Corruption crackdown nabs 42

Getachew Ambaye

Over four billion birr involved

The Federal Police have arrested government officials, businessmen and some professionals from private companies this past week for an alleged four billion birr of loss inflicted on the government.
The arrests that began on Monday July 24, continued until the paper went to print on Saturday.
The anti corruption campaign focused on five government institutions included the Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation (MoFEC).
The information Capital obtained indicated that more than six MoFEC staff including some department heads and other four IT professionals were detained by police. On his latest press conference held on Saturday July 29 Getachew Ambaye, Attorney General, said that the number of arrested officials from MoFEC are six.
Totally 42 individuals were arrested from Addis Ababa City Roads Authority (AACRA), Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA), Sugar Corporation, Addis Ababa Housing Development Project Office and MoFEC.
Active and former top ranked individuals such as Fekade Haile (Eng.), former Director General of AACRA that was removed from the post a year ago, Gelaso Bore, former deputy head of ERA for Engineering Administration Finance who retired four years ago, Yeneneh Assefa, former head of Human Resource Department of ERA who left the post few years ago to engage in private work, Abdu Mohammed, former deputy head of ERA for Engineering Operation who left the post few years ago, Bekele Balcha, former manager of Arba Minch district of ERA who left for private work, Gebre Anania Tsadik, retired Operation deputy head of ERA, Assefa Baraki, retired and former head of International Purchasing at ERA, Bekele Niguse, former deputy head for planning at ERA who was assigned as the first head for the newly formed Federal Integrated Infrastructure Development Coordinating Agency were all arrested.
Bekele Niguse is the only active government employee from the corruption file under ERA.
The other individuals arrested in relation to the AACRA corruption case are Ahmed Hussein (Eng), and Wasihun Shiferaw (Eng), while the owner of Tidhar Construction Minash Levy, who is already under custody on tax evasion, is included on the corruption charge in relation to a road project in eastern Addis Ababa.
Active top employees of MoFEC, which has not been mentioned in corruption suspicion before, were also detained in the past few days.
The information from the government indicated that Mesfin Workneh, Director of Information System Administration Directorate of MoFEC, Mussa Mohammed, former deputy head of the Technology Project Office of MoFEC, Wasihun Abate, long serving Legal Department Head of MoFEC, Sihin Gobena, Head of Procurement, Getachew Negera and Aklog Demise (Lawyer) are the other individuals arrested from MoFEC in relation to the integrated financial management information systems (IFMIS) project.
Worku Abinet (PhD), Tamene Debalke and Yonas Merawi all employees of Techno Brain and former employees of Transnational Computer Technology, and Tamerat Amare, IPCOM Technology, are the other three non MoFEC staff arrested for corruption related to IT projects.
The damage stated in connection with the IFMIS project is 1.1 billion birr.
The Attorney General said that the officials at MoFEC have awarded the project without bid for Transnational Computer Technology. They have also awarded another project for the implementation of IFMIS on 125 government offices to Techno Brain, while it could be undertaken by local staffs.
The Addis Ababa Housing Development Project office former officials were also arrested. Saba Mekonnen, former Land Preparation and Infrastructure Design deputy head at the project office, Shimeles Alemayehu, Housing Coordination Administration Division head and Tsedale Mamo, former Head of the project office are among those who are suspected of corruption.
The individuals arrested from the Sugar Corporation are: Abebe Tesfaye, Cane Plantation deputy director, Yosef Begashaw, former head of Tendaho Sugar Factory, Bilelegn Tasew, Daniel Abebe, Housing Project Development head of Tendaho Sugar Factory, Efrem Alemayehu, Procurement deputy head at Sugar Corporation, Feleke Tadesse, former head of Tendaho Sugar Factory, Zelalem Belete, finance division head of Metehara Sugar Factory, and Efrem Desalegn, deputy director of Sugar Corporation, from Tendaho Sugar Factory, Zenebe Yemame, head of Metehara Sugar Factory, Asnake Mihret, Electric Engineering Department head, and Yemane Girmay Woner of the GYB Construction Company.
From Metehara Sugar Factory Endalkachew Girma, Hayelom Kebede, Senayet Worku, Ayenew Assefa, Belete Zelelew, who are international and local procurement division members have arrested.
In relation to Kuraz 5 Sugar factory Mesfin Melekamu, deputy head of the project, Salem Kebede, businesswoman and broker, Tsegaye Gebre Egziabeher, broker, Ferew Birhane, broker, and Ju Yu Kin, head of the Chinese construction company JJIEC, were arrested.
The government has agreed with the Chinese company to develop Kuraz 5 jointly.
The Attorney General said that there is corruption issue in related with the finance that the Chinese company come with USD 700 million from Chinese EXIM Bank. He said that for the approval of the finance at MoFEC brokers have been involved and got significant amount of money as a commission from the stated USD 700 million. JJIEC has also agreed to a joint venture ethanol manufacturing projects at Kuraz 1, 3 and 5.
In the case that Kuraz 5, individuals have been involved for the damage of 1.21 billion birr.