By Sana Elouazi
By Sana Elouazi
Rabat – The Moroccan Ministry of Tourism has abruptly announced the departure of Abderrafie Zouiten, who until November 30 had been the director of the Moroccan National Office of Tourism, known as ONMT.
“The Tourism Department has appointed from November 30, 2017 Rachid Hamzaoui, Finance and administrative Director at the Moroccan Tourism Office (ONMT), to act as interim Director General of the ONMT since the post of Director General of the Office had become vacant since the retirement of Abderrafie Zouiten,” said the ministry in a statement.
After being stripped of his signing authority one month ago, his departure has been controversial and handled without preparation or anticipation.
Zouiten, who headed the office since 2013, clearly did not expect to be removed from his position, since he had scheduled a press conference on Monday, December 4, to discuss ONMT future plans.
The day before his departure on Wednesday, November 29, Zouiten was seen in Parliament, accompanied by Mohamed Sajid, Minister of Tourism, reported Medias24.
The now former ONMT’s DG who reached the retirement age in August 2015 had benefited under the previous government from a two-year extension that expired in August 2017.
While he is retirement was bound to happen, it remains unclear why he unexpectedly left on Thursday, three months after the expiry of his waiver, and why he kept his job for a whole month after his signature was no longer accepted by the Ministry of Finance.
His departure also followed the freezing of salaries of 180 employees, including those who represent the office abroad.