Sierra Leone Telegraph: 13 July 2023:
President Julius Maada Bio has this week announced his first group of ministers, following the decision of the main opposition All People’s Congress (APC) Party to boycott the ruling SLPP government, including abstention from parliament by the party’s elected MPs, Mayors and Local Councillors as a mark of protest against what the APC Party describes as “rigged presidential and general election results”.
Calls by the international community and the opposition APC for the National Electoral Commission to publish all disaggregated polling station results to prove that the ruling SLPP won the presidential and parliamentary elections have fallen on deaf ears, as President Bio prepares his government for office for another five years.
Political tension is now at its highest in the country since 2018, and there is no sign of the election crisis coming to an end soon.
Meanwhile, early this week, President Bio named his first group of cabinet ministers which is largely made up of Northerners, in an attempt to dampen accusations of SLPP tribalism and win the support of the Northwestern Region – the APC party stronghold.
Two big changes in Bio’s ministerial lineup are Dr. David Sengeh – the former minister for basic education who will be taking over from JJ Saffa as Chief Minister. It not clear whether Saffa will play any part in Bio’s second term.
Also important is the sacking of Dr. David Francis (Photo) as minister of foreign affairs. He has been replaced by Timothy Musa Kabba who is the former minister of mines. There are rumours Dr Francis may be sent to the United Nations to represent Sierra Leone.
The first group of ministers is as follows: Mohamed Lamin Tarawally – Attorney General & Justice Minister; Sheku Ahmed Fatmanti Bangura – Minister of Finance; Timothy Musa Kabba – Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Dr. Ramatulai Wurie (Haja) – Minister of Technical and Higher Education; Conrad Sackey Ibrahim – Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education; Ibrahim Alpha Sesay – Minster of Trade & Industry; Julius Mattai – Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources; Manty Tarawalie – Minister of State, Office of Vice President; Mrs Jeneba Bangura – Deputy Minister 1, Ministry of Finance; Mr Bockarie Kalokoh – Deputy Minister 2, Ministry of Finance; Mrs Francess Peagie Alghali – Deputy Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Mr Sarjoh Aziz Kamara – Deputy Minister, Ministry of Technical and Higher Education; Mrs Emily K. Gogra – Deputy Minister 1, Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education; Mrs Mamusu Massaquoi – Deputy Minister 2, Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education; Mrs Fatamata Wurie – Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry; Mr Umaru Napoleon Koroma – Deputy Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources.
Other Appointments: Mr Mathew Dingie – Financial Secretary; Mr Yankuba Askia Bio – General-Manager, Sierra Leone Ports Authority; Mrs Judith Kosseh – Deputy Director-General, Sierra Leone Ports Authority; Mr. Brima Swarray – Commissioner-general, National Revenue Authority; Mrs Ann-Marie Harding – Deputy Commissioner-general 1, National Revenue Authority; Mr. Gerald Ganda – Deputy Commissioner-general 2, National Revenue Authority; Mr. Amara Brewah – Director-general, National Communications Authority; Mrs. Mariama Koroma – Deputy Commissioner-general, National Communications Authority.
The are still eighteen more ministerial vacancies to fill, including; Youth Ministry; Sport; Lands; Health; Agriculture; Environment; Social welfare & women’s affairs; Children’s Affairs; Political Affairs; Economic Development; Tourism; Fisheries; Internal Affairs; Defence; Information; Local Government; works; and Energy.
It is understood that these vacancies will be filled by loyal supporters of the President in the coming days.
The former parliamentary leader of the NGC Party – Dr Kandeh Yumkella who left his NGC party to form an alliance with the SLPP, may be rewarded with a ministerial appointment to fill either the Energy or Economic Development portfolio.