Rabat - The government is refusing to provide more information about the sale of state-owned land at least a 90 percent discount to up to 65 governmental officials. These officials include former ministers, and high-ranking diplomats
Rabat – The government is refusing to provide more information about the sale of state-owned land at least a 90 percent discount to up to 65 governmental officials. These officials include former ministers, and high-ranking diplomats
Controversy over the recent cheap sale of state-owned land in the upscale district of Zaer Road in Rabat to the wali (governor) of the capital led to the revelation that this practice is widespread in the Moroccan government.
Wali Abdelouafi Laftit of Rabat bought 3,755 square meters of state-owned land in the upscale Zair district for 350 dirhams per square meter, a price far below the 4,000 dirhams per square meter average in the area estimated by the Administration of Tax and Revenue. Politicians and social network users across Morocco protested this sale as an example of political corruption
Responding to the initial controversy over the Wali Laftit’s purchase, Minister of the Interior Mohamad Hassad and Minister of Finance Mohammed Boussaid released a joined communiqué justifying the state’s sale.
According to their explanation, Wali Laftit, who has been the governor of the Rabat-Salé-Kénitra region since 2014, purchased land specifically set aside for civil servants by a decree from the Prime Minister in 1995. They stated that this decree also fixed the low price of the land. Furthermore, their statement claimed that a “political party” –presumably, the PJD – was using the land sale to damage the reputation of the Wali as the fall’s elections approach.
Following the Ministries’ response, news outlets Hespress and Lakome released evidence that other high-ranking officials –including Minister Hassad and Minister Boussaid – had benefited from the land sales as well. Lakome revealed a list of other officials who had purchased the land at the heavily discounted price on Monday.
This morning, the National Agency of Land Conservation and mapping (ANCFCC) shut down its search service that allows users to obtain information about land titles. Rachid Tajmouati, director of ANCFCC, told Telquel that the blockage was due to a systems crash and was unrelated to the current controversy. As of press time, the agency did not respond to Morocco World News’s request for comment.
Today, the government refused to answer questions regarding the sales in Parliament
On Tuesday, Lakome published another list of governmental officials that purchased the discounted land, although the list could not be fact-checked due to the shutdown of the ANCFCC database.