Ethiopia: Businessman charged with illegal contracts with MeTEC

ESAT News (December 10, 2018)

A businessman was arraigned before a court in Addis Ababa today accused of signing illegal contracts worth over 36 million dollars with the Metals and Engineering Corporation (MeTEC), a military industrial complex at the center of a corruption probe in Ethiopia.

Police said they have documented evidence that Aklilu Girmay, the owner of Anona Techno, had made illegal deals with MeTEC, signing contracts without legal tenders twenty-one times in three years.

Police also allege that Mr. Girmay did not pay taxes on the millions of dollars payments from the illegal contracts.

MeTEC had made contract payments to Mr. Girmay for the remodeling of its headquarters and renovation of cafeteria.

The defendant meanwhile told the court that MeTEC owed him money in unpaid contract agreement. As to securing a contract without legal tender, the defendant said since 2010 MeTEC has not used tenders to outsource projects.

METEC, at the center of Ethiopia’s grand corruption scandal, has been accused of squandering hundreds of millions of dollars without realizing any major project that it had contracted from the government.

Managers of METEC, including its former CEO, Maj. Gen. Kinfe Dagnew, have been arrested as part of the government’s crackdown on corruption. They are accused of wasting hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal contracts, nepotism and favoritism, among other crimes.