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ACC requests charges against Mayor Shifa over corruption

Ahmed Aiham
30 September 2020, MVT 14:10
An aerial view of the newly built public park on the South-East end of Male', adjacent to the Sinamale' Bridge. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEED / MIHAARU
Ahmed Aiham
30 September 2020, MVT 14:10

Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) on Tuesday, requested the Prosecutor General's Office (PG) to file charges against Male' City Mayor Shifa Mohamed over allegations of corruption regarding the development of a park in the South-East coast of Male'.

The ACC-led investigations concluded that the construction of on-site public toilets were handed over to Amin Construction without a bidding process or a legal agreement, and alleged that the construction of the facility commenced prior to receiving an official green-light from the state.

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)-aligned Maafannu North Councilor Mohamed Fazeen first blew the whistle on the alleged scandal in October 2019. He noted that multiple companies were contracted for the park and that development operations were being conducted without approval from the council.

Councilor Fazeen 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.

Further, ACC also found that a Sri Lankan company had written to Shifa, noting their interest to invest in the construction of the two toilets. However, the the company did not specifically request for a specific company to award the project.

Additional documents revealed that Male' City Council had requested the Council's bid committee to select a contractor at a time when construction of the toilets had already begun.

As per the Public Finance Act, any project that costs over MVR 35,000 must be open for public tender and awarded through a competitive process. Shifa had previously confirmed that the project costed millions.

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