Finance Controller at the Ministry of Finance and Treasury, Ahmed Assad, resigned yesterday after attempts were made by MP ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik to exert undue influence over the senior government official, claims Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Mohamed Musthafa.
In a text message circulated to several media outlets, Musthafa alleged that several “capable professionals and technocrats” were quitting the MDP government in protest of acting chairperson Moosa’s outsize influence and “corrupt dealings” for personal gain.
Speaking to Minivan News today, Musthafa claimed Moosa had asked Assad for Rf5 to 6 million (US$320,000-390,000) to complete a project awarded to Moosa’s company Heavy Load Maldives to construct the jetty off the island of Kumundhu in Shaviyani Atoll.
Assad was unavailable for comment today as his mobile phone was switched off.
“Assad refused to issue the money and he went into a quarrel with Moosa and Moosa attempted to use his position and authority to exert influence over him,” Musthafa alleged. “He also tried to influence Abdulla Ziyadh, civil engineer of Works Corporation and tried to collect money for a Heavy Load project before it was completed. They completed 20 percent of the work and asked him to pay for 70 percent of work.”
Ziyadh had resigned from his post at the Works Corporation under the Housing Ministry in the wake of the incident, Musthafa claimed.
“Moosa has also taken Rf4 million (US$260,000) worth of oil for credit from Fuel Supply Maldives (FSM) and tried to get more oil for credit without paying for the oil he purchased earlier,” he alleged.
Musthafa said he planned to submit an amendment to the MDP charter to ensure that a businessman could not hold the post of chairperson.
Responding to remarks made by Moosa in the local media that Musthafa was “using my name to gain fame for himself,” Musthafa said: “,I ‘Seafood Musthafa’, was more famous and a millionaire in this country when Moosa was riding a bicycle around Henveiru.”
Contacted for a comment today, MP Moosa Manik said he did not wish to comment on the issue.
Meanwhile, President’s Press Secretary Mohamed Zuhair said Assad had not divulged the reason for his decision to leave the government in his resignation letter.
“Unless he confirms the allegations, I would say that is just political speculation and theories,” said Zuhair, referring to Musthafa’s allegations.