Under the helm of newly-elected President Dr Mohamed Muizz, the Maldives is witnessing a significant shift in its governance landscape, with a key announcement indicating a major alteration in the administration of municipal services. President Muizz took to a public platform to reveal that the cabinet has greenlit the transfer of Hulhumale's municipal services to the Male’ City Council, marking the initiation of this process from January 1, 2024.
While this decision might surprise some, it aligns with President Muizz's longstanding commitment, as outlined in the 2023 election manifesto. During campaign rallies, he underscored the need for this change, emphasizing that Hulhumale’ rightfully belongs to the residents of Male’ City. However, he noted a discrepancy in the current management of Hulhumale', asserting that it does not align with the preferences of Male’ City residents.
President Dr Muizz pointed out that, despite the legal stipulation that Hulhumale’ belongs to Male’ City residents, the current management entity, Urbanco, has deviated from legal frameworks, prompting the necessity for the forthcoming changes.
"A company does not think about the people. The company does not care about providing municipal services. The people are being treated the way the company wants, on a business basis," remarked President Dr. Muizz.
The implications of this shift are not limited to administrative changes; they extend to address major concerns voiced by citizens. Notably, the alteration in Hulhumale’s municipal services implies that any sale or lease of land in Hulhumale’ must now secure the consent of the council. This stipulation is enshrined in the law, requiring consultation and agreement by the council in such matters.
To facilitate a seamless transition, President Muizz assured that during the one-month transfer process involving office infrastructure, equipment, municipal land, and staff, employees will maintain their current remuneration for a year. This measure aims to mitigate potential disruptions and ensure continuity in service provision.
As the clock ticks towards the commencement of these transformative changes on January 1, 2024, the anticipation among residents is palpable. The shift in municipal oversight from Urbanco to the Male’ City Council is viewed as a pivotal moment, with the community holding its collective breath in hopes that this transition will finally usher in the positive changes long yearned for. The unfolding days will reveal whether this shift aligns with the collective aspirations and brings about the positive transformation that has been a prolonged desire within the Maldives community.