BYE PHARAD KURREEMUN 1961-2020
On 07 April 2020, I wrote the obituary of my beloved brother Bye Pharad Kurreemun, who departed from this world on Friday 27 March 2020, following a sudden and unexpected demise while he was offering prayer (Namaz).
I purposely left one aspect which I consider stands alone and which deserves to be treated separately and that is, his job career. I am dealing with this now.
Brother Pharad Kurreemun joined the Central Electricity Board (CEB ) on 22 Oct 1985 as Clerical Assistant. After years of competent and diligent service and after having acquired several professional degrees and experience over years, he was appointed Chief Internal Auditor (CIA) as from 22 August 2014. That was one of the highest posts in the hierarchy. Prior to his promotion as CIA, he was the Acting Chief Financial Officer of the CEB.
While he was on overseas leave as from 21 May 2015, some people found a golden opportunity to take advantage of his absence to, unilaterally and without his consent, modify his contract of employment thus retrograding him from his substantive post of CIA to a post of Manager. On top of that, such change was to take effect as from 17 June 2015, while he was to be back in Mauritius on the eve only, that is 16 June 2015.
Adding insult to injury, they further downgraded his position, that is following the demotion, he would be reporting to a junior who was a salary scale 9 officer, while he, Bye Pharad Kurreemun, was a salary scale 11 Officer. They also had his name removed from the CEB website.
What to mention about such detractors, except that such cowards are only capable of acting behind the back and lack the manly courage to face opponents frontally. They tried all sorts of conspiracies to finally lay a baseless and unfounded charge on him, in August 2016, that he allegedly disclosed confidential information to Mr Paul Berenger in September 2015, when the latter was Leader of the Opposition. Following that charge, he was suspended from job. It is horrible to think how some detractors can stoop so low. What a malicious and despicable behaviour!
Also note that not less than four officers occupying among the highest posts at the CEB were suspended during more or less that same period among whom was the then General Manager and the Deputy General Manager.
Unlike his detractors, Mr Pharad Kurreemun, did not hit behind their backs. He dragged them first to the Employment Relations Tribunal (ERT] and then to the Supreme Court of Mauritius.
In its judgment ( called an award ) ERT/RN 33/2016, dated 3 July 2017, the Tribunal stressed, “there has been a unilateral modification of his contract of employment without having obtained his consent…” The Tribunal finally concluded, “… Mr B.P Kurreemun should be reinstated to his post of Chief Internal Auditor at the CEB with effect from 17 June 2015.”
The CEB then applied (appealed) to the Supreme Court for the award to be quashed. Here again hats off to Mr B.P. Kurreemun who never gave up as giving up was against his nature.
Proceedings lasted for almost 2 years and finally he won his case once again. Learned Judges of the Supreme Court upheld the decision of ERT in their judgment 2019 SCJ 307 and dated 15 Nov 2019. They had the following to say, “ We therefore consider that the conclusion of the Tribunal on that issue was legitimate…”
During the period that Mr B.P Kurreemun and others were still suspended until he passed away, the present nominated Chairman of CEB, Seety Naidoo, has had the time to sit on the board of CEB, then leave his chairmanship to stand as candidate in the last Nov 2019 National Assembly Elections, be defeated and then get back to the post of Chairman of CEB again. Worthy to note that he was the colistier of Ivan Collendavelloo, Minister responsible for CEB, both before and after the Nov 2019 elections. Bravo! “ENSAM TOU POSSIB”… but on the other hand, it was still not be possible for a loyal, truthful, righteous and honest officer reckoning almost 35 years of service to be reinstated to his post, moreso after a judgment of the Supreme Court!!! What a paradox!!!
Why were some people so much afraid and scared of CIA, Mr B.P Kurreemun? Why his absence at the CEB was deemed so much necessary? Who would benefit from his prolonged suspension at the CEB? I do not think there is need for me to elaborate on matters which are obvious.
To those who used to act behind his back, may we announce them aloud that he is no more to drag them to any tribunal or court. But may we remind them and announce them even louder the following: God’s Court is yet for you to face. And God’s Court does not sit only after death. Undoubtedly, you will reap what you have sown. My advice to you is make a sincere repentance before God’s torments engulf you.
Brother Pharad, your fight for the reinstatement of your post of CIA was still ongoing when you passed away. Indeed, it was a fight against injustice. It was a fight for your rights. You always stood firm and never submitted to any form of intimidation or harassment. Never ever did you retreat or surrender. You always remained steadfast. Every harm inflicted upon you by your opponents would make you even more committed and determined. The soldier who dies while a lawful and truthful fight is still ongoing, is called a Martyr. God grants a martyr a more elevated status than a soldier who simply returns victorious. That is why we say, “ Brother Pharad, you have been more than victorious. We salute your courage and perseverance. Rest in peace. We know that God The Almighty has already gifted you with the best position ever. We will always be proud of you. You will always be remembered. ”
Bye Ikbal Kurreemun 22 April 2020