By Zeba Noori
A number of former employees of the First Vice President of Afghanistan, Amrullah Saleh, say that after he took office, they were fired illegally and replaced with new and people who are mostly relatives of First Vice President.
Nusratullah Ebrahimi, a former press expert, at Saleh’s office who started his career with Marshal Dostum and is now unemployed, says that Amrullah Saleh sacked all the employees of the first vice presidents office from Ahmad Zia Massoud, Marshal Fahim, Yonus Qanuni and Marshal Dostum times.
The former employee says that by doing so, Saleh is disrupting the administrative system formed in the office. Citing Article 50 of the Afghan Constitution, he said that the new deputy had fired the employees without regard to the qualifications of the staff. According to his statement, the 54 new employees hired in the office are close to Saleh and most of them were the members of his electoral team.
According to Article 25 of the Labor Code, except for civil servants, when other departments want to terminate the contracts with the employee, they must notify the employees a month in advance. This article also stipulates that, in addition to civil servants, other departments, when terminating their contracts with employees, provide them with a living wage based on their experience and working hours. For example, an employee who has worked with an office for one year is entitled to one month’s salary if the contract is terminated. The more experience an employee has and the more time he or she has to work in management, the higher his or her salary will be.
Former employs of Vice President’s office say none of them have received a living wage and have not been notified of their dismissal at any given time. Ebrahimi says that Saleh has fired 138 of the employees, including administrative staff, without prior notices and without the permission of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.
Clearly, the dismissal of a group of employees of the office is against the applicable laws of the country and the International Labor Law. The dismissal of persons without regard to legal conditions, rules and regulations, in groups, is a violation of the principles of national and international laws.
The country’s labor law stipulates that even when private institutions fire their employees, they should provide them with a living wage based on their work experience, until they find a new job. For example, the Labor Code stipulates that an employee must be paid two months’ salary if he or she has one year of work experience.
If the first Vice President of the country has sacked the previous employees of this institution, contrary to the legal principles and procedures, he has in fact violated the law, and therefore must be held accountable.
If the government-building team wants to build a government, it is better to hire some of its employees through the Administrative Reform Commission so that the remaining employees of the previous administration all participate in a free competition and are properly hired for the job.
Another concern is that by appointing the employees of his own liking and violating the law, he may be planning to achieve something dangerous. As an audio clip of Amrullah Saleh leaked on social media suggested, he may be preparing a team that should be ready to follow his orders without question, even if they are against the law. In the audio recording, he can be heard of directing security personnel to kill anyone who do not following their directions. This is an evident violation of law and basic human rights.
Amrullah Saleh was recently accused of corruption as well, as far as the PPE equipment for coronavirus pandemic is concerned. He was accused of selling the ventilators in the black market, which facilitated their smuggling out of the country. Such allegations are really serious at the time when the suffering people of the country are in the dire need of such equipment.
It appears that Saleh wants to gather a team of his sycophants around himself who should be ready to participate and even cover his corruption and illegal activities. Therefore, it is necessary that law-enforcement agencies must take notice of his practices and held him accountable if he is really guilty.
Illegal and Corrupt Practices in First Vice President’s Office
By Zeba Noori