Zaha Waheed has been dismissed from her post as Minister of Fisheries, Marine Resources and Agriculture.
RaajjeMV understands that President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih dismissed Zaha from her ministerial position at around 10:30 on Monday night. Zaha was informed of her dismissal through a phone call by the President’s Office Chief of Staff Ali Zahir.
Sources have reported that this comes in line with the president's decision to appoint Zaha as a minister at the President’s Office.
Maldives Reform Movement (MRM)’s President and Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom has also confirmed Zaha’s dismissal. Zaha is a member of the party.
At a time several changes are being brought to the cabinet positions, the president has stressed that some cabinet members are not cooperating with the government. Discussions have since been held with coalition leaders.
Speaking during a press briefing on Monday night, the President’s Office Spokesperson Mabrook Aziz also revealed that the president had decided to bring changes to some ministries as well as the cabinet owing to concerns risen by the people after the Local Council and Women’s Development Committee Elections.
Zaha’s dismissal comes at a time she has been targeted with criticism in light of claims that she had failed to adequately fulfil her ministerial duties.
On March 10, the opposition submitted a no-confidence motion against the minister, with 10 members representing the opposition coalition of the country backing the motion. The next day, the parliament issued her a two-weeks’ notice before the debate on the motion begins.
The opposition members claim that Zaha, in her position as fisheries minister, had failed to deliver the government’s pledges for the sector as well as promoting the industry. Further, they claimed that Zaha has been irresponsible in fulfilling her responsibilities for the sector, noting that her remaining in the position would prove to be impractical for fishermen and their families across the nation.
According to the opposition, the ministry has failed to act on the government’s pledges or conduct any activities to promote the sector and to pave way to increase value for fishermen’s catch and increase their earnings.
A minimum of 10 signatures are required to submit no-confidence motions against a cabinet member and the People’s Majlis may oust a member of the cabinet of minister through the votes of 43 parliamentarians.
Zaha was earlier summoned to parliament for questioning after claims of failure to establish required regulations under the new Fisheries Act.