Shiyama and Nishama on paid suspension over ventilator contract fired

Former Deputy Health Ministers Nishama Mohamed (on the right) and Shiyama Mohamed (on the left) | Photo: Health Ministry

Malé, Maldives – Two of the suspended employees of the Health Ministry that were involved with the expenditure of over MVR 30 million in violation of the Public Finance Act due to the ventilator case, former Deputy Health Ministers Nishama Mohamed and Shiyama Mohamed were dismissed today.

Nishama was the Bid Committee’s Chairperson. Shiyama had signed the ventilator contract.

The former Minister of Health Abdulla Ameen and 11 employees of the ministry were suspended on August 17, last year due to the ventilator corruption.

Deputy Ministers have a salary of MVR 35,500 of which MVR 20,500 is basic salary and MVR 15,000 is allowance. Up until now, Nishama and Shiyama were suspended with full salary being given for eight months. This is over MVR 200,000 given to each person, after suspension.

They were suspended until the joint investigation by the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) and Maldives Police Service, made due to the Health Ministry’s audit report, was concluded.

The Bid Committee’s four members, which included Nishama, as they had decided to buy the ventilators from some company without doing their due diligence and technical evaluation under the Public Finance Act, and because the Bid Committee had not received a quotation named “Executor’s General Trading”, but had initially received and evaluated a quotation under Dr. Ali Tukmatchy, which was renamed later after the Dubai company. ACC contemplated that the Bid Committee did this to give the project to Dr. Ali.

The Bid Committee members are to be investigated under the Article 512(a)(1) and Article 513(b) of the Penal Code.

The case of 75 ventilators which the government had paid MVR 30.91 million to Dubai’s Executors General Trading LLC, was refused by the Prosecutor General two times. While many were criticising his decision, the PG decided to review the case when new evidences came to light.

In a press release today, the Attorney General’s Office stated that the Maldives Health Ministry has sent a termination notice to Dubai-based Executors General Trading on 2 May 2021 for inability to supply ventilators as per agreement. The government has decided to go into arbitration if the company does not comply with their demands and refuses to issue compensation for damages due to agreement non compliance.