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Commission sets deadline for President, PM et.al to have their wealth registered

Commission sets deadline for President, PM et.al to have their wealth registered

Warns high level officials to declare sources of wealth before July 7

The Federal Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission has urged high-level government officials including the President, Prime Minister, House Speakers and Ministers, to declare their wealth and the respective sources of their wealth, before the end of the fiscal year.

In a public announcement issued on Tuesday, the Commission has set July 7 [Sene 30] as the deadline day for senior government officials, who run top public offices, to be available to the Commission’s officers who are tasked with registering and establishing their wealth and respective sources of wealth, in accordance with the powers and responsibilities vested upon the Commission by the law.

According to the United Nations Convention against Corruption and the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption (AUCPCC), wealth registration and use are among instrumental tools utilized to fight corruption and mal-governance.

Similarly, Ethiopia has been implementing the wealth declaration and registration system for the past decade, in accordance with the existing Proclamation No.668/2010.

The proclamation provides that any government appointee is required to declare and register wealth in his/her name or under the name of her his family members.

This requirement extends to wealth owned by the head of the state and government, the President and the Prime Minister, in addition to top level officials like Speakers and Deputy speakers of both houses [House of People’s Representatives and House of Federation], the Deputy Prime Minister, Ministers, State Ministers, appointed Military officers and Police Officers, top leadership of Public offices at Federal level, Mayors and Deputy Mayors of Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa Cities as well as their respective City Council Speakers and the deputies, Head of Sub-Cities, Woredas and Kebele Officials.

In its statement, the Commission noted that though there are some high-level officials who have already responded to its call for registration, there are others who have repeatedly failed to comply. The Commission, however, did not reveal the identity of those high-level officials, who had failed to show up for the registration process.

To that effect, the Commission has given a deadline to those officials to be ready to declare their wealth and get it registered until July 7, 2020. Urging them to be physically present at the Commission’s headquarters [located near the National Theatre, Behind the Main office of Awash Bank] before deadline day, it has also issued a warning to these officials to hold them accountable for their failures, in accordance with the law.

Over the past 20 years or so, the government had established an Anti-Corruption Commission with an aim of raising awareness in the society by promoting ethics and anti-corruption education.

The Commission, under difficult circumstances, has tried to register the source of wealth of many high-level government officials; even though it had refrained from publicizing the information, so far.

One of the commitments made by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD), immediately after his ascendance to power, was that his government is very serious about corruption; and to that effect, he vowed to launch investigations on corrupt officials, who are suspected of elicit financial outflow, and stashing money in offshore banks and investments.

However, the Commission, striped of its power to investigate and prosecute corruption, has been complaining that the government’s decision to hand over its powers to the Attorney General in the 2017 proclamation had made it impotent.

 Now, the Commission’s main role and responsibility has been limited to raising awareness and education.