Translated from the files of FaaSamoa. Opposition Leader, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, has congratulated Samoa Prime Minister Hon Fiame Naomi Mata’afa on the recently announced Cabinet reshuffle that saw two additional Ministers and the establishment of a Ministry of Sports & Recreation.
“Only Fiame understands why there needs to be a Cabinet reshuffle,” said Tuilaepa at his weekly press conference.
“That’s the duty of a Prime Minster. To be aware of what needs to be changed and what is maintained..”
Hon Fiame Naomi Mata’afa announced a Cabinet reshuffle just over two years since her administration was finally able to take over in July 2021 following Samoa’s political crisis.
The HRPP leader said he welcomed the addition of Lautimuia Uelese Vaai as the new Minister of Finance, previously held by Hon Mulipola Anarosa Ale Molioo, who now serves as the Minister for Women, Community and Social Development; a move that has also received the seal of approval of the former Prime Minister.
“Lautimuia is someone who has worked with the Samoa Shipping Services, and has a good understanding of Finance.. this is a good change..”
Tuilaepa says he also accepts the move for Mulipola Anarosa to take up the Ministry that is overseeing the $1 million tala per year project, “since she has been the one distributing the funds so far..”
Tuilaepa says the million tala project funds have not been rolled out well especially for HRPP constituencies.
Tuilaepa said he has always believed Tourism to be the heart of the country’s economic development, and supports the transfer of the Samoa Tourism to be under the supervision of the Prime Minister herself.
“Tourism is the heart of economic development..,” he says.
Tuilaepa said he was glad to see the 15-Minister Cabinet being utilized- a Constitutional amendment he had made during his time as Prime Minister.
“Samoa originally had a Cabinet of nine Ministers,” said Tuilaepa.
“That number rose to 12 in 1991 under the administration of Tofilau Eti Alesana…
“The provision to allow for 15 cabinet ministers was added in 2020 in response to the rapid growth of the country’s economy.”