The Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) board says it is reviewing the former board’s decision to suspend general manager (GM) Rhino Chiphiko.
Members of the previous board, led by Alexander Kusamba Dzonzi, suspended Chiphiko in May last year for allegedly purchasing a vehicle that cost the corporation K107 million without the board’s approval.
He was sent on two-week suspension, ostensibly because the board wanted to look into the matter.
However, they delayed their decision until members of a new board were ushered in.
New board chairperson Zachary Kasomekera said the new board has instituted four sub committees— which include the human resource (HR) and administration committee— in the board to look into the matter.
“We are a new board and when we came in, we found that the GM was suspended and we did put in place working committees of the board.
“The committees include HR and administration sub-committee and, normally, issues pertaining to human resources are tackled by the committee, which makes appropriate recommendations to the board. We know that, in due course, we will have that issue resolved.
“For any [decision of] suspension [made], there is background information and since the suspension was effected before the board came in place, it is important that our own committee should review the [decision of] suspension and make necessary recommendations and conclude the matters,” Kasomekera said.
He said the sub-committee would not only consider Chiphiko’s case but cases of other staff members who were suspended for various reasons.
Meanwhile, he said, the board is monitoring retrenchment processes, set to be completed by the end of this month.
Meanwhile, Chairperson for the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture Sameer Suleman has urged the board to move with speed on the matter.
He said Admarc is a strategic organisation, such that resolving the issue quickly would work to the advantage of people that access services at Admarc.
“We expect the new board to give us an update on the issue at least within two weeks,” he said.
Immediately after his suspension, Chiphiko defended his decision, saying he bought the car at a lower cost than his entitlement, claiming that his entitlement stipulated the vehicle he is entitled to as a Toyota Landcruiser TX.
He further justified that the vehicle he was using clocked 368 000 kilometres (km) beyond the 200,000 km that triggers replacement.