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05.03.2009 Politics

Zita out of Mills cabinet

By Daily Guide
Zita out of Mills cabinet

Minister of Information, Ms Zita Okaikoi In his newly constituted Cabinet list released to the public on Tuesday, the first since assuming the reins of government, President John Evans Atta Mills conspicuously left out the name of the Minister of Information, Ms Zita Okaikoi, from the privileged inner circle.

The development has tickled the minds of curious political observers, some of whom are wondering why such a critical ministry is absent from the Cabinet composition.

Others think a ministry which deserves two deputy ministers should be considered for the Cabinet listing, adding that even those with lone deputy ministers have been given that status.

Also left out in the Cabinet list is Mrs Juliana Azumah, Minister of Tourism.

Tongues have started wagging that the exclusion of Zita and Mrs Azumah might not be unconnected with the generally held perception of their uninspiring performance at the vetting level.

The two ministers seemed to lack grasp of issues concerning their ministries during the parliamentary vetting, with some observers openly calling on the President to withdraw them.

The naming of the President's Cabinet is in conformity with Article 76 of the 1992 Constitution which requires the First Gentleman to constitute such an inner circle of ministers.

But Presidential spokesperson, Mahama Ayariga said all ministers would attend Cabinet meetings.

He said the President would not go strictly by the dictates of the Constitution.

The Cabinet is said to have held its maiden meeting with the President to deliberate over the draft budget which is being presented today.

The Cabinet, according to the President, is made up of Dr. Kwabena Dufuor, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning; Lt. Gen. J.H. Smith (rtd), Minister of Defence; Cletus Avoka, Minister of the Interior; Alhaji Mohammad Mumuni, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration; Joe Gidisu, Minister of Roads and Highways; Joseph Yieleh Chireh, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development; and Dr. George Sipa Yankey, Minister of Health.

The list was made public through a press release authored and signed by the Head of Communications at the Presidency, Koku Anyidoho.

Others captured in the list are Kwesi Ahwoi, Minister of Food and Agriculture; Mrs. Betty Mould-Iddrisu, Attorney General and Minister of Justice; Alex Tettey-Enyo, Minister of Education; Ms Hannah Tetteh, Minister of Trade and Industry; Haruna Iddrisu, Minister of Communications; Albert Abongo, Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing; and Ms Hani Sherry Ayittey, Minister of Environment, Science and Technology.

The rest are Dr. Joe Oteng Adjei, Minister of Energy; Alhaji Collins Dauda, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources; Mike Hammah, Minister of Transport; Stephen Kwao Amoanor, Minister of Employment and Social Welfare; and Ms Akua Sena Dansua, Minister of Women and Children's Affairs.

By A.R. Gomda