Ellen Makes Changes…Removes Gwenigale, Controversial Public Works Minister Weeks, LBS Boss; Transfers Education Minister

By Morrison O.G. Sayon

At long last, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has yielded to public outcry over the removal of two of her most alleged favored Ministers from government. President Sirleaf, in a nationwide address on Sunday, removed Dr. Walter Gwenigale as Minister of Health & Social Welfare and Public Works Minister, Antoinette Weeks who many speculated as her most favored.

At the Ministry of Public Works, President Sirleaf appointed Mr. William Gyude Moore as Minister of Public Works replacing Madam Antoinette Weeks, while Mr. Roland Giddings has been appointed Deputy Minister for Administration.

The Liberian leader also appointed Dr. Elizabeth Davis-Russell, President of the Tubman University in Maryland County as Minister of Education, Dr. Nancy Freeman, Deputy Minister for Administration, Mr. Anthony Nimely; Deputy Minister for Planning, Research and Development.

At the National Investment Commission, Madam Sirleaf appointed Mrs. Etmonia David Tarpeh as Chairperson. She also nominated Mr. George Werner as Minister of Health replacing the controversial, Dr. Walter Gwenigale.

At the Ministry of Gender, Children & Social Protection,

Mrs. Julia Duncan-Cassell was reappointed Minister while, Mr. Peter Roberts becomes her Deputy Minister for Administration; Mrs. Sienne Abdul-Baki, Deputy Minister for Gender; Mrs. Mardia Martin Wiles; Deputy Minister for Policy, Planning &Technical Services; and Mrs. Lydia Sherman, Deputy Minister for Children and Social Protection.

At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Wede Brownell, former Provost at the University of Liberia has been appointed as Deputy Minister for Administration; Ms. Albertha Doe, Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs.

The Liberian leader also appointed at the Ministry of Transport, Mr. Bushuben M. Keita as Deputy Minister for Administration while at the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Mr. Cyril Allen, Jr. appointed as Deputy Minister for Commerce and Mr. Mohammed Turay, Assistant Minister for Industry.

Ms. Candace Eastman has been appointed as Commissioner of the National AIDS Commission replacing Ms. Wessehdi Sio-Njoh; while at the Ministry of Youth & Sports, Mr. Ramses Kumbuyah has been named Deputy Minister for Administration replacing Ms. Jacqueline Capehart.

At the Ministry of Lands, Mines & Energy, Mr. Zack Sharpe     was named Deputy Minister for   Administration while at the Ministry of Information, Mr. Andrew Tehmeh was appointed as Deputy Minister for Administration replacing Norris Tweah who moves to the University of Liberia.

Ms. Gbemie Horace Kollie was named Deputy Minister for Operations replacing Mr. Ranney Jackson at the Ministry of Internal Affairs while at the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications; Ms. Margretta Smith-General was named Assistant Minister for Administration replacing Mr. James Cooper.

At the Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS), the President appointed Mr. Ledgerhood Rennie as Director General replacing Mr. Ambrose Nmah. Mr. Patrick Honnah has been named Deputy Director General for Broadcasting while Deputy Presidential Press Secretary Christopher Sellee was appointed Deputy Director General for Rural Communities.

Commenting on the issue of Dr. Gwenigale, President Sirleaf said Dr. Gwenigale will continue to serve as Advisor until his planned retirement in February.

The Liberian leader expressed optimism that her team will take her administration to the finished line. She added, “But make no mistake, as Captain, I will not hesitate to change anyone who fails to meet our expectations.”