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Akram claims ACC allegations are 'tainted with politics'

Mariyath Mohamed
30 November 2023, MVT 11:34
Former MNPHI State Minister Akram Kamaluddeen previously speaking at a press conference.-- Photo: Nishan Ali / Mihaaru
Mariyath Mohamed
30 November 2023, MVT 11:34

Former State Minister of National Planning, Housing and Infrastructure, Akram Kamaluddeen, who chaired the committee on land plots and flats, has denied Anti Corruption Commission (ACC)'s claims that ineligible recipients were wrongfully allocated higher scores in order to grant them flats.

Akram described the ACC's comments as being politically motivated.

In a post he made on social media X, Akram explained that to be eligible for flats, applicants do not need to be working in Male' itself, but that they can be eligible even if they work in a resort or another island as long as their spouse and children reside in the capital.

In contrast to this statement from Akram, the published criteria for the Gedhoruveriya Housing Scheme specifies clearly that applicants must have lived in Male' for a consecutive period of no less than fifteen years.

In his post, Akram went on to claim that it is impossible to grant more points to someone and make them eligible for flats when they are deemed ineligible from their initial application.

"ACC's allegations are tainted by politics. The fact that they publicized these comments without conducting a complete investigation into the matter shows that," he stated.

"There is no system score and verification score. The system will show the options chosen by the applicant. The verifier will vet the information provided on the application and check if the correct options have been chosen. If it is incorrect, the verifier will decide on an option after referring to information provided on the form," the former State Minister explained.

Questioned by the Parliament's Committee on Independent Institutions on the ACC's order to halt issuance of flats, the ACC stated that they had detected instances where those deemed ineligible on the flat issuance portal were later made eligible through changes brought to their scores by the supervising staff.

ACC Vice President AbduSalam said that the Housing Ministry's portal gathers all the documentation related to an application and automatically generates the scores. He said that later on, those approving the scores, or supervising the approval of scores, had brought about their own changes to the scores.

As an example, Salam related a case where a person who does not have children, a fact verified through the DNR data, was later given extra scores by an approval officer who falsely claimed they did have a child.

In addition to this, there were several cases where persons were deemed eligible for flats despite documentation clearly proving they do not reside in Male'. He said that persons such as this have also been deemed eligible and granted flats.

Salam stated that the investigation team had checked whether these issues had been corrected before the ministry published the permanent list of flat recipients. He said that no such corrections had been made, which caused the ACC to intervene and order a cessation on the flat issuance.