Gov’t officials on forced leave; Committees investigating them

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By Selamwit K. for De Birhan

May 21, 2013   [Google]

Addis Abeba – Ethiopian government ministries, authorities and agencies have began giving forced leave to selected government officials suspected of corruption involvement and are investigating them by committees.

The move started a month ago when Prime Minister Hailemaraim Dessalgn gave a strict order to the Commission to start investigating government officials suspected of corruption. The focus for now is on government ministries, corporations and authorities that run huge projects and sums of money.

This writer has received credible information that various top leaders of the government and institutions have been given forced leave and are now under investigation by committees that are composed of various governmental bodies. The independence of the evaluating committee itself is unproven. It is not immediately clear if the investigation includes the political stand and views of the officials.

De Birhan has learnt that the Commission has declared and committed to  detain those that are found corrupt through the investigations.  Most of these officials under investigations are also members of the ruling party itself.

Some of the institutions that are now under investigation include the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Education, Ethiopian Metal and Engineering Corporation (METEC), Ethio Telecom, Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo), Ethiopian and Addis Abeba Roads Transport Authority (R.T.A), Ethiopian Investment Board (EIB), Ethiopian Standard Agency, Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority (ERCA), Addis Ababa City Administration Transport Authority, Addis Ababa Revenue Agency, Maritime and Transit Services Enterprise and the National and Commercial Bank of Ethiopia.

We have been informed that most of the Heads, Deputy Heads, Human Resources and Finance Heads of these institutions have already been given a forced leave and are being investigated by committees formed for this purpose. The investigations on some of these officials and institutions have been completed and have been sent to the Prime Minister.

De Birhan has learnt this morning that Brigadier General Kinfe Dagnew (pictured), General Manager of the Ethiopian Metal and Engineering Corporation (METEC) and also a Board member of the the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo), has been given a forced leave. METEC is under investigation by a “Committee” – FACC.

De Birhan has also been informed that the Managers of CBE, the Human Resource and Finance Deputy General Director, the Road Fund Director and the Manager of Ginchi and Chancho Training Center of the Ethiopian Roads Transport Authority have been given a forced leave and are under investigation by a “committee”.

Similarly, Abraham Wolde-Aregay, Chief Administrator of Akaki Prisons, has been given a forced leave and is under an investigation by another committee.

“There is an atmosphere of fear within government organisations. Most officials are rushing to justify and fill financial gaps stated in their reports ” the source said.

Since last week, FACC has arrested around 50 people including top government officials and mega business people.

Following this, most government officials and businesspeople have been reportedly preparing to move abroad with their families.