Apropos Air Mauritius

Readers Speak

Air Mauritius – Shareholders Meeting

According to a press communiqué dated 2nd July 2019, the Air Mauritius company’s secretary has notified that the annual meeting of shareholders will be held on Thursday July 25, 2019 at 14.30 hrs.

There are eight items on the agenda requiring the vote of members, attending personally or by proxies appointed by them. Out of the eight items, two of them concern the election of Directors and their remuneration. Twelve of the Directors are already in place and have offered themselves for re-election. The other two have been nominated by the Board and offered themselves for election.

The names of all the Directors in place and those who have been nominated by the Board have been listed.

On going through the list, one can find that one of the Directors is already the Chief Executive of Air Mauritius. The others are top Civil Servants, Senior Advisers, renowned Professionals and Director General of reputed private companies in Mauritius. Some of them are in the limelight these days. In fact these persons are already in receipt of hefty salaries, perks and other benefits at the end of each month from the organizations employing them.

It is not a secret that in addition to the remuneration received as Board members the Directors also benefit from free air tickets in business class every year.

The questions that arise are: Do these persons really need that allowance as Board Directors to run their kitchen especially at a time when our national airline is in troubled waters? Can’t they work on a voluntary basis until such time as the airline is out of the turbulent zone?

As Board Directors they should be aware that since long small shareholders have not been paid any dividend. Even in the past they were paid sporadically. The company’s share, which initially was quoted at Rs 60 per share has plummeted to less than Rs 10. Yet the small shareholders never grumbled, knowing quite well that the company was in bad shape. Even their requests for tickets at discounted rates during non-peak seasons were never entertained. If the small shareholders can sacrifice so much for the national airline, why can’t the Board Directors renounce their Board member fee, albeit temporarily.

In the event one or two Directors would openly voice their intention of making a sacrifice of foregoing their allowance till the company gets out of the red, the others would, no doubt, follow suit. This could be a vibrant advertisement. For such a noble gesture they would be sure to be applauded by the small shareholders and the public at large.

T. Doomun
Port Louis

* * *

Queries: Appointment of new evphr at mk subsidiaries

Dear Chairman and Board Members, MK
It has been brought to the knowledge of our Association that a new EVPHR has been appointed at Air Mauritius (MK). Bearing in mind the long-standing haphazard, even chaotic, situation that has been prevailing in the HR department of MK and its negative impact on: the good running of the company, the principles of good governance and inevitably on sound management of its resources to achieve organizational effectiveness, profitability and sustainable growth, we are asking for clarification about the following: 

  1. Who is the new EVPHR? What are the terms of his contract and the duties assigned to him? Will the facilities of Staff Rebate Travel be extended to him, and what is the quantum thereof? 
  1. MK postulates publicly that it is ‘an equal opportunity employer’. Based on that pledge, may we know when was the job vacancy advertised (internally and externally) and what were the eligibility criteria set out for the post, the dates that the interview/s exercise was held for the said post and who were involved in the selection panel together with their competence/qualification/experience in aviation, IR and HR matters? 
  1. If ever the job were offered through any process outside the pledge and procedure of the company e.g. through headhunting, etc, may we know when was that decision taken, who were the ‘agents’ involved in that exercise and who gave approval, both inside and outside MK? 
  1. Whether the new appointment has received the seal of approval from the Board and when is the new incumbent assuming office? 
  1. We have it on record that Mr Mike Seetaramadoo was recruited in January 2016 as EVPHR at MK. May we know how and why the post is now declared vacant when Mr Seetaramadoo is known to be still at MK?
  1. May we know how many internal and external adverts for the post of EVPHR MK have been launched since 2005? What has been the outcome? How many EVPHR have been recruited since 2005 and what was the span of the tenure of office for each? 

We view the above with serious concern. As it has direct relevance to the values of Good Governance, Transparency and Accountability at the highest levels of our local corporate world, we are also copying this correspondence to the current CEO of the MiOD.

Along the same line of concern about Good Governance and Accountability, could you confirm whether the subsidiaries of MK , like Airmate and Cotton Bay. report to the CEO of MK and its Executive Management or to the Chairman of the Board? If the reporting should lie with the Chairman and Board of MK, could you please ensure that there is henceforth no incestuous relationship and exercise of control and authority in the day-to- day operations of the subsidiaries from the Executive Management of MK (the mother company) and its CEO?

A. Balluck
MK Shareholder & President of the Listed Companies’ Minority Shareholders’ Association, Good Governance, Transparency and Accountability,

* Published in print edition on 19 June 2019

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