President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has claimed that the former government had brought old machinery to equip President Abdula Yameen Abdul Gayyoom's mega-project, Dharumavantha Hospital.
Speaking at a campaign event held on Monday night, the president said an exorbitant amount was spent to equip the 25-storey hospital. The dealings are tainted with corruption and treachery, the president accused.
Since before his presidency, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has been very vocal in his allegations that mass corruption was conducted in the construction of the new hospital. He has been claiming that the hospital was built at an outrageous and unreasonable price, with an exceedingly high equipment cost.
President Solih said the tallest building in the Maldives represented corruption and deceit. USD 140 million was spent on the building which could have easily been built with USD 54 million, according to the information he had received while he was a member of the parliament prior to his presidency, said President Solih.
USD 80 million was spent on procuring furniture and equipment, but what took place after that came to light only when the president met an advisor of the project, the president revealed.
"I met him in Singapore, he told me he was a consultant for the project. He told me, 'these are the reports I made when the bid was presented. I advised that the bid was not right, I told them that the building can be constructed with MBR 54 million, I advised them not to go ahead with the bid.' All these documents have been forwarded to me", he said.
"I later met the party who constructed the buildng, I asked them how they have contructed the building, I told them we are unable to bring in equipment into the building. When the equipment brought for the hospital are installed in their respective rooms, the doors could not be opened. Again, we had to spend more to install sliding doors. This was why I asked them how have they built this building", said the President.
Although the people who implemented the building project boasted that the equipment in the building would be the latest, most modern golden standard equipment, after taking the budget for equipment of this standard, they bought bulky old models that were not compact. The equipment that they procured would have cost around USD 23 million, the President said.
"These are the expenses they have made for the building. This was unacceptable to us. This is why we set out to prevent President Yameen from getting re-elected. The country can 'breathe easy' only when those who stole from the country are behind bars', said President Solih.
The president touched on the topic of the apartments built under "Hiyaa" housing scheme, and stated that the 9x9ft bedrooms in the apartments did not have the space to keep a wardrobe after installing a bed in the room. He cannot fathom how a family can live in these apartment, said the President.
"Just recently, I told the Economic Committee, let's demolish the buildings as they are useless. It would be better to construct new buildings, I told them. I do not know how a family can live in these apartments",he added.
The President recalled his promises to the people made before presidency, and reminded the people that he had promised to take back the funds that were stole from the state, and to provide housing for the citizens. He recalled his promise to take back the flats that were awarded to undeserving recipients, and the promise to give these flats to the rightful recipients. He reminded the people of his promise to assure the rights of the people, and the promise to provide basic services to the people equally. Several efforts were undertaken to fulfill these promises since he took Office, and much has been achieved to lighten the plight of the people within the past 90 days, the president said.
The president stressed the importance of a parliament majority for main-ruling MDP in order to fulfill the pledges made to the people.