CORRUPTION CRACKDOWN – By Tamiru Tsige

In what could be considered to be a major crackdown on corruption in the past few years, the Federal and Addis Ababa Police have apprehend some 39 government officials, brokers and businesspersons in the middle of the week and charged them with corruption, which involves more than 1.15 billion birr.

The detainees appeared before the Federal High Court Lideta Bench on Thursday and the investigators of the Federal Police and the Attorney General has been granted 14-day extension to conclude their investigation and level formal charges on the suspects.

This corruption operation is said to be instigated mostly by the reports of the Federal and the Addis Ababa Auditor Generals who have presented their reports to the Parliament and the City Council, respectively, months before alleging billions of taxpayers’ money being spent without proper documentation and following the procurement rules and regulations.

The list of detainees incorporated personalities like Fikade Haile (Eng.), former director general of the Addis Ababa City Roads Authority (AACRA) and two others from the same institutions including an Israeli Contractor Minash Levi, owner of Tidhar Construction. All in all, the suspects from AACRA are charged for 198 million birr.

On the other hand, ACCRA’s national counterpart Ethiopian Roads Authority also saw Bekele Negussie former deputy director general at the Authority and currently appointed to lead the newly established Infrastructure Coordination Authority as the most recognized name for an alleged embezzlement of 646.9 million birr along with his assailants. Meanwhile, from Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation, Wasihun Abate, head of the legal department of the Ministry for many years is another recognizable face from the list of the detainees. Also from MoFEC, Musa Mohammed is also among those who have held high position at the Ministry before he was arrested for corruption.

Apart from that, heads of finance and procurement departments at Methara and Tendaho Sugar Factories and officials from the Omo Kuraz V Sugar Project, which is yet to operational, are also included on the list.

Below is the list of all officials, individuals and brokers under custody:

Addis Ababa City Roads Authority
1. Engineer Fekade Haile
2. Engineer Washihun Shiferaw
3. Engineer Ahmedin Buser
4. Minash Levi, Tidhar Construction
Damages of more than 198.8 million birr
Ethiopian Roads Authority
5. Abdo Mohammed
6. Bekele Nigussie
7. Gelana Bori
8. Yeneneh Assefa
9. Bekele Balcha
10. Gebreanania Tsadik
Damages of more than 646.9 million birr
Metehara Sugar Factory
11. Endalkachew Girma
12. Senait Worku
13. Ayenew Asfaw
14. Belete Zelelew
Damages of more than 13 million birr
Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation
15. Musa Mohammed
16. Mesfin Workneh
17. Wassihun Abate
18. Seyoum Gobena
19. Tamrat Amare
20. Aklog Demissie
21. Getachew Negera

Non-staff but affiliated with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation
22. Worku Abinet (PhD)
23. Tamiru Debalke
24. Yonas Merawi
Damages of more than 51.2 million birr
Tendaho Sugar Factory
25. Abebe Tesfaye
26. Bililign Tassew
Damages of more than 31.3 million birr
27. Abebe Tesfaye
28. Yemane Girmay (GYB Construction)
29. Daniel Abebe
Damages of more than 20 million birr
30. Feleke Tadesse
31. Ephrem Tadesse
Damages of more than 10 million birr
Omo Kuraz V Sugar Factory 
32. Mesfin Melkamu
33. Solomon Kebede
34. Gi Yon (General Manager of GGEIC, a Chinese contractor)
35. Tsegaye Gebreigziabher Berhane

36. Salem Kebede
Damages of more than 184.4 million birr

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