The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has sought criminal charges against Malé City Mayor Shifa Mohamed.
The commission revealed that charges have been requested at the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) after concluding investigations into a case and having found evidence of corruption under Section 513(b) of the Maldives Penal Code which states that a person “commits the offense if he/she uses or influences official authority in his/her capacity as a public official, for the purpose of obtaining a benefit for himself/herself or for another person to which he/she is not entitled.
The offense is graded a Class 4 felony.
ACC found evidence that there was corruption in awarding the development of a public park in the Maldives capital city.
The development of ‘Adi Park’ located in Lonuziyaaraihkolhu region of Malé City includes two toilet stall rows, three huts, three entrance canopies, renovation of a lifeguard towers and the construction as well as installation of a garden bridge. The plantation of toilet stalls was completed by AMIN Construction Private Limited despite there being no evidence of paperwork and in the absence of a competitive process. It should be noted that the opportunity to select a contractor for the project was provided through a competitive and open bidding process.
At first, a quotation was obtained from AMIN Construction and a request was made for approval from the Finance Ministry as per the single source procurement method stated under Article 10.25 of the Public Finance Act. Having rejecting the request, the ministry sought the city council to seek approval from its bid committee.
Although the company had submitted three quotations after having been instructed to acquire approval through the bid committee, the project was still contracted to the company in the absence of the committee’s knowledge or that of the city council members.
ACC’s investigative report concludes that Mayor Shifa had granted the company, approval to mobilize the project under her authority as the mayor, despite the bid committee and city council not having approved the contractor then.
Shifa is accused of not making an attempt to halt the work despite having the power to do so.
Highlighting that a letter addressed to the mayor received by the city council on October 15, 2019 reads that a Sri Lankan company was willing to finance the development of toilet stalls, ACC stressed that the mayor had failed to notify the relevant authorities including the finance ministry, city council members, finance section of the council as well as the bid committee members that the project received free aid, in accordance with the Public Finance Act.