Capital Ethiopia Newspaper

Two officials sentenced for corruption

The Federal High court gave stiff prison sentences to two individuals accused of committing corruption by the Federal Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (FEACC).

Mohammed Demsess, former chief of Hawassa University properties and goods supervision at the main office had been charged with preparing and utilizing a forged governmental document in order to facilitate the purchase of unescessary  20,850 baker glasses for the Wondogenet forestry and Natural Resources College, costing the Ethiopian government about 537,326 birr. Mohammed was charged, tried and convicted in absentia.

Dagnachew Gemeda, former supervising auditor for people in the highest tax bracket for the Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority (ERCA) was convicted of neglecting his role and duty and causing damages through fraud. The charge instituted by FEACC described how Dagnachew, in the span of the two years, 2004-2006, failed to accurately report the tax arrears of the Green Land Private Limited Company. He conspired with a Green Land P.L.C representative to lower the amount of tax debt accrued by the company.

Instead of auditing the company’s taxes professionally, he lowered the tax arrears the government was supposed to receive from the company from 6.9 million birr to 2.6 million birr, and eventually even lower to 1.8 million birr in return for a 700,000 birr kick back.

The suspect later decreased the amount of money he asked for,  to 600,000 birr, but upon proceeding to receive the money on August 23, 2010 for his illicit service, he was caught red handed. As a result, a charge was filed against him at the federal high court first criminal bench where he was convicted and subsequently sentenced on June 6, to six years rigorous imprisonment and fined 200,000 birr.