KQ staff in China plane row set to resume duty



The suspended Kenya Airways (KQ) #ticker:KQ employee Gire Ali who filmed the Chinese plane, which flew in 239 passengers is set to resume duty Friday after the national carrier cancelled his suspension.

This was revealed before Justice Weldon Korir as the police also confirmed to the judge that he will not be prosecuted.

Mr Gire had been suspended for filming a China Southern Airlines plane with 239 passengers that had landed at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi on Wednesday last week amid a coronavirus epidemic in the Asian country.

The High Court had stopped security authorities from arresting or prosecuting the JKIA security officer.

Gire’s resumption of duty hardly comes a day after Transport Secretary James Macharia told MPs that the KQ staff is a suspected criminal who should be locked up for breach of security rules at the airport.

“He was not a whistle-blower but a person who breached national security … JKIA is a security installation and no one is allowed to film it secretly,” he said.

His response infuriated MPs who accused the CS of double standards and pleaded with him to implore KQ to have mercy on Mr Ali, who they insisted is a national hero for exposing the arrival of the flight.

Mr Macharia declined to delve into the circumstances under which the plane was allowed to land in Kenya.

Mr Omari told the judge that Gire has crucial information regarding the Chinese carrier, which landed at the airport contrary to a ban imposed.

“The plane landed and was hidden in a place called Juliet Bay at the JKIA without CCTV footage, with no cameras, are Kenyans aware, that at the airport there is a place where illegal transactions can be done?

“What was the mischief between KAA and their surrogate Kenya Airways to keep this massive irregularity from public eye?” posed Mr Omari.

When the case filed by Mr Ali through lawyer Dunstan Omari against 11 government agencies named as defendants came up for directions, the judge was informed none of the agencies had filed a response then sought for 14 days to file evidence.

Among the agencies is Kenya Airports Authority (KAA), the Kenya Civil Aviation (KCA), the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), the Anti-Terrosim Police Unit (ATPU) and the Attorney General.

The DPP, DCI and the ATPU sought to be removed from the proceedings giving an undertaking that “they don’t intend to prosecute Ali”.

But Mr Omari opposed the removal of the DCI, DPP and the ATPU from the case as the Mr Macharia had a different view about the whistle-blower.

“It is this court which is competent to determine the issues raised by Ali since it is clothed with constitutional mandate, power and authority to protect the grave violation of his rights,” he told Justice Korir.