Ethiopia arrests minister, 11 others over corruption -Reuters

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ADDIS ABABA | Sat May 11, 2013

Melaku Fenta

(Reuters) – Ethiopian police have arrested a minister and 11 other people on corruption charges, an official and state media said on Saturday, in the country’s most high-profile swoop against graft for more than a decade.

Businesses in the region regularly complain of corruption as an obstacle to their work. Transparency International ranked Ethiopia 113 out of 176 nations worldwide in its 2012 perception of corruption index, where No. 1 is considered least corrupt.

That ranking puts Ethiopia above most nations in the Horn of Africa and east Africa regions, although Rwanda is ranked 50.

Melaku Fenta, a senior ruling party member and director general of the revenue and customs authority with the rank of minister, was arrested on Friday alongside two other officials from the authority, government spokesman Shimeles Kemal said.

“They were under investigation on suspicion of corrupt practices,” Shimeles told Reuters, without giving details.

The spokesman said there were further arrests as well but did not give a total. The state news agency reported 12 arrests overall. Independently, newspapers said the arrests included a prominent businessman and customs employees outside the capital.

Global Financial Integrity last year said Addis Ababa lost $11.7 billion in outflows of illegal funds in the past decade.

Melaku is the most high profile suspect to be arrested on corruption charges since Siye Abraha, a former defense minister who was released in 2007 after six years behind bars. However, he was already out of government when arrested.

(Reporting by Aaron Maasho; Editing by Edmund Blair/Mark Heinrich)


  1. What has this guy done to fall out with his bosses? This is the right question because,you as an official,are not impeached because you steal but because you have some disagreement with your corrupt bosses.How many times have we witnessed that individuals have been dismissed from their positions or imprisoned because they have fallen out of grace with the equally corrupt bosses?
    If some one is charged of corruption under the corrupt EPRDF regime,you don’t immediately say ‘that is good;justice is working’ but ask’ why is this guy made an escapegoat?’ what is the bigger cover up here? ‘who do they think they cheat by diverting attention from themselves to others?
    We all know corruption under EPRDF is systemic.It is one of the ways the government functions.One is repression and the other is corruption. EPRDF/TPLF,in order to stay in power,either crushes you or buys you.The regime attracts and retains its opportunist officials through material gains not ‘revolutionary idealism or the invocation of moral values and integrity.
    Long gone are the days that individuals think that they are serving their people.It has become a norm to be self seeking and be part of the pillage.So what is the sin that this individual committed that is different from his bosses?

  2. This guy is in jail not because of corruption it is because he had disagreement
    with those Waynay Mafia who stole millions and millions from poor people. I am not saying he is an Angel he had his share of the Pie.Why don;t they start from Azeb,(oueen of corauption) Berkrt (snake in the grass) Aba Dula (two Faces) and the General with the Aids….These are the people who sucked the blood. It wount be long before they get their judgement

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