The High Court has given Kenya Airways to respond to a suit filed by one of its employees Gire Ali over unlawful suspension.
While giving the directives on Thursday morning, justice Weldon Korir also extended the orders barring Ali’s arrest pending the hearing of his case.
The judge had on Monday nullified Ali’s suspension days after the national carrier punished him for filming a China Southern Airlines plane landing at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) amid coronavirus fears.
In a statement on Sunday, KQ stated that the suspension followed a complaint filed by Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) over security breach at the airport by one of its (KQ) employees.
The man who worked at JKIA as Assistant Security Agent had moved to court through lawyer Danstan Omari seeking orders to quash the suspension letter until the hearing and determination of the case challenging the suspension.
The court heard that the suspension was meant to intimidate Ali and amounted to gross violation of his constitutional rights.
The video went viral on February 26, moments after China Southern Flight No.6044 touched down at JKIA with 239 passengers from China, where coronavirus has left at least 2900 people dead and over 80,000 infected.
The video elicited public uproar on social media after it appeared that the state was exposing Kenyans to coronavirus.
Commenting on the matter yesterday, Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia condemned Ali saying that by secretly filing the plane, the KQ employee committed a crime and should face the full force of the law.
“I want to clarify two things here. He was not a whistleblower, that is a wrong definition of that gentleman. He committed an illegality,” Macharia told the parliamentary joint health committee.
Macharia stated that the flight was not “secret” as it landed at around 7 am.
“What was he whistleblowing about a Boeing that arrived in the morning? It was not arriving at night in secrete, we all could see it,” he said adding that under aviation rules, such a big plane cannot secretly land in any airport, ” he told the committee.
“That gentleman secretly filmed a security institution, that even me as a CS cannot dare, that is an illegality and the legal system should determine what happens to him.”