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Veteran airport engineer ‘sacked over political row’

The man had worked as an engineer at the airport for 26 years.



A long-serving employee at Laamu Kadhdhoo airport was fired after a political row with the son of a ruling party lawmaker, local media reported.

VFP reported that Ahmed Nasir, who worked as an engineer at the airport for 26 years, was fired on August 10 after being informed of changes to the company structure.

He said he believed his dismissal was because of an argument with influential government figures.

“Fonadhoo MP’s son shouted profanities at me. He asked what was wrong with me. He even came to hit me and later I received threats,” Nasir was quoted as saying.

His constituency MP is Abdul Raheem but VFP did not say how or if his son is linked to the airport.

Nasir was issued an official dismissal letter on Sunday. Kadhdhoo airport’s managing director Ahmed Shareef declined to comment on staff matters.

Nasir blamed his sacking on differences in political opinion, and because he refused to support President Abdulla Yameen.

His dismissal came as VNews reported that Kadhdhoo airport staff were being forced to re-register for the September 23 election.

An employee, who wanted to remain anonymous, said workers were being made to re-register in order to cast their votes at the airport.

“They [management] are telling all staff without checking if the employee is on duty or not to re-register to vote on September 23. Then they say it is voluntary,” the man was reported as saying by VNews.

He also said that 99 percent of the airport staff were residents of Gan and Fonadhoo, Laamu Atoll, and they had always voted in their constituencies during past elections.

A ballot box was not kept at Kadhdhoo airport for previous elections and the Elections Commission did not disclose why a box was being kept now, it was reported.