Three Malé City councillors affiliated with the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) have released a statement alleging that corruption is involved in the council’s ‘Nala Fehi Malé’ (Clean Green Male’) initiative.
“Under the ‘Clean and Sweep Male’ program inaugurated on March 16 in an event held in front of Iskandhar School, half of the ‘Thaisey Block’ [the land behind the Male’ City Council offices] has been unduly granted to the contractor Business Image Group (BIG) to conduct this work,” read the statement.
“The agreement further requires additional land to be provided to store vehicles brought in the name of being necessary for cleaning. Additionally, even accomodation for labourers brought in to do the cleaning work needs to be provided by the Malé City Council,” it continued.
“Furthermore, we condemn this act that has been done despite repeated orders from the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure asking us to not conduct any agreements regarding any land in Malé.”
The statement also said that the granting of the contract to BIG is currently being investigated by the Anti Corruption Commission of the Maldives.
“Malé City Mayor and Deputy Mayor has challenged this institution, and regardless [of the investigation] gone ahead with the project. Two years after the granting of the contract, despite the contract with BIG being for making Malé clean and beautiful, what we are seeing is the putting up of a large number of billboards which are becoming a nuisance to the daily lives of people,” the statement continued.
“We further condemn the efforts of the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of the Malé City Council to maintain the agreement made with BIG.”
The statement concluded by saying that the press release has been issued to inform the public of the reasons behind the thee PPM councillors being absent from the ‘Clean Green Malé” inauguration event, adding “we assure you that we will cooperate with any and all efforts made for the good of the people”.
The inaugural ceremony for the programme was held on Saturday (March 15) outside Iskandar School, with the council reporting that permission to hold the event inside the school was suddenly withdrawn at short notice.
According to Haveeru, no government invitees were present at the ceremony held by the opposition dominated city council.
Today’s statement is signed by the three PPM councillors – Mahchangolhi Dhekunu councillor Ibrahim Mamnoon, MedhuHenveiru councillor Zaidhul Ameen, and HulhuHenveiru Councillor Mohamed Sajid.
Opposition Maldivian Democratic Party councillors in the council have stated that they will issue a written response to the PPM’s press release.
An official from BIG declined from commenting on the matter.