In an effort to reinforce his party’s power retention strategy ahead of the 2019 general election, President Mokgweetsi Masisi has abandoned the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP)’s tradition of appointing seasoned politicians to the National Strategy Team.

Masisi has roped in academics and communications experts to beef up the National Strategy Team in preparation for the impending face off with the opposition coalition in the 2019 general elections.

The National Strategy Team was reshuffled a few days before the recent extra ordinary congress, with Masisi replacing long serving members with new ones.

Those who were dropped include Minister of Infrastructure and Housing Development, Vincent Seretse, Minister of International Affairs and Cooperation, Unity Dow, Chief Executive Officer of Botswana Agricultural Marketing Board, Leonard Morakaladi, Puma Matlhware and former Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Elias Magosi who has since rejoined the civil service.

The new committee is headed by former BDP Executive Secretary, Dr Comma Serema, who is also an Information and Policy analyst and Senior Lecturer at the University of Botswana.

The Committee’s Secretary is Dr Alfred Tsheboeng, an Engineer and Environmental Consultant.

The two sit on a number of boards and are said to be familiar with strategy planning and execution.

The new addition is Professor Thapelo Otlogetswe, a linguist and translator who was welcomed into the party recently.

Other members include BIUST Lecturer Dr Boikanyo Makubate, former Assistant Minister of Education and Skills Development, Kavis Kario, Youth Leader Bose Sethupa, Public relations expert, Thabo Majola and Information Technology lecturer, Magdelene Tshambane.

The number of committee members was reduced from the usual twelve, to eight members.

Serema told this publication that over the weekend they had their first meeting in Palapye where they discussed new strategies. “We are going to share our strategies which include having workshops with the Central Committee and if given the green light then we will start our work. We have set ourselves a target which we cannot discuss with the media now,” said Serema who referred further questions to the party’s Secretary General, Mpho Balopi.

Balopi did not take our calls at press time.

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