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ACC enters Male' City Council over corruption allegations

Ahmed Aiham
30 October 2019, MVT 15:26
On-going construction work of the public toilets at the park. PHOTO: NISHAN ALI / MIHAARU
Ahmed Aiham
30 October 2019, MVT 15:26

Anti-Corruption Commission on Wednesday entered Male' City Council to investigate allegations of corruption regarding the development of a public park on the South-East coast.

According to local media Mihaaru, certain members of the council on Tuesday highlighted corruption in the construction of on-site public toilets and a parking space.

The councillors added that development of the toilets were handed over to Amin Construction without a bidding process or a legal agreement, adding that construction of the facility commenced prior to an official green-light from the state.

While ACC confirmed an investigation into the matter, it is yet to reveal further information. Neither ACC nor the Council was available for comment.

Blowing the whistle on the alleged scandal, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)-aligned Maafannu North Councilor Mohamed Fazeen noted that multiple companies were contracted for the park and that development operations were being conducted without approval from the council. He also attested to a bid-less process in awarding the contracts to the companies, whilst claiming the council to have tampered with the agreement since the issue caught wind on local media.

Fazeen further noted that Male' City Mayor Aishath Shifa initially denied any expenditure borne by the council but later claimed that MVR 6 million was spent on the park. In addition, he claimed that Shifa is seeking an additional MVR 16 million for the project.

In response to the accusations, Mayor Shifa tweeted that three members of the council have attempted to, since the beginning, hinder and halt proceedings of the council.

According to the Public Finance Act, any project that costs over MVR 35,000 must be open for public tender and awarded through a competitive process.

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