By Patience Nyangove
THE board of directors of Meatco and the parastatal’s CEO, Advocate Vekuii Rukoro are involved in a bitter feud that has seen the board seeking permission from the Minister of Public Enterprises Leon Jooste to suspend Rukoro, Confidente can reveal.
Confidente is reliably informed that the feud stems from what the board has viewed as alleged gross insubordination, unruly behaviour and uttering false statements on the part of Rukoro.
Confidente can also reveal that the Meatco board on Tuesday could not go ahead with Rukoro’s suspension after they failed to get permission from Jooste and ended up only informing him that his conduct will be investigated.
Jooste, Tuesday confirmed the impasse, while Meatco board chairperson, Martha Namundjebo- Tilahun said for now she had no comment on the matter.
Rukoro referred Confidente to Jooste.
According to sources at the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry privy to the matter who spoke to Confidente on condition of anonymity, the Meatco board wrote to the Minister of Agriculture John Mutorwa informing him of its intention to suspend Rukoro and chief among its reasons is insubordination.
The letters were also copied to Jooste.
Confidente is informed that the board was not happy with Rukoro after he allegedly went ahead with the convening of a Meatco members’ meeting despite a directive by the board and Ministers Mutorwa and Jooste to postpone the event.
“I write to you with reference to the above as well as the actions taken by the CEO in spite of the Ministers and board directive and recommendation to postpone the members meeting on the 12th of August 2016…. In any organisation, disciplined behaviour is essential for the well-being of the individual and the successful achievement of the organisation’s objectives. Disciplinary action implies a thorough investigation into each alleged offence, reasonable evidence of guilt and careful consideration of the circumstances of each case before such disciplinary action is taken. Such action should always be prompt, fair and firm.
“…In terms of the disciplinary code, the following acts are allegedly committed by the CEO and can be categorised under the following, as cause for institution of disciplinary action against the CEO: refusing to obey a lawful instruction given by a person in authority, insubordination by demeanour, action or word(s), disorderly behaviour, uttering false or fraudulent statements and employees may not disclose confidential information concerning the business of the company to people not in the company’s employ, nor organisation not connected therewith,” Namundjebo-Tilahun wrote. She also raised the issue of how Meatco continues to send lists of names under the guise of nominations to the producers through text messages without a board directive.
“In light of the aforesaid, the board will convene on Tuesday, 23rd August 2016 in order to reach consensus on the following possible recommendations that an investigation be called into the conduct of the CEO, that the CEO be placed on administrative leave for the period of the investigation, that the period of investigation be limited to three months and that the CEO be informed of disciplinary charges as soon as possible.”
Rukoro, Tuesday refused to comment on the matter before he referred Confidente to Jooste.
“I know nothing about that. Talk to the Minister.”
Jooste, Tuesday while confirming the matter said he is still to address the issue.
“…I have not had time to attend to this matter but we are looking into it. I sent a directive to all public enterprises in February to prohibit any suspension of CEOs or Managing Directors unless we have been consulted and approve which we will only do in extreme circumstances,” he said.
Mutorwa said he can no longer comment on the matter as he has no jurisdiction over Meatco affairs anymore.
“On a particular day this month (Tuesday) Cabinet decided on the classification of various public enterprises.
“They are three categories of parastatals: regulatory, business/ economics and financial supervisory. Meatco is under economic/business … quite a number are under the supervision of public enterprises,” he said.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015