The great Cabinet shuffle 

Dear Editor,

In world wide politics it has always been fashionable to blame the former administration for the apparent political failures and omissions of good governance. When a prime minister shuffles Cabinet posts, the opposing party often suggests that such changes reflect lipstick being applied to a pig.

The recent adroit reshuffle by Philip “Brave” Davis, our hardworking and innovative prime minister, was met with a broad and unrealistic assault by the still shell shocked opposition Free National Movement (FNM).

FNM Leader Michael Pintard and Chairman Dr. Duane Sands ranted after the reshuffle. 

Pintard in 2016 stepped down as party chairman while Sands was banished while serving as minister of health in 2020.

Their replacements were not, in my view, good ones.

Renward Wells, the then MP for Bamboo Town, was appointed minister of health and he appeared to be oblivious.

Thank God, by the same token that a good alternative national chairman was found.

The recent shuffle by the prime minister is just what the doctor ordered and is designed to bring rationalization and heightened efficiency going forward with the second half of the agenda for the Davis administration.

Cabinet shuffles lie within the domain of the PM of the day. It is no different with Mr. Davis. The changes were well thought out and came at the right time.

Fort Charlotte MP Alfred, a highly-trained and skilled lawyer, was in over his head when he held the Ministry of Works & Public Utilities.

It is a strange belief in The Bahamas and perhaps elsewhere that being a lawyer gives one the font of all knowledge and progressive traits.

Brother Sears meant well, I am sure, but the prime made an excellent decision in transferring him to the Ministry of Immigration & National Insurance. His legendary legal skills will serve the nation well on this new posting.

I am particularly pleased that Golden Gates MP Pia Glover-Rolle, who served with distinction as minister of state for the public service, has now been elevated to the substantive post of minister of Labor and the public service.

She has a bright future within the PLP going forward.

The choice by the prime minister of Centreville MP Jomo Campbell to serve as minister of agriculture and marine resources is yet another bold example of pragmatism on the part of the prime minister.

Campbell comes from a long background of farmers, starting with his late paternal grandfather who cultivated extensive plots here in New Providence and Cat Island, to my personal knowledge. He will do us proud, I am sure.

Central and South Eleuthera PM Clay Sweeting is a seasoned businessman and understands well the infrastructural needs throughout The Bahamas generally and his home island in particular.

My good friend, Carmichael MP Keith Bell was under political assault for many weeks and months for gestures of goodwill but perhaps, in hindsight, ill advised politically.

One or two missteps, however, do not warrant being jettisoned from Cabinet. As a former senior police officer and a real estate and housing lawyer, I have no doubt that he will excel as minister of housing and urban renewal.

The high costs of fuel and energy in our wonderful nation has been a vexing problem for quite awhile.

We all also know of the innate desire and goal of most Bahamians to own their own home.

As minister of transport and housing, Elizabeth MP JoBeth Coleby-Davis gained a tremendous amount of experience.

Under her watch, scores of new and affordable homes were built. She is now able as minister of energy and transport to apply her hard work on a larger level.

It is also to be noted that several current ministers were retained in their Cabinet positions.

I am particularly impressed with the mighty works being done by FreeTown MP Wayne Munroe as minister of national security.

Englerston MP Glenys Hanna-Martin, the minister of education, has also performed well.

The other appointments announced by the prime minister will go far in the ultimate delivery of the commitments made by the PLP in its contract with a grateful Bahamian nation.

The prime minister and the Deputy Prime Minister I. Chester Cooper are, of course, in a class all by themselves.

The nation is in good hands.

Ortland H. Bodie, Jr.

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