The Enemalta CEO Jonathan Cardona has been relieved of his services after the recent power outages and will be moved over to the Occupational Health and Safety Authority.
Cardona, who was placed at Enemalta on a €160,000 annual salary by Energy Minister Miriam Dalli, has been removed from the post on the direct order of Prime Minister Robert Abela in the wake of last month’s nationwide blackout debacle.
Government sources have informed The Shift that Dalli has been ordered to terminate Cardona’s contract with immediate effect and that he will now be transferred to lead the Occupational Health and Safety Authority (OHSA).
Cardona will be replacing Mark Gauci at the OHSA as Gauci is set to retire.
The government found itself under intense pressure and the brunt of national criticism when Malta’s electricity grid literally melted when temperatures soared during the recent heatwave.
Enemalta recently was brought to its knees by continuous electricity outages across vast areas of Malta and Gozo, some persisting for close to two weeks.
Although both Dalli and Cardona blamed the weather for the grid’s failure, insiders at Enemalta insisted the reason was a lack of investment and long-term planning dedicated to the distribution network.
Government sources also told The Shift that Cardona, an acolyte of disgraced former prime minister Joseph Muscat, had always been viewed by Abela as “unfit for the job” but Dalli had stuck her neck out for him.
Cardona was appointed as Enemalta CEO in October 2021. Before that, he spent years acting as Muscat’s chief citizenship salesman as head of the infamous cash-for-citizenship scheme.
A former classmate of Muscat at St Aloysius College, Cardona was made Identity Malta CEO soon after Muscat was swept to power in 2013.
Shortly after the government started receiving messages from Brussels that the cash for passports scheme would have to end, Dalli handpicked Cardona to run Enemalta. He then arranged for his former assistant at the cash-for-passports agency, Monica Farrugia, to be appointed as Executive Director at Enemalta where she was earning €105,000 a year.
For the time being, Enemalta will be run by Chairman Ray Fava – the Malta Dockers Union President and a close friend of the Prime Minister’s father, former President George Abela.