ALL HANDS ON DECK: PM Davis defends ‘Gussie Mae’ Cabinet

ALL HANDS ON DECK: PM Davis defends ‘Gussie Mae’ Cabinet
Governor General CA Smith (center) with Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis and the newly appointed members of his Cabinet at the Baha Mar Convention Center on Wednesday, September 22, 2021. (BIS)

Davis says the ‘enormous task’ of governance requires large Cabinet

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Eleven additional government ministers in the new Davis-led administration were sworn in and received their instruments of appointment yesterday, during a ceremony at Baha Mar Convention Centre.

The new appointments are in addition to the nine ministers sworn in on Monday, making it a 22-minister Cabinet  —  larger than the Minnis administration executive team.

Prime Minister Philip Davis sought to defend the appointments, insisting that all of the ministers are needed as the new government seeks to tackle the country’s major challenges.

“I don’t get into this elite pet talk,” Davis told reporters following the ceremony.

“I know everyone is trying to distract us from our job at hand.

“The enormity of the task here at hand is what caused me to select the number of persons I have.

“I have some additional parliament secretariats to be sworn in tomorrow.

“It will reflect the enormity of the challenge I have and all hands are needed on deck.”

Eleven Cabinet ministers are sworn in and receive their instruments of appointment from the governor general at the Baha Mar Convention Center on Wednesday, September 22, 2021. (BIS)

Those new ministers sworn in include:

  • West Grand Bahama and Bimini MP Obediah Wilchcombe as Minister of Social Services and Urban Development and Leader of Government Business.
  • Carmichael MP Keith Bell as Minister of Labour and Immigration.
  • Golden Isle MP Vaughn Miller as Minister of Environment and Natural Resources.
  • Elizabeth MP Jobeth Coleby-Davis as Minister of Transport and Housing.
  •  Pineridge MP Ginger Moxey as Minister of Grand Bahama.
  •  Garden Hills MP Mario Bowleg as Minister of Youth Sports and Culture.
  • MICAL MP Basil McIntosh as Minister of State for the Environment.
  •  Pinewood MP Myles Laroda as Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister.
  •  Golden Gates MP Pia Glover-Rolle as Minister of State for Public Service.
  • Marathon MP Lisa Rahming as Minister of State for Social Services and Urban Development.
  • Yamacraw MP Zane Lightbourne as Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Technical and Vocational Training.

The Davis-led Cabinet made changes to several of the ministry portfolios that were a part of the Minnis administration and will do away with the Ministry of State for Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction, which was formed in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.

The prime minister said the elements of that ministry will now fall under the Office of the Prime Minister.

“That is why I appointed Basil McIntosh in the Ministry of Environment,” Davis said.

“With his background in constructional engineering and civil engineering and understanding the building resiliency that we require moving forward, he is in there. The fact is that the elements of that ministry are going to be following under the Office of the Prime minister.”

On Monday, nine ministers received their instruments of appointment, including:

  • Tall Pines MP Dr Michael Darville as minister of health and wellness.
  • Freetown MP Wayne Munroe as minister of national security.
  • Englerston MP Glenys Hanna-Martin as minister of education, technology and vocational training.
  • Fort Charlotte MP Alfred Sears as minister of works and utilities.
  • Fox Hill MP Fred Mitchell as minister of foreign affairs and the public service.
  • Central and South Eleuthera MP Clay Sweeting as minister of agriculture, marine resources and Family Island affairs.
  • Centreville MP Jomo Campbell as minister of state for legal affairs.
  • Ryan Pinder, who was appointed to the Senate, as attorney general and minister of legal affairs.
  • Michael Halkitis as minister of economic affairs and leader of government business in the Senate.

Deputy Prime Minister Chester Cooper will serve as minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation and Davis is expected to serve as Minister of Finance, Eyewitness News understands.

Former Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis is the only prime minister who did not take a Cabinet ministry initially and served as minister of ministers during the first three years in office.

Minnis temporarily served as Minister of Health and then took the Minister of Finance portfolio after former East Grand Bahama MP Peter Turnquest resigned from the position.

Davis will follow the trend of all other former prime ministers who served as finance ministers.



About Sloan Smith

Sloan Smith is a senior digital reporter at Eyewitness News, covering a diverse range of beats, from politics and crime to environment and human interest. In 2018, Sloan received a nomination for the “Leslie Higgs Feature Writer of The Year Award” from The Bahamas Press Club for her work with Eyewitness News.