Oct. 17 (ESAT News)–The Ethio-Djibouti railway project has reportedly stalled due to corruption. TPLF operated Mesfin Engineering has been contracted to produce rails despite the fact that it is not known to have no such track record and production capability.
According to informed source in the Ethio-Djibouti Railway Enterprise, the grant obtained from the European Union for the 114 km railway project is being misused as a result of corruption. The sources told ESAT that while the money was released five years ago only 17 km railway was built. An Italian contractor built seven km of railway around Metahara but it submerged into water due to poor quality of construction.
Another part that links Dire Dawa to Shebele was inaugurated in Shebele in the presence of a representative of the Ministry of Transport and Communication on October 15 despite the fact that the project was not completed. The grant given by the European Union has been largely spent on only 17 km of the project, the source indicated.
One of the lead engineers and project supervisors, Asrat Kidane, was reportedly forced to resign after he was critical of the procedure that awarded the rail production to Mesfin Engineering without having any experience and capacity to produce the material. After Mr. Asrat resigned, the railway enterprise became quality controller of the project.
Bloomberg recently reported that Sur construction, another TPL–linked company made 200 million birr in net profit last year. The business community widely complains that TPLF companies are favored and take government contracts illegally and without bids.