151 million somoni (equivalent to some 16 million U.S. dollars) have been embezzled during the construction of the “Istiqlol” Medical Center in Dushanbe, President Emomali Rahmon noted on May 10 while addressing senior representatives of the country’s fiscal agencies (Tax Committee and Customs Service) and banks in Dushanbe.  

The head of state noted that misappropriation of funds had already been revealed during the construction works.

According to him, auditors of the Accounting Chamber received 250,000 U.S. dollars for concealing embezzlement of funds.

“All persons involved in this corruption-related crime should be brought to justice,” the president said, noting that ten modern schools could be built for 151 million somoni.

Recall, the “Istiqlol” Medical Center was officially introduced into operation on March 4, 2016.   

The hospital with a total of 650 beds and a polyclinic that can handle 800 visitors per shift is located in Dushanbe’s Firdavsi district between the Republican Diagnostic Center and the Sultoni Kabir Market.

President Emomali Rahmon laid the cornerstone of this medical center on September 6, 2011 and it was finished in early May 2015. .

Settled upon a 10-ha area, the center is provided with the state-of-the-art medical equipment.   A total cost of this project is reportedly more than 706 million somoni. 

In April 2017, a senior official of the Dushanbe Administration – Saidsharif Anvarov – and two top managers of Tojikkolkhozsokhtmon (building constructor) – Fazzliddin Mahmoudov and Firouz Rahmonov -- got lengthy jail terms for embezzlement of state funds during the construction of the “Istiqlol” Medical Center. 

Besides, a number of anticorruption officers were arrested in 2017 in connection of embezzlement of state funds during the construction of the “Istiqlol” Medical Center.  

Recall, senior officers of the anticorruption agency noted on January 27, 2017 that a preliminary investigation had been launched into possible embezzlement of state funds by staff members during Ubaidulloyev's long tenure as mayor of the capital.

The investigation was reportedly launched after the agency received complaints from several Dushanbe residents who suspected that state funds allocated for the construction of apartment blocks were misused.

On February 15, 2017, President Emomali Rahmon met with senior representatives of the Dushanbe Administration.  Rahmon, in particular, ordered the anticorruption agency to investigate the use of budgetary funds of the country and Dushanbe allocated for construction of residential buildings.   

The president told the meeting that some 100 million U.S. dollars had been misspent in the construction of the “Dushanbe Plaza” Complex and “Istiqlol” Medical Center.

Concerning funds earmarked for the completion of state-run urban facilities, President Rahmon said that the Dushanbe mayor’s office investigations had revealed that out of a total of 677 million somoni (equivalent to 85 million U.S. dollars) spent on completing 18 separate facilities, around 55 million somoni had been “used improperly.”  An investigation into what happened to this cash should be completed by the anticorruption agency by July, he said.

Another area of investigation has concerned the government’s “Affordable Housing” project.  This initiative, supported by the Dushanbe mayor’s office, was launched in 2013 and was supposed to lead to the hard-up families moving into new homes by September 2015.  But building work was serially delayed, causing alarm among hopeful homebuyers that had put down deposits.

The head of state also ordered the Dushanbe administration to give the process of implementation of construction works and targeted use of budgetary funds under its strict control.

President Emomali Rahmon appointed his son Rustam Emomali as mayor of Dushanbe on January 12, 2017.  Rustam Emomali replaced Mahmadsaid Ubaidulloyev, who was mayor for 19 years.