Male’ mayor claims latest ‘Usfasgandu’ lease extension agreed before issue of Civil Court block

Male’ City Council (MCC) Mayor ‘Maizan’ Ali  Manik has claimed a lease extension providing the ‘Usfasgandu’ protest area to the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) until December was agreed before the Civil Court issued an order blocking such a move.

Speaking to Minivan News today, Manik claimed that unless a further court order was issued that directly prevented the lease extension, which comes into effect later this month, then the opposition MDP would be permitted to continue using the area for their activities up until December 2012.

According to local media, the Civil Court has issued a ‘interim order’ prohibiting the long-term lease of the area by the council or any construction of buildings on the site. The order was granted amidst an ongoing Civil Court case filed by the Ministry of Housing that questions the legality of the MCC’s decision to lease Usfasgandu.

The Sun Online news service reported today that the Civil Court’s interim order would remain in place until a ruling on the issue of the legality of the MCC’s decision to lease the area had been finalised.

However, Mayor Manik told Minivan News that once the present lease agreement finished on September 19, a new agreement said to guarantee the opposition party’s use of the area for an additional three months would come into place.

“The extension was agreed by the council before the court order came into place. The court would otherwise need to send an additional order concerning this extension if they want it stopped,” he claimed.

Minister of Housing Dr Mohamed Muiz said today that he did not wish to comment on the case as it was still being heard at the Civil Court. When questioned as to whether a date had been set for the next hearing of the case, Dr Muiz added that he would need to check with the Attorney General’s Office.

Last month, the Housing Ministry alleged through the Civil Court that the MCC was in violation of both articles five and six of its agreement to lease the land – charges that it contended were proved in documents submitted to the court.

The state also contended at the time that the MMC was deliberately attempting to delay the ongoing case by claiming the charges “were not clear”, according to newspaper Haveeru.

The MCC claimed in response that the Housing Ministry had no evidence to back its claims that its provision of the lease was illegal.

Legal wrangling

The Civil Court case is the latest development in ongoing legal wrangling between the MCC and the Ministry of Housing over the Usfasgandfu site.

Back in August, the Civil Court ruled that the Maldives Police Service did not have legal authority to order the MDP to vacate Usfasgandu on May 29.

The court noted the same day that the a wider dispute between the MCC and Housing ministry over guardianship of the Usfasgandu area could only be settled once the Civil Court reached a verdict on the legality of providing the land to the MDP. The case was filed by the Housing Ministry, which requested the MCC be ordered to hand over the plot.

On May 29, police raided Usfasgandu with a search warrant from the Criminal Court and ordered the MDP to vacate the area before 10pm, after which the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) began dismantling the protest camp.

The Civil Court however issued an injunction ordering the security forces to halt the dismantling after the MDP challenged the legality of the operation. The injunction was to stand until the court reached a verdict and was later upheld by the High Court.

Police had obtained a warrant to search Usfasgandu on the grounds that the MDP was using the area as a hub for criminal activity and black magic.  MDP lawyers however argued at court that the warrant did not provide a legal basis to dismantle the demonstration area.

Following the dismantling of the MDP’s protest camp at the tsunami memorial area on March 19, the Male’ City Council (MCC) leased the Usfasgandu area to the former ruling party for three months, prompting repeated attempts by the government to reclaim the area.

The MCC – which has nine MDP councillors and two government-aligned Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) councillors – refused to hand over the area to the Housing Ministry despite a cabinet decision authorising the Housing Ministry to reclaim the plot.


10 thoughts on “Male’ mayor claims latest ‘Usfasgandu’ lease extension agreed before issue of Civil Court block”

  1. Alibe is a leader of a mob group and he will behave like a mob .

    This guy will never will an election again.

    Alibe you better step down or you got to give all the lands to other parties . You do not have the rights to offer this land to MDP and you can not give freely this lands to promote your party. This is against the law and you will be answerable and you will be brought to justice.

    Alibe I have seen what you have done to MNBC TV station and one day you will be for sure questioned on your action too.

    Alibe you may regret what you are doing today . But one thing that is clear is that Anni will not be able to win any election in this country.

  2. Maizaan Ali maniku is the now elected for the second term. People who voted in the last election had intended to it. Therefor, Ali Maniku will never resign or his term will not end until he completes another term of the mayorship.
    I think Logic and Rationality has been uninstalled from these brains.
    Ask alibe to see Ameenee magu! his new task will be cleared rather spending whole time at Usfasgandu.

  3. Alibe is a visionary...He knows how to trick the trickiest. He can trick even Tamils. If he was a CONI member, I am sure Justice Selvum could not afford to take long holidays in Singapore to check his business.

  4. Alibe is a failure. You guys will see to it and he will never win the seat again.

  5. An agreement to agree is not a valid contract if a material term was left undecided for further negotiation.

    I hope the courts will uphold this principle.

    As for Ali Maniku it is not just the Male City mayor but elected local councilors across the country who are failing to live up to the expectations of the people. The common man does not yet understand that the councils are required to carry out municipal functions. Not engage in political squabbles.

  6. Leasing land and other properties for legal purposes whether for a long or short period cannot restricted by the court without legal provisions to that effect.

    Any decision of the court in dealing with the dispute between the Housing Ministry hostile to the MCC must be based on law or for the prevention of unlawful activities rather than pleasing the regime.

    However, the court injunction preventing extension of the lease of the 'usfasgandu' (literally the 'high ground') to MDP has no legal basis.

  7. Usfasgadu was not rented or leased and it is given without any charge. This is completely against the law and Alibe does not have the authority to do so.

    If MDP were given lands like this and it is misuse of public resources and Alibe can be put behind the bar on the ground of corruption.

  8. ALibe is a lunatic. Ever since February 7, he has stopped serving his elected duties.

    Look all around Male', the streets have been filled by trash. The streets have not been cleaned, the private contractors who have been leased the Municipal cleaning duties by City council arent paying their workers any salaries, the Storm drains in the roads havent been cleaned in Months, Male Kunigondu (trash site) has been full of trash for months the whole place is brimming with flies, people have now started throwing trash onto the streets outside the Dump, and all ALibe is doing dancing around shouting 'USFASGANDU, USFASGANDU, MDP , MDP"...


    Did the people of Male' elect Alibe to run around shouting 'USFASGANDU, USFASGANDU' or did we elect him for the municipal activities of Male' ? Did he swear in his oath to office that he would only serve the people and carry out his duties only when MDP was in power ?

    If he cant carry out his elected duties then he should resign and then goto usfasgandu and dance all he wants shouting "MDP MDP, hop hop".


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