Mayor of Male’ to be charged with corruption

Mayor of Male' City Council | Photo: President's Office

Male’, Maldives – Anti Corruption Commission of Maldives (ACC) has filed with the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) of Maldives to charge the Mayor of Male’, Shifa Mohamed with corruption.

ACC detailed that it has been requested to charge Shifa with committing an act of corruption as stated in section 513, part (b) of the Penal Code.

It has been revealed that the matter is with regards to the investigation carried out by ACC over the park developed by Male’ City Council, near Lonu Ziyaaraiykolhu, known as the ‘Adi Park’.

Among the main points highlighted by ACC, it was noted that Amin Construction Pvt Ltd had completed the work of two sets of toilets at the park out of all the construction work required for the park, which were two sets of toilets, three huts, three entrance canopies, renovation of the life guard tower, and the construction and installment of a garden bridge. However, while it was found by ACC that the task could have been handed over through a transparent and competitive bid, the work was assigned to the company outside of transparent and competitive regulations as well with without documentation.

In this regard, the Council is claimed to have tried to award the project to Amin Construction through single source procurement, which was rejected by the Ministry of Finance and in return, instructed to go through a bid process via the bid committee of the country. In compliance, the Council is reported to have collected and submitted the required quotations to the committee, however, awarded the project to the company without the knowledge of the bid committee.

ACC further divulged that the investigation shed light on the fact that while the work was not awarded by the council or the bid committee, work at the cite could only have been authorized by the council, or the highest authority of the council, which is Mayor Shifa. It was revealed that the authorization was granted by Mayor Shifa herself, and that while she had the authority to put a stop to the work, she had failed to do so.

In addition to this, while a Sri Lankan company had sent a letter to the Council addressed to Mayor Shifa, stating that the company would bare the cost of of the two sets of toilets, it has been found out that the company did not specify the party to which the project should be awarded, says ACC.

Further, it was also revealed that Mayor Shifa failed to share with the Ministry of Finance, members of Male’ City Council, members of the bid committee and the finance section of Male’ City Council, that free aid was proposed to the council, while any such donations are considered as income to the government and must be dealt with as stated in the procurement regulations of the government.

In light of this, ACC’s investigation found that Shifa attempted to provide undue benefit for Amin Construction, and hence, the issue has been forwarded to the PG Office.