Fiji’s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has made changes to his cabinet, effective from Tuesday 24 August, subsequently filling two vacant ministerial portfolios previously held by Osea Naiqamu and Mereseini Vuniwaqa who had resigned.
Bainimarama who had taken on the Forestry portfolio on an overseeing basis since June resumes the role but on a permanent basis, adding to his existing portfolio whilst Rosy Akbar replaces Vuniwaqa as Minister for Women, Childre and Poverty Alleviation, a role she held in 2014-2016.
This paves the way for Premila Kumar to take over the portfolio for the Education, Heritage and Arts, in addition to a realigned Local Government portfolio and minus the Housing and Community Development ministerial role.
The Department of Town and Country Planning, previously under the Ministry of Local Government, has been moved to the Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism, and Transport whilst Attorney General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum adds the Ministry of Housing and Community Development to his existing portfolios.
In a statement, the Fijian Government said the reshuffle strengthens “the government’s commitment to improve the reach and accessibility of government services and deliver on its suite of people-centric policies under the 2021-2022 National Budget.”
Citing health reasons, Naiqamu resigned as a cabinet minister in June but retained his MP seat. Vuniwaqa vacated her seat in parliament altogether after she resigned from the FijiFirst party three weeks ago citing personal reasons and other opportunities.