The corruption crackdown is gearing up as current and former officials continue to be arrested including the State Minister of Finance and Economic Cooperation.
By the time the paper went to print, over 50 people had been arrested over the past two weeks.
During its urgent meeting on Friday August 4, the parliament revoked the immunity of its member, Alemayehu Gujo, State Minister of Finance and Economic Cooperation (MoFEC), in response to the request of the Federal Attorney General.
According to Getachew Ambaye, Attorney General and member of the parliament, Alemayehu Gujo is suspected of corruption related to the integrated financial management information systems (IFMIS) project, renovation of the seventh and eighth floor of the ministry building and in connection with the supply of construction material for the Addis Ababa housing scheme.
Alemayehu Gujo, who attended the urgent parliament session, said that the issue would have been better, if the case is seen under a political and administrative manner. The parliament passed the Attorney General’s request with the one abstention that comes from Alemayehu himself.
The former state minister was arrested immediately at the end of the parliament session.
Some other top officials of MoFEC including 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 Demisie (Lawyer), were also arrested.
Former Director General of Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA), Zaid Woldegebriel, was also arrested as well.
He led the Authority from September 2003 until October 2014.
Zaid was assigned as Ethiopia’s permanent representative to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), in Montreal, Canada.
Sources said that Zaid returned back to Addis Ababa few weeks back.
This week more people, including Brigadier General Efrem Bange, were arrested in relation to suspected corruption at Kuraz 5 sugar project, and Kasaye Kachi, group leader at the Ethiopian Roads Construction Corporation was also arrested. Moreover Kiros Desta, Deputy Director General, Irrigation & Housing Infrastructure at Sugar Corporation was also arrested on Friday, August 4.
Last week former top managers including Gelaso Bore, former deputy head of ERA for Engineering Administration Finance who retired four years ago, Yeneneh Assefa, former head of the Human Resource Department of ERA who left the post a few years ago to engage in private work, Abdu Mohammed, former deputy head of ERA for Engineering Operation who left the post a 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 arrested in with the corruption scandal.
The latest anti-corruption dragnet has nabbed employees from ERA, MoFEC, the Sugar Corporation and the Addis Ababa Housing and Development Agency.