Mitiku Kassa, Ethiopia’s Commissioner for Disaster Risk Management, and Elshadai Relief and Development Association are painted as partners in crime
Ethiopian Police on Wednesday announced on Wednesday that it has arrested Mitiku Kassa, Commissioner of The National Disaster Risk Management Commission.
Police are alleging that he was involved in serious corruption, which is said to have been committed over two years ago, and embezzled hundreds of millions of Ethiopian birr.
The Commissioner is said to have partnered with Elshadai Relief and Development Association in committing the crime. His spouse is said to be the executive director of the organisation.
Police claim that the commissioner took food and non-food items that were meant to be for aid purposes and diverted them for his own personal use.
EBC, state-owned media, reported that Police had sent evidence, supporting its claim, to ETV, a state-owned television station.
“National Disaster Risk Management Commissioner, Mitiku Kassa, conspired with Elshadai Relief and Development Association Director, Yemane W/Mariam and other employees to make corruption crime, in connection with food aid and other items that was released in the name of those who need it, appear legitimate,” police claims, as cited by EBC report.
Furthermore, it made claims that the investigation by the Prosecutor General office Corruption Crime Directorate and the Federal Police Commission established that Commissioner Mitiku Kassa and Elshadai Relief and Development Association Director, Yemane W/Mariam, created inappropriate working relations to embezzle aid food items by doctoring the number of people who need aid and by coordinating food aid distribution when there were no recipients.
Centres of the commission and Elshadai Relief and Development Association branches in Afar, Amhara, Oromia, South Ethiopia, and other regions were investigated, according to the report by EBC.
Among the findings , police claimed, are aid food taken out from the commission in the name of aid seekers had been illegally converted to cash for personal use.
472,000,000 Ethiopian Birr, over half a billion birr worth of wheat, 34,000 quintals of maize, 77,000 litres of cooking oil, and 4000 quintals of rice are the resources from the commission diverted to personal use in a corrupt way, according to police claim.
The money obtained through corrupt practice is said to have been invested in real estate in the capital Addis Ababa and Hawassa in the name of family members including spouses, children, and parents.
What Mitiku Kassa has to say about the alleged corruption is not indicated in the report from state media.
In 2019, Mitiku Kassa was appointed as “a member of the United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement,” – according to a report by the UN.
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