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Page added on May 24, 2012

Housing Ministry takes dispute with MCC to Human Rights Commission

Housing Ministry takes dispute with MCC to Human Rights Commission thumbnail

The Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure has decided to involve the Human rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM) in its ongoing feud with Male’ City Council (MCC).

The ministry has forwarded a case to police as well as the HRCM in relation to its civil servants who have been assigned to work at the Dharubaaruge conference center.

President of the HRCM Mariyam Azra confirmed that a complaint had been received today regarding the right to work of these civil servants. She said that the HRCM will work with the CSC to resolve the issue.

In one of a series of jurisdictional disputes in the capital, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) informed the MCC in April that its Dharubaaruge staff had been transferred to the Housing Ministry following a cabinet decision to transfer the conference centre to the central government.

Upon receiving the letter, the MCC sent all members of staff home and locked the doors to the conference centre.

This prompted a swift response from Housing Minister Dr Mohamed Muiz who declared that the centre had been closed unlawfully. Police were sent in and the centre forcefully reopened.

Dr Muiz told Sun Online that Housing Ministry staff had been arriving for work at the conference centre since mid-April and being forced to stand outside as the MCC refuses to accept the legality of the transfer of ownership.

The minister argued that this situation contravened the workers human rights.

“Eighteen civil service employees of Dharubaaruge have to stay out in the sun every day after reporting to work. They can’t enter Dharubaaruge to work. So whether it’s City Council or another institution, they are denying these employees their rights,” Muiz told Sun.

MCC Councillor Mohamed Abdul Kareem denied that this was the case and said that the MCC had made interim arrangements with the CSC.

“No, they are not waiting outside, they are working at the Housing Ministry. We have arranged a temporary permit with the CSC to use our civil servants in the Dharubaaruge until the legal dispute is resolved,” said Kareem.

Mohamed Fahmy Hassan, Chairman of the CSC said that there was no prospect of Housing Ministry staff gaining access to the building until the MCC had agreed to the transfer and a full inventory of the facilities and equipment had been conducted.

“We have instructed the Ministry of Housing to make arrangements for staff to sign up and go home until the situation with the MCC is dealt with,” said Fahmy, though he was unsure whether these instruction had been carried out.

The legal battle between the MCC and the government continued to smoulder this week as the police, responding to a request from the Home Ministry, requested an order from the Criminal Court to dismantle the Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) Usfasgandu protest area.

This area was one of 32 plots of land given over to the MCC as part of the 2010 decentralisation act and was reclaimed by the Housing Ministry on May 9 after its warnings for political activities in the area to cease went unheeded.

After some deliberation, as well as pleas from the MCC, the Criminal Court decided that this Usfasgandu did not fall under its remit, leaving the police to consider its next move.

The Ministry has Housing and Environment was this week renamed the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure following the creation of the Ministry of Environment and Energy.

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5 Comments on "Housing Ministry takes dispute with MCC to Human Rights Commission"

  1. Ali Shiyam on Thu, 24th May 2012 6:50 PM 

    Very good. Why not include Thoddu Bandiyaa Group as well.

  2. Ibrahim Mohamed on Thu, 24th May 2012 8:08 PM 

    Arent the people assembling the Usfasgandu ciizens with rights.What about their rights of peaceful assembly assured by COnstitution.Perplexed by the politicization of HRCM

  3. tsk tsk on Thu, 24th May 2012 9:57 PM 

    Minivan has presented the MDP’s angle well. That is of course its primary objective as a paper owned by MDP financiers.

    As commentators we play the role of providing an additional angle to the bias.

    For example this article fails to mention that;

    1. The Male City Council or MCC as Minivan has put it, has provided permission for the opposition MDP to conduct their political activities on public lands for 3 consecutive months.
    2. Providing such exclusive possession of public lands for more than 24 hours has never been the practice in the country.

    3. During their exclusive occupation of the area, the opposition MDP has made permanent constructs on the land including a jetty without planning permits or proper Environmental assessments.
    4. The Dharubaaruge Convention Center was also provided to MDP members and supporters for two months end during which the place, where private and public functions of a formal nature are held, was used a boarding house for MDP activists where they showered, bathed and slept.

    5. Our infant local governance system is plagued with problems such as a misunderstanding on the part of municipal councils regarding their role within the government. While the Maldives is a unitary state, some elected councilors have shown that they do not grasp the restrictions on their activities which must be in line with overall government policy.

    6. For the sake of political gains, our political parties have turned local councils into warring factions thereby throwing the whole system into disrepute and threatening an ambitious initiative in it’s very infancy.

    7. However the Local Government Authority (the regulatory body overseeing the work of councils) has announced plans to work with the UNDP to reform the system.

    8. The Male City Council has failed to perform even rudimentary everyday duties under its mandate including waste management, maintenance of roads and drains etc. etc.

  4. mode on Sat, 26th May 2012 7:28 PM 

    tsp well said .

    It is illegal for them to give those public lands on FOC for any one including MDP.

    This is pure corruption and people responsible need to put before the court.

    Male’ city council need is suing public money to promote their party and ignoring thier moral responsibilities.

  5. Ilyas Ahmed on Sun, 27th May 2012 8:25 AM 

    18 civil service employees at Dharubaaruge alone!

    I would love to know the breakdown of these positions. This is just one example of how government (Maumoon, Anni or Waheed’s) wastes State funds by over staffing.

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