Pope Francis has begun his second leg tour to three poorest countries in South America.
He was received by Bolivia’s first indigenous leader, President Evo Morales, who gave him a ritual pouch with coca, a sacred leaf in the Andes.
Pope Francis insisted that the Catholic Church should continue to play an important role, to protect the most vulnerable in society from the impact of capitalism.
He also called for dialogue between Bolivia and Chile over their long-time border dispute.
The Pope was said to have flown in from Ecuador and will also visit Paraguay.
The Pontiff hailed Bolivia for encouraging the poor to be active citizens, saying ”Bolivia is making important steps towards including broad sectors in the country’s economic, social and political life”.
“This is a critical period in the President’s political life because of 2015 and just like we say we in business, it’s not those that help you start a business that will grow the business,” he said, adding that “it’s about time this change was made to enable him begin to look at 2015.”
Another reason he gave for the shake-up was a policy shift in what the administration wants to achieve which would necessitate the injection of new persons into the system.
“It’s normal in the life of any administration that at some point you need new ideas, new people that can add some variant into the policy implementation.”
He further urged the President to have fewer politicians and more technocrats in his cabinet, in order to help him make the economy better than it was.
“The economy is going to play a role in the next election so you need people that can really drive this economy and come up with policies that will turn around events to enable him be in a better state for 2015.”
Commenting on arguments that some ministries are not needed, especially the Ministry of Police Affairs and Ministry of the Niger Delta, Mr Nweze submitted that “the size of government is huge for our size of economy, so anything to trim down” is welcome.
According to the analyst, the creation of the said ministries was a duplication of already existing agencies handling similar tasks.
Asked if some of the ministers would be invited for questioning by anti-corruption agencies since they had been accused of corrupt practices whilst in office, Nweze said “it depends on what they do after now.”
He highlighted that the trend is that when a public officer leaves office and maintains a low profile, he or she is left alone. He however warned that “if other interests are at variance, like if you defect, you’ll see the agencies of EFCC and ICPC coming after them.”