Kulhudhufushi islanders have launched a charity fund box to help their elected MP Mohamed ‘Kutti’ Nasheed, an independent member of parliament, after he admitted it was his voice saying ”I need some cash” to Jumhooree Party (JP) leader Gasim ‘Buruma’ Ibrahim in a leaked audio clip.
Gasim is currently under house arrest while he is investigated by police for vote-buying and treason.
”We felt pity for our MP Mohamed Nasheed after hearing the leaked audio clip,” said Mohamed Naeem, a Kulhudhufushi islander who heads the group that opened the charity box.
”When he first asked Gasim about his financial condition, we thought that Nasheed was about to help Gasim. But then we heard he was running low financially himself and was in need of some cash.”
Naeem said the group of islanders did not wish their MP to be begging people for money, and had set up a charity box on the beach of the island for everyone to put money in to help Nasheed.
”We do not like the way he begged,” he added. “We heard him saying that he would send someone somewhere to pick up the money in case people might see.”
”We will keep the box open until 6:00pm on Saturday, and then we will open it and count the money,” Naeem said. ”Then we will hand all the money to Nasheed’s office, and if they refuse to deliver the money to him, we will send it to him directly.”
Many people on the island had already walked down the beach to the box and were putting money in it, Naeem said.
”We are not a NGO, not even anybody from the island office – we’re just normal islanders,” he added.
As an elected member of parliament, Nasheed receives Rf62,500 (US$4864) per month from the State.
Nasheed was not responding to calls at time of press.