Africa-Press – Ethiopia. The National Anti-Corruption Committee announced today that it has started arresting individuals for alleged corrupt practices.
In its press briefing today, the Anti-Corruption Committee said that it has started investigating individuals suspected of corrupt practices and arresting them including officials who were found involved in various corruption crimes, especially in Addis Ababa.
Tewodros Bekele, Director General of Financial Intelligence Service and other suspects engaged in financial plundering and land grabbing have been detained, the committee disclosed.
Recall the government of Ethiopia has established a national committee to coordinate its anti-corruption campaign on the 17th of November 2022 as the government believes that corruption has become a threat to the security of the country.
The study revealed that widespread corruption is rampant in the provision of loan, consumer goods, procurement, land administration, financial sector, among others, it was indicated.
Justice Minister Gedion Timotheos told the media that the National Anti-Corruption Committee has identified individuals who have illegally taken land from Addis Ababa City Administration using fake documents, pretending to be farmers’ children and claiming compensations for lands which had been used for development activities in the city.
The minister added that there have also been suspects who committed embezzlement of 175,000 square meters of land and condominiums.
This recent measures being taken against corruption has also identified officials and lawyers who were working with individuals and private institutions for their personal benefits, abusing their power in the justice sector, Gedion pointed out.
As the National Anti-Corruption Committee has been working hard to bring the suspects of corruption to justice, the minister urged for a wider public support to the endeavors.
“These officials, brokers and individuals with illegal interests have been identified. The illegally seized possessions and lands, identified by the investigation so far, have been banned. The process of arresting some criminal suspects has begun. The task of putting more suspects under arrest will continue. In this regard, we ask for the help and cooperation of the public,” he stated.
Gedion underlined that consistent and corrective measures will be further intensified against corruption and theft since it is offensive and wrongful, adding that the measures will be announced to the public on a regular basis.
Director General of the National Intelligence and Security Service, Temesgen Tiruneh, who is also Chairperson of the National Anti-Corruption Committee, on his part said that the government of Ethiopia is intensifying efforts against corruption as it has become threat to the nation.
The director also said that corruption has now become a national threat and it has been exacerbating the cost of living and unemployment in Ethiopia.
“Corruption or malpractice, in addition to being the cause for the high cost of living and unemployment in the country, has been confirmed by research that it is a third level threat to national security. The fact that it is serious problem has been a major discussion point of the public.”
According to him: “Especially, in service delivery institutions, financial, justice and security sectors, as well as procurement, the land issues and other sectors face wide-range of corrupt practices.”
Although the government has taken various measures earlier including the use of technology to prevent corruption, Temesgen noted that it was not possible to tackle the problem to the required level due to the COVID-19 epidemic and war in the northern part of Ethiopia.
As a result, the National Anti-Corruption Committee has been formed out of the need to reverse the threat of corruption by bringing together information of all institutions to one database and working on it.
The National Anti-Corruption Committee has established three sub-committees, composed of legal, finance and information expertise, he pointed out.