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News: PM appoints anti-corruption czar as deputy civil service commissioner

Tsega Arage. Picture: FB/Tsega Arage

Addis Abeba – Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed appointed Tsega Arage as the deputy commissioner of the civil service commission. Tsega Arage was the commissioner of the Federal Ethics & Anti Corruption Commission replacing the former commissioner Ayelgn Mulualem two years ago. The PM also appointed Dr. Nigussie Mitiku as the Director-General of the Ethiopian Management Institute (EMI).

Tsega, who was a central committee member of the Amhara Prosperity Party, was at the center of public debate after he wrote a six page letter on 04 March this year and addressed it to the Prosperity Party (PP) Control and Inspection Commission. His letter exposed a litany of irregularities of the bylaws within the ruling Prosperity Party, including violations of its financial and asset mismanagement procedures such as the party’s loan mechanisms to party members, and violations of the national electoral laws by failing to convene the general assembly, among others.

Tsega also accused the APP branch office leadership of sharing among themselves party finance amounting to ETB60 million, as well as illegal disbursement of the party’s finance amounting to more than ETB100 million. He also noted the ruling Prosperity Party’s violation of the national electoral laws by failing to convene the general assembly, blaming the rampant mismanagement of assets and finances inside the Amhara branch of PP due to the ruling party’s Central Committee failure to convene and endorse the party’s annual budget for the current fiscal year.

Tega’s letter has prompted the Amhara Prosperity Party to relieve several party members that are accused of violating the party’s financial and asset management regulations during loans management and admitted that the party’s financial and asset management system was violated.

However, Tsega has not been included in the newly restructured organ of the ruling party’s 222 Central Committee members. And it is not clear why he was being replaced from his position at the federal Anti-Corruption Commission, a position he held since March 2020. Tsega was appointed by the Ethiopian House of Peoples’ Representatives (HoPR) with 11 MPs voting in opposition while six MPs, of the 285 in attendance, abstained from voting. Back then, he was applauded as a new anti-corruption czar. 

Tsega has previously served as an advisor to the deputy mayor of Addis Abeba. He also assumed two positions in the Amhara regional government as the administrator of the North Wollo zone and the head of the Amhara regional state rural land administration & utilization office.

Today’s appointment by PM Abiy came a day after Wazema radio reported that 23 government officials, ranging from senior and lower-ranking,  are being investigated for allegedly hiding assets of inconspicuous sources. The news outlet cited sources from the Ministry of Justice and stated that the federal Attorney General office has launched criminal investigations against the 23 officials that are suspected of amassing assets from unknown sources. 

According to the report, the Attorney General’s office found an unregistered large amount of assets including in cash while looking into the federal ethics and anti-corruption commission’s list of registered assets owned by government officials. AS

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