Nishama Mohamed and Shiyama Mohamed, two Health Ministry deputies, were sacked on Tuesday after months of suspension following an audit that found irregularities in the Health Ministry’s COVID-19-related spending.
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih had ordered a joint investigation into the audit irregularities by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the Maldives Police Service. The two deputy ministers were placed on leave pending the results of the investigation.
The most significant irregularity found during the audit was an MVR 34.50 million contract awarded to UAE-based Executors General Trading to procure 75 ventilators for COVID-19 patients.
Shiyama signed the contract to procure ventilators after Nishama chaired the bid committee that reviewed and approved it.
The two deputies, along with many other top Health Ministry officials, were suspended. The two officials had been on paid leave for the past eight months, before their dismissal on Tuesday.
The government announced today that it would go to arbitration to recover the payment for the ventilators and that the contract with Executors General Trading will be terminated.