By Hon. Chernor Maju Bah – Parliamentary Leader of the main opposition All People’s Congress
On Thursday, November 7th, 2019, President Bio shocked the nation with a cabinet reshuffle that comes across to many as insensitive and needless.
One of his cardinal campaign messages was that, within one year, his government will turn around the economy which he described as ‘battered and the worse in Sierra Leone’s history’. President Bio persistently accused the erstwhile APC government of a bloated cabinet and wastage. But almost two years on, Sierra Leoneans have experienced economic hardship never before seen. Inflation has only hyper galloped with prices of basic commodities increasingly becoming unaffordable.
Everyone agrees that this President Bio led government has in all accounts failed to sustain the growth they inherited from the APC, let alone improve on it. The biggest disappointment has been the very poor management of the economy. Report after report, including the MCC, has pointed to this fact that the government’s economic management has been disastrous.
Therefore the public expectation is that after almost two years of trying the same failed policies, it’s about time this government changed course. But what we have seen is a dogged continuation on the wrong direction as demonstrated in this most disappointing cabinet reshuffle which doesn’t even align with the president’s own avowed development priorities.
How can you run such a sham economy yet you are adding undue pressure on the budget by creating new ministries, appointing more deputy ministers and keeping the same old non- performing ones!
And on the new embassy in Turkey, even the current embassies, consulates and missions are not well resourced, yet a new embassy has been opened under such difficult circumstances; the timing is just simply wrong.
It’s also a shame that this reshuffle ignored the gaping need for more inclusion of women in cabinet, which from the outset has been a serious deficiency in this government.
I think that this cabinet reshuffle is a deliberate denial of the suffering and aspirations of the general public; it clearly shows that the establishment doesn’t care about how the electorates feel. This is a totally insensitive and unnecessary cabinet reshuffle.