Ethiopia jails 59 corrupt officials, associates

The government of Ethiopia today announced jailing 59 government officials and their associates suspected of grand corruption.

The arrested individuals include heads of four state agencies namely, Public Procurement and Property Administration Agency, Pharmaceuticals Fund and Supply Agency, Ethiopian Trading Businesses Corporation and Water Works Construction Corporation. Business people associated with the corrupted officials are also arrested, according to Birhanu Tsegaye, Attorney General who briefed reporters about the arrest this afternoon.

Among the objectives of Pharmaceuticals Fund and Supply Agency is to enable public health institutions to supply quality assured essential pharmaceuticals at affordable prices in a sustainable manner, to the public.

The corruption charges against the officials include 58 million birr (around $2 million) purchase without following proper purchasing rules and regulations. In relation to the pharmaceuticals, the officials and their associates are arrested for improper purchase of 79 million birr around ($2.8 million) drugs violating the government purchasing procedures.

The country has lost $23.7 million from the purchase of 400 metric ton wheat, according to Attorney General Tsegaye. Attorney General Birhanu stated that most of the corruption is made within the state agencies during purchases and construction deals.

Ethiopian Trading Businesses Corporation is a merged Corporation established through the amalgamation of the Ethiopian Grain Trade Enterprise, Ethiopian Fruit and Vegetable, [ETFRUIT] Ethiopian Trading Enterprise (ALLE) and Procurement Service Enterprise which were formerly working independently.

Its main mandates include purchases agricultural and industrial products & basic consumer products from local and international markets and supplies to its domestic & foreign customers. It also conducts consultancy, procurement and training services on national and international procurement.

Ethiopian Trading Businesses Corporation is a huge government, public enterprise, which has 11 branch trade centers with 64 Grain & Coffee sales centers, 19 basic commodities, Fruit and Vegetables wholesale stores and 105 Fruit and Vegetables retail shops & 7 modern cash & carries whole stores throughout the country.