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MID Minister being targeted in senior ministerial reshuffle

THE Government is believed to be using the findings of the Commission of Inquiry (COI) into the Solomon Islands Ports Authority (SIPA) to remove the Minister of Infrastructure Development, Jimmy Lusibaea MP, from the portfolio.

The move is part of a strategy to reshuffle senior ministers, many of whom on grounds of ill-health in a carefully-managed ministerial changes without rocking the boat.

Mr Lusibaea confirmed to Island Sun yesterday he was fully aware of the move to remove him from MID claiming the Leadership Code Commission [LCC] is being used to bulldoze the case against him.

“I am ready for them,” Minister Lusibaea said.

“I am ready with my lawyer to see the LCC when they call me,” he said.

It is not clear when the reshuffle would be carried out, but sources have confirmed the move is under active consideration by Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare.

Initially, the Prime Minister’s Office were to use the Minister’s handling of the controversial shipping grants as grounds for reshuffling him. But now it appears the government has changed tack and is using the findings of the Commission of Inquiry to oust him from office.

Island Sun was told about a week ago that the proposed reshuffle of senior ministers was under active consideration by Mr Sogavare as he wanted to relieve the workload off his senior Ministers, many of whom are unwell.

Among those being considered for the reshuffle are the Minister for Finance and Treasury, Snyder Rini, the Minister for National Development and Aid Coordination, Danny Philip and the Minister for Commerce, Industries Labour and Immigration, Elijah Doro Muala – all on grounds of ill-health.

There could be others as well.

The idea is to relieve them of pressures from their ministerial responsibilities so that they could concentrate on their Constituencies.

Mr Rini and Mr Philip are on follow-up medical checks at the St Vincent’s’ Hospital in Sydney. They are yet to be consulted but this will be done prior to the ministerial changes being announced.

One key consideration for Prime Minister Sogavare is the fact that Parliament is due to meet next month and disgruntled MPs could use the reshuffle as an opportunity to break ranks with the DCC government.

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