Bedoon nurses, ambulance drivers to get extra allowances

KUWAIT: Bedoon nurses and ambulance drivers will now receive an additional KD 70 per month as extra allowances for infection risk and hazard pay. According to Marzouq Al-Rashidi, assistant undersecretary for administrative affairs at the Ministry of Health, the Civil Service Commission approved the request to provide the extra allowances for Bedoon staff in the nursing and ambulance roles. The allowance includes KD 35 per month for infection risk and KD 35 per month hazard pay. The allowances will be retroactively paid from August 9, 2016. Bedoons are stateless Arabs who live in Kuwait but do not hold Kuwaiti nationality. Thousands of these stateless residents work in the public sector including in the ministries of health, interior and other ministries.

Automated boarding
Director of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Yousif Al-Fouzan announced that automated boarding and check-in services for passengers without luggage would be launched soon at Kuwait International Airport though nine ticket machines. Fouzan added that the electronic parking fee payment machines were already in use at the airport with the aim of reducing crowds and long queues. “Those two services are designed to serve the public and help develop the Kuwait airport to match airports in advanced countries,” he said. Fouzan also noted that two special lounges were opened for transit passengers and for the MOI to receive arrivals on visit and other visas. Further, Fauzan said that DGCA would soon sign a contract to build a third three kilometer long runway with a consortium including a local company and an international one.  In addition, Fauzan said that 30 percent of the construction works in the new airport has been completed so far and that construction was scheduled to be concluded by November 2017.

Al-Ajmi citizenship case returned
In other news, a Kuwait court of appeal annulled a sentence passed by the court of first instance concerning the withdrawal of Saad Al-Ajmi’s citizenship and decided to return the case to the lower court. Al Ajmi, a former spokesman for the opposition Popular Action Movement and a former correspondent for Al-Arabiya news channel, had his citizenship revoked in 2014. He was deported to Saudi Arabia. Though born in Kuwait, Ajmi was one of nearly 20 people who had their citizenship revoked during the period of political upheaval in Kuwait from 2012 to 2014.

Espionage case adjourned
The court of cassation yesterday adjourned hearing a case filed against a number of citizens over charges  of espionage for Iran and Hezbollah plus the possession of weapons and explosives ( The Abdali cell case) to another hearing on March 26.  Twenty-five Kuwaiti citizens and one Iranian national were charged in 2015 with spying for Iran and Hezbollah when authorities uncovered a huge cache of weapons at a farm in Al-Abdaly, in northern Kuwait near the border with Iraq. Several of the accused were alleged to have received military training in Lebanon. Two were sentenced to death, including the Iranian (in absentia) and almost all the others were found guilty of various crimes and given varying jail terms. The men have denied the charges. All have appealed their convictions.

Mosque abolition to be investigated
Kuwait Municipality said that Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, Minister of State for Municipal Affairs Mohammed Al-Jabri referred for investigation the demolition of a mosque and Awqaf ministry employees residence in Sulaibiya, to the public prosecution bureau. Notably, the investigations were ordered upon a letter from the Awqaf ministry undersecretary reporting that a manager in a Jahra municipality department ordered the demolition.

By Meshaal Al-Enezi

This article was published on 19/03/2017