PHOTO: The Prime Minister and Ministers in Cabinet room
By Lagi Keresoma
APIA, SAMOA – WEDNESDAY 24 APRIL 2019: Tuitama Dr. Talalelei Tuitama has lost the Health portfolio in a Cabinet reshuffle announced by the Prime Minister today.
Faimalotoa Kika Stowers shifts over to the Health portfolio while Dr. Tuitama Talalelei Tuitama is the Minister for Women, Community and Social Development.
Health had been undergoing continuing challenges to effect the merger of the Ministry of Health and the National Health Services and had been under the spotlight for the death of two babies after taking their MMR vaccinations – among other issues.
In making the announcement, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi took into consideration the importance of maintaining a balance of Cabinet Ministers’ duties and responsibilities to ensure that they are not overloaded with multiple portfolio responsibilities.
The Prime Minister noted that while Cabinet Ministers are expected to shoulder the weight of their portfolio responsibilities, it is very crucial that careful consideration must be given to the depth and intensity of each Minister’s workload. A new portfolio and responsibility will provide new experiences and challenges.
The reshuffle comprises:
- Fire and Emergency Services Authority (FESA) to be shifted from the Prime Minister – Hon Tuilaepa Dr Sailele Malielegaoi to the Deputy Prime Minister – Hon Fiame Naomi Mataafa.
- Hon. Dr Tuitama Talalelei Tuitama to take over as Minister for Women, Community and Social Development.
- Hon. Faimalotoa Kika Stowers to take over as Minister of Health
- Samoa Trust Estate Corporation (STEC) to be shifted from Hon. Fiame Naomi Mataafa to Hon. Sala Fata Pinati.
- Traffic Division of the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to be transferred to the Ministry of Police.
- Planning and Urban Management Agency (PUMA) to be transferred from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) to the Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure (MWTI).
These changes will be effective from Monday 29th April 2019.
The government is halfway through the current parliamentary term and the Prime Minister stated that it is timely for these changes to be made and confirmed that his decision was accepted by Cabinet this afternoon. Tuilaepa last made a Cabinet reshuffle in July 2016.
The announcement also said that relevant legislative amendments to current laws will be made accordingly following the reshuffle of ministerial portfolios.