Suspended councillors turn to manual labour for pay

Councillors who were suspended without pay after meeting the Indian ambassador have taken up fishing, carpentry and construction to earn money, local media has reported.

Ahmed Fuad, Ahmed Nazmeen and Hussein Adam from Gaaf Alif atoll were punished last month, after the Local Government Authority (LGA) banned local officials from meeting diplomats without permission from the central government.

The trio were suspended for three months without pay and the council secretariat was asked to deny them access to council premises and documents during this period.

According to Vnews, Nazmeen and Adam have started fishing to earn money.

Adam said it was a good opportunity to spend time with his atoll constituents.

“My father was a fisherman, all my brothers are fishermen. I represent a constituency of fishing families. I’m proud to be a fishing councillor,” he tweeted on Monday.

“We were unlawfully suspended while we had done nothing wrong. We could have worked (as councillors) and go against the ban. But we respect the LGA, so we are staying till the suspension ends,” Ahmed Fuad told Vnews.

Fuad told the news outlet he was engaged in carpentry and construction.

“Since then we all have found work on our own. For sure, we cannot be suspended from this job.”

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