While he had promised not to reshuffle his government, Beninese President Patrice Talon sacked three ministers on Monday.
It was just a month ago. While he was alongside his Nigerian counterpart, Mohamed Bazoum, Beninese President Patrice Talon was reporting on his government. Asked about a possible reshuffle, he dismissed the rumor with the back of his hand. “The human work cannot be perfect anywhere, and I do not expect my ministers, my collaborators here or there, I do not expect them to be gods on earth”, nuanced the chief of State. Before stating clearly and clearly that, “until further notice, a ministerial reshuffle is not envisaged”. He continued at the time that he did not intend to “thank any of them” and even less to “bring others in”.
What happened between March 13 and Monday April 17, for Patrice Talon to change his mind? After the announcement by the Beninese media of the dismissal of the Minister of Justice, Sévérin Quenum, we have just learned that the Keeper of the Seals is not the only one concerned. Quenum has already been replaced by former chairman Yvon Detchenou.
Two other ministers were therefore also dismissed. Among them, that of Transport. This is the second time that Hervé Hêhomey has lost his wallet. In September 2017, then already Minister of Transport, he was forced to leave the government before finally returning to his post in 2019. After more than three and a half years, he was finally dismissed.
Another minister concerned by this mini-reshuffle: that of Energy. Jean-Claude Houssou, who was trained in France, has been leading the various energy reforms since April 2016. Patrice Talon separated from him. The ex-minister no doubt pays for the numerous power cuts that are crippling the country's economy. The latest, on April 11, was fatal to him. It was a close collaborator of Talon, Edouard Dahomé, who was appointed Secretary of State for Energy. Sam Adambi will have to take over Houssou's files as Minister of Mines, Water and Energy.
Three departures that question. If, last month, Talon denied wanting to reshuffle his government, he finally gave in. Last Saturday, the Beninese president had opened the door to several departures, assuring that official acts were needed before any announcement. While receiving his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame, he finally decided to issue a decree.
On the side of the presidency, it is specified that this is above all a “technical reorganization”. In addition to the three departures, the president has decided to withdraw the Cooperation component from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This will now be attached to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.