President Maumoon reaffirms MRM’s confidence in Minister Zaha

Minister for the Ministry of Fisheries, Marine Resources and Agriculture, Zaha Waheed | Photo: Nishan Ali

Malé, Maldives – Former President and Interim President of Maldives Reform Movement (MRM) has said that the party has full confidence in Minister for the Ministry of Fisheries, Marine Resources and Agriculture, Zaha Waheed.

Former President Maumoon stated this in a tweet which he posted a short while ago following a no confidence motion which was filed against Minister Zaha with signatures of 10 parliamentarians from the opposition earlier today.

In his tweet, Former President Maumoon said that Minister Zaha was serving the fisheries industry and the fishermen with honor and distinction.

The motion was filed on March 10, 2021 with the votes of 10 Parliament Members, of which 8 signatures were by the MPs filling the seats on a Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) ticket, while the other two members are MP of Kaashidhoo constituency Abdullah Jabir and MP of Guraidhoo constituency Ibrahim Riza.

The motion detailed the cause of filing for a no confidence vote as failure to provide a fair price for fisherperson’s catch, and failure to arrange for those who go out to fish to receive payments in dollars. It was also added that the pledges to improve the economy of the country, and to establish yellow fin tuna huts and neighbourhood fish factories have also not been fulfilled.

Highlighting more government pledges, the motion stationed that while Minister Zaha is unable to perform her duties, her continued time in office would only prove to be detrimental to those working in the fishing industry and their families.

Minister Zaha has come under criticism of both ruling and opposition party parliamentarians since she took on office. Kaashidhoo MP, Abdulla Jabir, who also signed on Minister Zaha’s no confidence motion had questioned the minister on several occasions in parliament and criticized her on the ministries works to support fishermen of Maldives.

Member of Kaashidhoo constituency Abdulla Jabir had previously questioned Minister Zaha stating that the local fishermen left on the streets in dire conditions in contradiction to the presidential pledges to fishermen as the government has closed the doors for the benefits available to the them through the China-Maldives Free Trade Agreement.

He had also questioned why Minister Zaha has been idle and lie to the fishermen instead of working to deliver the presidential pledges as promised during the campaign.

In addition to this Parliament’s Regulations Committee had also found Minister Zaha neglectful of her duties earlier this year following its review of the failure of the Fisheries Ministry to create many of the regulations required under the Fisheries Act – regulations which must be established within 90 days of the legislature’s enactment. Speaker of Parliament, Nasheed had also said that Minister Zaha had failed as a minister and that the next step is clear reffering to a no-confidence.