On aftermath of controversy, Oxfam reignites activist role
A year after Oxfam admitted of making a “serious error” in the hiring of a dismissed employee stationed in Haiti and rehiring him in Ethiopia accused on sexual violations, the new country director of Oxfam Ethiopia, Gezahegn Kebede Gebrehana, said that the new process put in place has ended the prospect of someone being hired in its local operation.
The leadership of Oxfam, including its Executive Director, Winnie Byanyima had promised to take measures in its recruitment and vetting process, including closely looking at its operations in Ethiopia and see if there were “any issues”. However, the group is yet to make its findings public.
One of the world’s respected international development organizations, it has been engulfed in a slew of allegations for the past year, including the way it handled allegations of the use of prostitutes by its senior staff in Haiti and the way it protects children under its welfare. These allegations have almost been fetal and has jeopardized its future, including losing vital funding from the United Kingdom.
At a press conference held in the shadow of the upcoming gathering of the African Union to place the agenda of refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons on the political agenda on Tuesday at Capital Hotel Gezahegn said, the system put in place put a red-flag on a prospect employee over issues of “fraud and past misbehavior”.
During the 32nd summit of Heads of State and Government to be held this weekend in the capital, Oxfam is building a coalition of civic organizations, including Pan Africa, Pan Africa Citizens Union, FEMNET, Trust Africa and others through the 8th Citizens Conference to place priority and highlight the plight of an estimated 6 million that Oxfam estimates to be displaced across the continent.
Coincidently, it was 50 years ago the African Union adopted its convention and the 10th anniversary of the Kampala convention on the rights of the Internally Displaced Persons.