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Finance Bureau bans money transfer in Amhara Region

By Staff Reporter

ADDIS ABABA – (BORKENA) – Finance Bureau of Amhara Regional State has banned  money transfer of government institutions, sources said.  

Wazema reported that after the command post allowed the lifting of the ban on money transfer imposed in the Region for several days, a new ban is imposed in several areas by the Amhara Regional Finance Bureau.

Available sources indicate that Fano militants are active in some of the areas where money transfer has been restricted.

Following the unrest sparked in the Region, the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) imposed restrictions against the transfer of finances of the regional government. NBE has announced that the Amhara Regional Government has lifted the restriction on transfer of bank accounts based on the request from the Supreme Command of the State of Emergency.

The decision was made to transfer money only through the joint signature of the Regional Affairs coordinator, Sema Tiruneh (PhD) and Regional Finance Bureau Head, Tilahun Mehari (PhD). However, after the NBE lifted the ban, the Regional Finance Bureau has come up with a new ban imposed in selected areas.

Among the areas that have been banned by the Regional Finance Office, the newly established North Gojjam Zone, West Gojjam, East Gojjam and South Gondar Zone, all Weredas and Town administrations have their financial activities suspended. The bank accounts of the Zonal management have also been blocked In the aforementioned Zones.

In one of the partially banned Zones, North Shewa,  there are Mida, Meriha-Betie, Moret and Jiru, Siyadebir, Enewari, Menz-Gera, Menz Qeya, Menz Mama, Mehal-Meda, Molale, Gishe-Rabel Woredas and Alem Town.

Quara Woreda of West Gondar Zone, Central Gondar Zone, Taqusa, Aleffa, West Denbi, East Denbi Woredas, South Wollo Zone, Wegidi, Kelela, Mekane-Salam and Borena Woreda, Awi Nationality Zone, Tilili Town Administration, North Wollo Zone, Bugna Woreda are among those banned.

Desalegn Alemneh, Head of Public Relations section of the Regional Finance Bureau, told Wazema that the ban was imposed following reports from the Zones on missing checks and receipts in some areas.

The ban will be lifted when issues that need to be clear are settled, according to the Public Relations Head. However, the official did not say anything regarding when the investigation will be finalised and no specific date was given to lift the ban.

Wazema found out that most of the areas where money transfer is restricted are the ones where there is no presence of the Defence Force and where Fano militants operate widely. There are also Woredas where Fano militants operate and normal government services have continued.

The restriction on money transfer has raised fears that government jobs may stop and salary payments of civil servants may be disrupted.

In Gishe-Rabel Woreda from where Wazema collected information in the North Shewa Zone, banks like Commercial Bank of Ethiopia and Abay Bank do not give over one thousand birr to their customers.

The amount of money coming into the banks is very little because the people (who are supposed to deposit) are reportedly worried that the transfer of money would be restricted due to the instability. 

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