GABORONE, April 1 – Former Vice President and ruling party chief Mokgweetsi Masisi has been inaugurated as the president of Botswana on Sunday in Gaborone, capital of the country, taking over from Seretse Khama Ian Khama, who has retired from presidency.
According to the constitution of Botswana, a president serves for two five-year terms and hands over the power to his or her deputy one year before the end of duty. Masisi assumed the country’s leadership just over 18 months before the country’s national elections scheduled for October 2019. Botswana does not have a direct presidential election.
The leader of the country is chosen by the political party with the majority of Members of Parliament (MPs). Currently, the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has the majority in this southern African nation’s national assembly.
The following is a personal profile of Mokgweetsi Masisi. Born on July. 21, 1962, Masisi graduated from the Florida State University in the United States, where he majored in Social Studies Education and Instructional Systems Design.
In 2008, he won the BDP primary elections and became the party’s parliamentary candidate for Moshupa (a village situated some 100km southwest of Gaborone) and subsequently secured the position in the October 2009 general elections. In October 2009, he was appointed assistant minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration at the State Presidency.
In January 2011, he was appointed minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration. He oversaw a poverty eradication program and the expansion of broadcasting capacity by Botswana Television (BTV) and Radio Botswana.
In April 2014, he was appointed acting minister at the Ministry of Education and Skills Development, until the general elections on 24th October, 2014.
In October 2014, he was re-elected Member of Parliament for Moshupa-Manyana Constituency and thereafter, appointed the minister of Education and Skills Development.
In November 2014, he was endorsed as the eighth vice president of Botswana and was given the responsibility of overseeing government programs, covering poverty eradication, economic diversification drive and employment creation.
Masisi became the chairperson of the ruling party BDP in July 2015 and retained in July 2017. Masisi lives in Gaborone. His wife is Neo Jane Masisi (nee Maswabi) and their marriage has been blessed with a daughter.