Whistleblower Ali Gire, Kenya Airways employee during an interview in Nairobi. Mr Ali’s suspension was lifted by the High Court. [David Gichuru/Standard]
The whistleblower who recorded a video of a Chinese plane carrying 239 passengers landing in Kenya amid a coronavirus outbreak now claims he has been transferred to another department.
However, Gire Ali (pictured) did not want to disclose his new designation due to security reasons.For one year and three months, Ali worked as an assistant security agent at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) airside.But on February 27, Ali was issued with a suspension letter accusing him of breaching staff conduct guidelines.
“It has been determined that you be suspended from duty with effect from February 27, 2020 in accordance with provisions of clause 16.5 of the Company HR Policy Manual,” part of the letter signed by KQ Chief Human Resources Officer Evelyne Munyoki read.
Ali then went to court to challenge his suspension and Judge Weldon Korir ruled that he be reinstated.But according to Ali, the court order was not fully obeyed, as he was redeployed.
“The court order was not obeyed fully by Kenya Airports Authority and Kenya Airways. Both of them have worked to ensure that I was blacklisted from accessing the air side indefinitely,” said Ali.
He said his efforts to return to his previous station have hit a wall.
“The only time I was granted access was last week. It was so dramatic; I was given one hour and an escort to pick my personal items,” said Ali.
He said he did not know that his decision to share the video would create such a public uproar.He faulted failure to ensure the safety of staff handling ground services.
“I believe that somebody had to take action, there must be a way people must be held accountable, because it is not the first time the line manager was neglecting or was an impediment to our safety,” Ali said.”Sharing the video was my way of showing concern, even to the public,”
Ali said when the video went viral, he was afraid because he knew it would be traced back to him.
“But that is something I have grown not to fear, I am bold about my action. I know public interest supersedes an organisation’s interest,” said Ali.Ali said the issue affected him psychologically, but that his request for some time off from work was denied.
“I was not given any counselling or therapy after I told them about my psychological issue and mental concern,” he said.
Kenya Airways Acting CEO Allan Kilavuka declined to comment on the matter, saying it was before court. He, however, claimed that the matter had been misunderstood.
A mention of the case is set for March 30.