Medal (JSM) which is awarded to police officers who have served at least 25 years and have displayed good conduct and character. She also has the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) which is awarded to members of the police who have distinguished themselves by their devotion to duty.
Ms Marathe was also bestowed the Meritorious Service medal which is awarded to members of BPS for services of a meritorious nature.
“I have been given all the honours that exist in the Botswana Police Service, and I am now being appointed the first Botswana Prisons woman Commissioner,” she said.
Ms Marathe said it was an appointment that humbled her, adding that it also motivated her because it indication that the leadership of the country was able to identify leadership traits on her, adding that it was her resolve to do her best at all times.
About her new position, she said the most important thing was to understand the organisation, how it operated and its culture and to drive the mandate.
Ms Marathe said in her quest to drive the Botswana Prisons Services mandate she would work with other officers, saying her priority was the welfare of staff.
“I believe in focusing my attention on the officers because if I am able to look after them they will look after the inmates and they will look after society. I want to meet and greet them and that is when I can roll out my road map for the organisation,” she said.
Furthermore, Ms Marathe said the strategies that had been in place would guide her to come up with her own road map.
“I don’t want to come in and say this is what we are going to do. I need to get it first from them such so that I could be able to properly lead from the front and lead with them,” she said.
She noted that she had a lot of experience in police work and in leadership, saying that she believed she was a strategic leader.
She added that she would work with her new staff to move the organisation forward with the limited resources available
“As I bid Botswana Police Service good bye, I take pride that I have managed to settle several serious disputes and was able to quench serious strikes that could have had adverse effects on communities,” she said.
Ms Marathe also noted that she represented the country in peace-keeping operations.
She also represented the country as an election observer in several countries where she appreciated the police component of election management.
“I have worked with others. I cannot point to one particular area where I can say I have excelled because excellence comes from teams and not from individual effort,” she said. ENDS
Source : BOPA
Author : Anastacia Sibanda
Location : GABORONE
Event : Interview
Date : 22 Apr 2021