The People’s Majlis Committee on National Development and Heritage has summoned former Minister of Housing, Dr. Mohamed Muizzu for questioning regarding the 7,000 housing units built under the former administration’s “Hiyaa” housing scheme.
Dr. Muizzu was involved in the housing scheme, initiated by the former administration of incarcerated former President Abdulla Yameen. He was tasked with leading the project.
Speaking to RaajjeMV, the ex-minister noted that he has been summoned for questioning and that he is to present himself to the Committee on National Development and Heritage at 11am on July 16. He stated that he is ready to fully cooperate with the committee, during questioning.
China State Construction Engineering Corporation Limited was tasked with the construction of 16 25-story towers under the “Hiyaa” scheme. An agreement was signed between the state and the company on July 20, 2016, to complete the project within two years. The construction work under the project commended on December 19, 2017.
The government of Maldives conducted the project after acquiring a loan of USD 434 million. Out of the 7,000 two-room apartments at the 16 25-story towers, the government is to issue just 6,720 flats to the people.
The ground floors of the towers will be used to conduct Quran classes, run shops, bookshops, security purposes as well as waste maintenance and administrative work.
The project drew public criticism, after photos and videos of what the apartments look like on the inside, began circulating among the people. Some citizens have voiced concern over the additional expenses as well as inadequate spaces at the flats. Recipients of the flats are required to lay tiles, install doors, ceiling fans as well as lights, electrical wiring and TV cables themselves.
Muizzu was summoned for questioning regarding police investigations following the Attorney General’s office having sought an in-depth investigation into the case of the state’s dispute with Noomadi Resorts and Residences.
He was also summoned to the People’s Majlis Public Accounts' Committee regarding a statement he gave, and he is accused of having provided false information during questioning.
Muizzu was the housing minister when the Noomadi agreement was terminated during ex-President Abdulla Yameen's regime citing “contractual violations”. Noomadi was contracted to develop housing units on several islands.
The state was ordered to reimburse a total of USD 55 million to Noomadi.