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State minister resigns over unaddressed corruption concerns

Shahudha Mohamed
23 June 2019, MVT 14:18
Former State Minister of Communication, Science and Technology Mohamed Shaafi'ee. PHOTO: MIHAARU FILES
Shahudha Mohamed
23 June 2019, MVT 14:18

State Minister of Communication, Science and Technology Mohamed Shaafiee, on Thursday, resigned from his position stating that the current government failed to eliminate corruption.

Shaafiee previously raised concerns against the government's decision to follow through on a health sector software project proposed during former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom's administration. He stated that the project could potentially enable corruption.

After a series of tweets raising questions regarding the issue, he publicly announced his resignation on Twitter claiming that the government refused to address his concerns.

"I saw no reason to keep drawing a salary when matters I escalated kept getting swept under the rug", he said.

Tweet by former State Minister of Communication, Science and Technology Mohamed Shaafi'ee

Following his resignation, Shaafiee published a blog post further detailing his concerns. He highlighted the failure of relevant authorities in disclosing details related to the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) component of the Dharumavatha Hospital project.

Additionally, the former state minister advised Technology Minister Mohamed Maleeh Jamal to terminate the Software Licensing Project (SLP), from President Yameen's administration, based on its performance history.

According to Shaafiee, he submitted a written request to the Ministry of Finance to investigate payments made by the government since 2016 for the five-year project.

"Ministry of Finance informed me that their team was going to refer the case to the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) and that further payments cannot be made until a thorough investigation was carried out. Nonetheless, Ministry of Finance released the fourth year's payment for the SLP this month."

Moreover, Shaafiee called out the administration's lack of focus on initiating scientific research and development programmes, claiming that his proposition to establish an agency devoted to advancing experimental research and development was ignored.

After his concerns about the aforementioned issues were ignored, Shaafiee claimed that he was refused admission to a floor of the National Centre for Information Technology (NCIT) building. He also alleged that department heads were instructed not to allow subordinates to discuss their work with him.

Shaafiee was appointed as Minister of State on December 23, 2018.

Prior to his resignation Shaafi'ee posed questions to the government on whether or not former President Yameen Abdul Gayoom was correct about corruption being integral to governance.

"If so, is zero tolerance a farce?"

The government of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih administration, on various occasions, reiterated the policy of zero tolerance to corruption. The ruling coalition vowed to halt all acts of corruption through any means necessary.

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