By Sorie Fofana…………………………..
On Sunday 13th March, 2016 President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma unveiled his long-awaited reshuffled Cabinet. This is the biggest shake-up in the Cabinet, since President Koroma came to power in 2007.
The new Cabinet has been described as bloated and unimpressive. Why must every Ministry have a Deputy Minister? This is a deliberate waste of poor tax payers’ money.
President Koroma’s decision in appointing people to public office is most times influenced by political rather than national interest.
The new Cabinet is full of cronies or vuvuzelas. It clearly shows that, the ruling APC party has a paucity of human resource.
For the first time, women have been given responsible positions in the Cabinet. A total of eight women will now sit in the Cabinet room with their male counterparts. Some of the appointees lack the caliber and experience to serve in those positions.
Sylvia Blyden, who was literally chased out of State House by some of the President’s men, has finally been brought into the Cabinet. She now sits in the same Cabinet room with many of the people she tried to destroy in order to get to the top.
Perhaps, she will now behave responsibly, by putting her bloated ego aside and serve the country with all sincerity and commitment. She cannot afford to betray the trust of the President for a second time.
The youthfulness of the Cabinet is praiseworthy. At least we now have more youthful faces in Cabinet positions as opposed to the past government of President Dr. Alhaji Ahmad Tejan Kabbah.
The hybrid Cabinet of youth and experience is expected to deliver in a short period of time. The new Cabinet has been dubbed as the election Cabinet. We have seen more people appointed from the Western Area as Cabinet Ministers.
The key South/Eastern members of the Cabinet have finally been disgracefully kicked out. The big hitters include Musa Tarawally, Moijueh Kaikai, J.B. Dauda. They have all been removed from the predominantly North/Western Cabinet.
The Konos were not adequately compensated. Kono district is expected to be the election battle ground in 2018 between the APC and the SLPP. And there is everything to play for.
The removal from the Cabinet of some of the experienced people in the APC party will continue to haunt the legacy of President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma. Alpha Kanu, Sam Sesay, I.B. Kargbo, Dauda Kamara, Alimamy Koroma, Frank Kargbo, J.B. Dauda, Hon. Alimamy Kamara and a few others were the most experienced players in the Koroma administration. Their absence from the Cabinet will soon begin to tell on the performance of this failed government.
For fear of being labeled as a lame duck, President Koroma had to hit hard to prove that, he is still the man who calls the shot, in both the country and the APC party. The gravitas will soon disappear when President Koroma anoints a possible successor.
All said and done, this is the most unimpressive and the most bloated Cabinet ever in the history of Sierra Leone. Sierra Leoneans deserve better!
In these days of fiscal austerity, no African leader can afford to appoint a bloated Cabinet like the one announced on Sunday by our President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma.
May the interest of the country supersede partisan consideration!
May common sense prevail!