100 RTA workers fired in Nangarhar
JALALABAD (Pajhwok): Nearly one hundred employees of the state-run Radio Television Afghanistan (RTA) have been fired in eastern Nangarhar province following suspension of funds, sources revealed on Wednesday.
Several individuals cited the stoppage of funds the RTA office had been receiving from an unknown source over the last few years as a reason for the termination of their services.
Syed Akhtar, hosting the Khanda Pa Sapo Ke programme, told Pajhwok Afghan News he had been working at the station for eight years but his termination came all of a sudden.
“This is intolerable. I should know why I have been removed,” he asked, saying several dozens journalists had been fired but none of them knew where funds would come from and how they dried up.
Hewad Yamal, another journalist, said his abrupt termination had created big problems for him. “The station would receive money from an unknown source. Workers had repeatedly asked the RTA station’s deputy head to reveal the source but he would not.” He warned of launching protests if they were not reinstated.
A female worker, Mursal Noori, who was also fired, said she was concerned about the fate of those fired. “Some of those fired would hardly manage to meet family needs with their monthly stipends.
“They have lost that source of income. Everything should have been made clear before the mass termination,” she said.
An RTA official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Pajhwok Afghan News the station’s deputy had been in a conflict with some formal staff over money from the secret source.
He said the station staff had been divided into two groups --- one supporting the deputy head and the other seeking transparent information about the money.
Independent Journalists and Writers Association Secretary in the eastern zone, Rahmatullah Zeyarmal, said the termination of nearly one hundred workers at once was a matter of great concern. He said the matter should be thoroughly investigated.
Pajhwok Afghan News tried to seek comments from the station’s deputy head, Eng. Zalmai, but failed.
Meanwhile, Nangarhar Information and Culture Director Orang Samim, expressed his unawareness about the issue, but confirmed the station had been receiving money from an unknown source to appoint the youth.
He said it should be known which source had been funding the station and how much it had funded so far. “We have shared the issue with the Governor’s House and measures are expected to address it,” he said.
Deputy Governor Mohammad Hanif Gardiwal confirmed some youth employed at the station had been receiving salaries from an unknown source. He said he would discuss the matter with the station’s deputy head to find a solution.
In Kabul, RTA General Director Zarin Anzoor said the contract-based employees had been appointed in line with directives from the former governor.
They would receive salaries through a project that had ended, he said. Actual staff of the RTA station remained on job and unaffected.
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