Trying to remove members after each decision is obstruction to autonomy: ACC

President of Anti Corruptions Commission of Maldives (ACC), Mariyam Shiuna | Photo: Nishan Ali

Malé, Maldives – President of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Mariyam Shiuna has stated that if every decision of the ACC leads to the call for no confidence of the members or resignation from their jobs, then their autonomy and independence given by the constitution is not there.

Following the Prosecutor General’s office decision to uphold their earlier stand on to not go ahead with the prosecution of the people involved in the corruption case of purchasing 142 ventilators by Health Ministry in 2020, stating that there was no new reason for changing PGs earlier stance on the case, Former President and Speaker of Parliament, Mohamed Nasheed, had called for the resignation of Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem, as well as the President of the ACC, Shiuna.

While the majority of the Parliament Group of Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) were against her removal in the vote taken today, ACC President, Shiuna had stated in today press conference that after she took this job, there had been countless of times that the members of the ACC had to go through threats of no confidence votes and discussions of their removal from the job.

We are deeply disheartened by this. If the outcome of every problem that we try to solve leads to us being removed from our jobs, then continuing with this work would be very difficult. We believe that this is a barrier against the freedom of ACC’s work

Mariyam Shiuna, President of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC)

Shiuna also added that not all cases can be solved perfectly, and that in resolving a problem, different opinions are not a matter. She further added that the PG will decide whether or not to prosecute the case, or to review the case all over again based on the evidence and their evaluations if the case can be tried at a court of law.

There are things we can agree or disagree with the PG. It goes back and forth.

Mariyam Shiuna, President of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC)

Shiuna said that she does not take these criticisms personally, and that in such major cases, criticism is actually very useful.

The agreements were made between Executors General Trading LLC for 75 ventilators, MedTech Maldives Pvt Ltd for 50 ventilators and with Naadu Pvt Ltd to acquire 24 ventilators.

Following a joint investigation by the ACC and Maldives Police Service, it was revealed that former Minister of Health Abdulla Ameen and 11 employees of the ministry were involved with the expenditure of over MVR 30 million in violation of the Public Finance Act.

While the then Health Minister Abdullah Ameen resigned from office after the matter hit headlines, 15 ventilators have since arrived. However, the new Health Minister Ahmed Naseem has said that there is no hope for any of the remaining ventilators to be received by the Maldives.