25 days after taking the oath as President, Ernest Bai Koroma last Friday released the final ten nominees of his 20 member cabinet.
The ten include Haja Afsatu Kabba (Energy and Power) and Hindolo Trye (Tourism and Culture) the only two who have previously held cabinet positions – Afsatu as Lands Minister in president Kabbah’s first cabinet and Hindolo Trye who was the last Minister of Information in the NPRC military administration.
The President also took a further three people form parliament making sure that a bye election is imminent. The three are Alimamy Koroma (Trade and Industry), Minkailu Mansaray (Employment and Social Security) and Kemoh Sesay (Transport and Aviation).
President Koroma broke off from the trend practiced by former leaders to appoint a Minister of Defence instead of the usual deputy Minister of Defence with the President always holding the Defence Minister post. The nominee for the position Paulo Conteh is a former soldier who was well known as a keen sportsman and close relation to the late President Joseph Saidu Momoh.
The man who had been tipped to hold the Foreign Affairs ministry because of his experience as a former diplomat – Dauda Kamara goes to the key Ministry of Internal Affairs, Local Government and Rural Development.
Merging again the Ministry of Education with Youths and Sports, the President Koroma followed the footsteps of President Kabbah by nominating a Lecturer from the FBC – this time, the Head the Engineering Dr Minkailu Bah.
Three women have so far been given positions in the cabinet with Musu Kandeh (Social Welfare Gender and Children’s Affairs) joining Zainab Bangura and Afsatu Kabba.
The fourth nominee of the Peoples Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC) Dr Moses Moisa-Kapu goes to the Marine Resources Ministry.