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Esa chair, member resign over CEO’s reinstatement | 22 May 2020

Marie-Céline Zialor, the chairperson of the board of directors of the Enterprise Seychelles Agency, and one board member, Nigel Payet, have resigned following a decision to reinstate Angelique Appoo as the agency’s chief executive. Another member, Jose St Ange, resigned three weeks prior.

According to letters sent to President Danny Faure and Vice-President Vincent Meriton, those who have resigned have noted that they have done so in protest over the reinstatement of chief executive Appoo, despite the fact that the board of directors had recommended that disciplinary action is taken against her for alleged victimisation against her staff.

In her letter dated May 20, 2020 and addressed to VP Meriton, Mrs Zialor wrote that she was resigning as Esa board chairman on May 21, 2020. Giving the reasons for her decision, Mrs Zialor wrote: “In line with transparency, accountability and good governance preached by President Faure, I do not feel comfortable to be on the board, let along lead it. I adhere to professional principles and behaviours which promote ethical leadership, and I can no longer practice this given the manner in which this case has been resolved.

“For two months, the board of directors has worked tirelessly on this case in collaboration with the management staff of Esa, the department and with two of the victims of unfairness and abuse of power by Ms Appoo and Mrs Dubignon. I feel that I have been misled by your office and by DPA (department of public administration) regarding the case, and that a letter of reprimand is not fit as disciplinary action for the case against Ms Appoo. Her coming back with just a reprimand is going to have a detrimental effect on Esa, and it also sends a message that CEOs can do whatever they want in organisations and that staff are at their mercy.

“I am a strong advocator for staff welfare for increased productivity, and therefore this decision goes against my personal principles, and not in the public interest as stated in the letter. Leadership is not about technical skills, it is about influencing and motivating people towards a common goal. In addition, I think that we will not be able to keep CEO on track in future given that she gets away with abusing her staff, and the board’s input seems not to matter.”

As for Mr Payet, his resignation letter is dated May 21, 2020 and addressed to President Faure.

He wrote in his letter that “it is clear the board’s recommendations on her (Ms Appoo’s) ethical behaviour at the interest of the agency has no importance to DPA and the public sector commission, meaning that she can do whatever she wants and when she wants to. Being reprimanded for all her wrongdoing is not sufficient and not clear. Staff need to be treated with courtesy and respect and in this case it’s the other way round.”

Seychelles NATION could not get hold of a copy of Mr St Ange’s letter, but we learned that he resigned as a member of the board for unrelated reasons three weeks prior to the CEO’s reinstatement.

This newspaper was also unable to receive a copy of the letter from DPA to have sight of its content.

 

Gerard Govinden

 

 

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