President Bio Removes Professor David Francis as Chief Minister, Reshuffles Cabinet
President Julius Maada Bio has reshuffled his Cabinet, his third in three years since assuming office. While there are new appointees in some ministries, others like Jacob Jusu Saffa, Professor David Francis, Mamadi Gobeh Kamara and Solomon Jamiru have all been moved to different ministries in an announcement from State House on Friday, 30th April 2021.
Professor David Francis, arguably one of the most influential men in President Bio’s government has been moved from State House as Chief Minister, to Tower Hill as Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister while Jacob Jusu Saffa who has been taking care of the country’s economy to the appreciation of President Bio in the last three years and a strong proponent of the ‘New Direction’ is replacing him as Chief Minister at State House.
Saffa also holds on to the finance ministry portfolio as he will be superintending the activities at the ministry until further notice according to the press release.
Acting Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security, Abu Bakarr Karim is now the substantive minister, replacing Dennis Vandi who was suspended after being named in the Commissions of Inquiry White Paper and still waiting judgment of his appeal. Renown journalist, Mamadi Gobeh Kamara is swapping position with Solomon Jamiru, the man he succeeded at the Ministry of Information and Communications as deputy minister. Mamadi moves to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Deputy while Solomon Jamiru returns to Youyi Building as Deputy Minister of Information and Communications.
Perhaps the most shocking in the list is that of one-time campaign manager for President Bio, Dr. Alie Kabbah who has been replaced as Sierra Leone’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York.
Dr. Kabbah who was moved from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the United Nations has been appointed as Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the Arab Republic of Egypt, a move that sparked debate on social media when the reshuffle was announced with some people referring to it as demotion while others think otherwise.
Colonel (Rtd) Fanday Turay, a long time Diplomat at the United Nations who was replaced in 2020 with Dr. Prince Harding as Chairman of the National Commission for Privatization returns to government as head of the country’s Mission to the United Nations, replacing Dr. Alie Kabbah.
There are some new entrants in the government that are not too known by the public. Musa Kpaka comes in as Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security I, Dr. Theresa T. Dick as Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security II.
Sarjoh Aziz Kamara is the new Deputy Minister of Technical and Higher Education and Hindowa Boakai Bindi is the new Deputy Minister of Gender and Children’s Affairs.
Rupert Davies is the new High Commissioner to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, replacing Ambassador Solomon Gembeh who has been recalled home to serve as Member of the Board of Directors of the National Telecommunication Commission.
Deputy Minister of Finance II, Sheku Fantamadi Bangura has also been appointed as Chairman of the National COVID-19 Emergency Response Centre, NaCOVERC where he was Deputy Coordinator.
Nabeela Tunis, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Sam King Brima, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security II have both been sacked by President Bio.
However, the new Cabinet does not seem to be gender balanced with one of the few women holding full ministerial portfolio, Nabeela Tunis leaving with only one woman coming in as deputy minister II, Dr. Theresa T. Dick at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security.