Corruption allegation: Extensive expenditure for health from Zakat Fund in election year

Ministry of Islamic Affairs. (Photo/PSM)

Statistics of Islamic Ministry showing an extensive expenditure from the Zakat Fund to cover medical expenses of the poor during the year 2019, in which the last parliamentary election was held, has prompted corruption allegations.

Central Maafannu MP Ibrahim Rasheed (Bonde), underscoring the use of Zakat Fund to cover medical expenses, requested details of the expenses.

A written response by Islamic Minister Dr. Ahmed Zahir Ali regarding Bonde’s inquiry read that Zakat Fund’s segment for the poor is utilized to cover the medical expenses of low-income individuals. In this regard, the Minister detailed that a total of MVR 36 million was incurred for the purpose in the years; 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Statistics shared by the Ministry show that MVR 22.6 million was utilized to cover medical expenses of low-income individuals in 2019. The amount was significantly lower in 2020 and 2021; MVR 6 million and MVR 7 million respectively. The total expenditure on medical expenses for these three years, therewith, amounts to MVR 36 million.

Speaking to Sun regarding the matter, Bonde pointed towards possible corruption due to the extensive expenditure from the Zakat Fund for medical expenses during the year the last parliamentary election took place.

Central Maafannu MP Ibrahim Rasheed. (Photo/Parliament)

“Zakat Fund is utilized for political purposes. Have received complaints of mostly party members and seldomly non-party individuals benefitting from the Fund,” he added.

Referring to the lower amount of money incurred from the Zakat Fund to cover medical expenses in the two years following the parliamentary elections – he emphasized on the high probability of corruption behind the scene.

However, Minister Zahir, in his response to Bonde, said medical expenses of low-income individuals are covered in accordance with the stipulated regulations.

Zakat Fund is also utilized to renovate mosques and finance education.