Male’, Maldives – The People’s National Congress (PNC) Vice President Ibrahim Shujau has said in an interview to “Sun” that no actions have been taken against Male’ City Mayor Mohamed by the Local Government Authority (LGA) even though her corruption case has been sent the Prosecutor General’s (PG) office, and that this is a clear case of discrimination between islanders and the “Male’ Royal Family”.
Opposition VP Shujau’s remarks come after the recent indefinite suspension of Ha. Utheem Council President Abdhulla Rasheed by the LGA. He said the Rasheed was suspended without a chance to refute claims against him by the LGA and that LGA has not even begun investigations into complaints against Rasheed. Shujau says that in contrast, while the Anti Corruption Commission has concluded that Mayor Shifa has “stolen from government” and the case has been submitted to PG, LGA has not suspended her.
Shujau has said the LGA CEO is the current Deputy General Secretary of the ruling party Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) Fathimath Afshan Lathee, and that he doubts the integrity of the authority.
“After ACC sent in the Male’ Mayor’s case was submitted to PG, didn’t MDP members say that Shifa is not a person that would steal? How do you assume that just by looking at someone’s face? PG had to eventually send the case back for review, where is the equality promised by this government? Where is the promise of not to discriminate specific islands and councils” Shujau stated in his interview to “Sun”.
Corruption allegations against Mayor Shifa come after ACC said that some construction work in Lonuziyaaraiyh was planned to be contracted after a competitive bidding process, but was done by Ameen Construction without such a process and without proper documentation and transparency.
“We noticed that no party was selected by either Male’ City Council or bid committee for the construction work, such work can only be approved by the Council or the president (mayor) of council, who is Mayor Shifa Mohamed. Our investigation has shown that Mayor Shifa gave the go ahead for the project to start. In addition to this, our investigation also highlights that while construction was going on, she had the authority to stop the project, which she did not” ACC has told.
Utheem Council President Abdhulla Rasheed was informed of his suspension via a letter sent by LGA explaining that during a LGA meeting on 8th November, it was decided that allegations against Rasheed are to be investigated and until the investigation and possible prosecution is completed, he is suspended. LGA has said that they have received 11 complaints regarding Abdhulla Rasheed and have given him until 14:00 of the 24th of November to respond to these allegations.