Ethiopia Charges Former Head of State Electricity Firm, Others With Corruption

By Reuters

ADDIS ABABA — Ethiopia on Friday charged the former head of the state electricity company and the former deputy head of military-run industrial conglomerate METEC with corruption in relation to the giant hydroelectric dam the country is building.

Azeb Asnake and Mulu Woldegebriel were charged in relation to a 5.1 billion Ethiopian birr (about $159 million) contract awarded to METEC to clear a forest area where water from the dam on the Nile River is planned to flow, Attorney General office spokesman Zinabu Tunu told Reuters.

At least half of the money was wasted and the contract was never finalised, he said.

Azeb is the former CEO of Ethiopian Electric Power and Mulu is the former deputy head of METEC.

Azeb did not respond to phone calls seeking comment after Friday’s announcement by the attorney general’s office. Mulu, previously charged in a separate corruption case involving METEC, is in jail awaiting trial in that case.

Nearly 50 other people, some of them former METEC officials and others employees of private companies involved in the contract, were charged along with the two senior officials, the spokesman said.

The case is the latest probe into graft by the government led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who took office last year vowing to clean up state-owned firms and the military.

He cancelled many METEC contracts, including one related to the nearly $5 billion Grand Renaissance Dam.

(Reporting by Dawit Endeshaw; Editing by Maggie Fick and Mark Potter)


  1. I prefer to wait until the detail of the charges is made public and how this female engineer is implicated. The sudden charges against her make me wonder a lot. Was it her choice to remain passive of all what was going on around her that brought these charges against her? I can imagine with all the hordes of misogynist thugs around her, what power she would have to stop them from looting. Any thug could just walk into her office and tell her what he and his former ‘comrades’ from their years in the bushes had decided for this or that project that she did not have to worry anything about it. I remember what one countryman told me a few years after 1991. He came here to pay a visit to a relative. He told us that he had to look the other way in order to be able to raise a family and provide for them. There were millions like him who opted to stay indifferent to anything political just to raise a family just like what he was doing all those years during the Mengistu era. Was this female engineer in the same category of such people? The article above does not tell us if she is in jail or out on bail. All what it tells us was she was charged. Charges of what kind? Negligence? Not saying anything about the carnage unleashed by the despots on the nation’s coffers? I want to know the details of the charges against her. Did she benefit financially from the loot? If she had done that then she should pay for her criminal action. From what I hear about her is that she was an accomplished engineer and I hope she did sully it all up with repulsive act of corruption. Emptying of a nation’s coffers just does not make individuals filthy rich but it kills citizens. How so you may ask? That is because the looted money could have been used to build roads where sick people can rich hospitals sooner before it is too late. Clinics can be opened at close distance where citizens can get treatments to killer diseases like malaria, typhoid and many other infectious maladies. In countries like Ethiopia, to me looters of the nation’s coffers are not only ordinary thieves but outright murderers. They are demons of the third kind and should be sent to prisons(not death penalty) for a long time. I wish someone will be able to post copy of the charges that included this very accomplished engineer so we can see and read all about it!!! Until then I will refrain myself from passing any judgment on this engineer.

    With the obvious environment and deeply rooted patriarchal tradition that still hold down our very capable women down in bondage, someone has to show me hard evidence that this engineer had committed malfeasance where she used her office for personal gain. How much of the looting is she accused of? When, how she looted and where did she deposit it? These days all what I have been hearing is a slew of charges. We know innocent citizens were savagely hacked to death and their places of worship were torched to the ground with clerics inside but I have not seen one mug shot of those accused of committing such horrendous crimes. Such barbaric crimes were committed in Oromia that will make me live in shame the rest of my life in its sunset. Now similar savage crimes are being committed in Amhara region and all I hear is the rounding up of those suspected of carrying it out. Has anyone seen any mug shot or list of names? I tried to search for the nation’s Attorney’s office and found its website. What a disappointment!!! There is nothing on it. Then I searched for the ministry of justice just to end up with another disappointment. I am sure they have heard a thing or two about internet and website. May be they are busy feeding these savages who torched down churches and mosques, murdered citizens just because there were not one of them. I have not seen a single measure taken by the officials there as a deterrent for these savages. Who knows they will be allowed to go free on the occasions of one of these holidays.

  2. Azeb Asnake was removed from her post more than a year ago she didn’t even try to hide because she knew she was innocent. Now more than a year later she is being used as a scape goat for the Querros transformer stealing ring hooligans actions which the law enforcement was giving bound eyes towards all these times.

    The lawless Querro hooligans had time and time again robbed electricity transformers with ODP Abiy appeasing the Querros with not enforcing the law to protect the transformers for too long, if anyone need to be arrested over Querros robbery of banks and transformers it is Abiy himself need to arrested for appeasing the criminals since now the S!!t hit the fan with the electricity company getting on the verge of bankruptcy he cannot hide his failed security measures he practiced in order to protect Querro terrorists. Abiy is forced to raise the price for electricity by three folds to cover the financial loss the Querros caused the rongly blaming Azeb Asnake for Querros robbery.

    The way this Abiy plays YEABIYEN LEIMIYE is so sh!ty , he claims in Bashasha where he grew he had no electricity so now allover the country is going dark with price for electricity growing three folds because he let Querro steal transformers.

    Abiy should resign ASAP before he does more irreversible damage to the fragile country. Enough is enough.Action speaks louder he is a terrorist supporter.


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