Councilors from A. A. Mathiveri have paid a visit to Speaker Mohamed Nasheed to air their grievances over the Tourism Ministry’s decision to lease the land which houses guesthouse Casa Mia Maldives to current leaseholder lawmaker Abdulla Jabir’s Rich Club Maldives for 50 years.
Tourism Ministry signed the lease of two properties at Mathiveri over to the Kaashidhoo lawmaker’s Rich Club Maldives on September 29, 2019.
Tourism Minister Ali Waheed insists that the lease agreements are legal and that Jabir wasn’t politically favored.
However, the decision to lease the 50-room Casa Mia Maldives property to Jabir hasn’t been well-received by Mathiveri residents.
Mathiveri Council president Ismail Athif told Sun that the main issue of contention was that the property had been leased to ‘outsiders’ without any income-generation mechanism for the council or local residents.
“We have no issue with property being leased to Jabir or Kasim. Our concern is that the Mathiveri residents are being denied substantial income through lease of one of this island’s properties. We want the agreement to be amended so the local residents can also profit,” said Athif.
Athif alleges Minister Ali Waheed signed the lease agreement for personal benefit – something which the minister vehemently denies. Ali Waheed had released details of the lease following the allegations last Tuesday.
Athif said Mathiveri councilors met with Nasheed voice their concerns and discuss a remedy this Wednesday.
According to Athif, Nasheed had promised to explore ways to find a remedy to the issue from within the Parliament.
Tourism Ministry says the Casa Mia Maldives property was leased for 50-years in accordance to article 2 (d) of the policy on establishing lease period for land for guesthouse development at residential islands through local councils.