Taliban Fires 300 Staff of Herat Municipality

A credible source in Herat province told Hasht-e Subh on condition of anonymity that the Taliban had fired about 300 municipal employees in the province. Meanwhile, local Taliban officials in Herat have not commented yet.

According to the source, most of these employees had been working in the second, third, fourth, and fifth positions of the department for a long time and had enough experience. In addition, the source said that in the first days of the Taliban rule in the province, the Taliban had fired experienced staff and relocated their personnel. According to the source, most of those fired from Herat municipality were skilled and experienced but were replaced by Taliban affiliates who did not have the necessary experience. As reported by the source, the fired staff includes the deputy mayor of Herat, the commanders of 15 districts of Herat, the internal mayors of Herat municipality, the managers, and even the mercenaries who worked in this office. Moreover, the source said: “The Taliban did not pay attention to the criteria of specialization, profession and education in appointing people to high and low government positions, especially in Herat municipality, but the criterion for their selection was membership in their group.”

The dismissal of the department’s experienced and professional staff and the appointment of Taliban members to these positions have provoked a sharp reaction among some citizens and civil activists in Herat. Massoud Muslim, a civil activist in Herat, told Hasht-e Subh that the dismissal of former staff and the relocation of Taliban forces to the Herat municipal administration would widen the gap between the people and the Taliban-acting government.

Meanwhile, some Herat residents say that the Herat municipality needs more professional staff than any other organization. “It does not matter to us if the Taliban have relocated their members or former employees. There must be someone familiar with urban affairs because every year we suffer due to the inefficiency of municipal employees,” Junaid Azizi, a resident of Herat, told Hasht-e Subh.

Official sources in the Taliban acting government have not yet commented. Meanwhile, local Taliban officials in Herat refused to respond to repeated calls, however, a current employee of the Herat municipal administration confirmed to Hasht-e Subh the dismissal and relocation of the Taliban members, saying the rights of the fired staff for the last months would be paid. Furthermore, the source said that most of these employees have not been formally fired yet, but they have been asked to stay in their homes for now. In the meantime, the source claimed that no one was forcibly fired, however, most of them were absent or involved in corruption cases.

Meanwhile, the fired employees do not accept this claim, and there has been widespread criticism of the dismissal of experienced and professional staff and the replacement of Taliban members in several other government departments.