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BUSINESSETHIOPIA

Anbessa Bus Officials Charged for Squandering 55m Br

BY HAIMANOT ASHENAFI FORTUNE STAFF WRITER PUBLISHED ON NOV 20,2017 [ VOL 18 ,NO 917]
Bedelu Assefa, the former CEO of the Company.

The charge was brought against 11 officials of the Enterprise.

The Office of Attorney General charged 11 officials of Anbessa City Bus Service Enterprise on November 7, 2017, for misappropriating 55.7 million Br from the Enterprise’s coffer.

Bedelu Assefa, the former CEO of the company, his deputy CEO Abraham Fantaw, Nigussu Lakachew, process owner of Technical Service & Automotive Parts Production and Muhe Awel, process owner of Automotive Services, Maintenance Division were among the defendants with high-level posts. The remaining are mid-level management members and experts.

The 11 defendants were charged with two major counts in relation to the procurement of engines for the buses of the company. They are alleged for being associated with the illicit purchase of engines from Egypt Power For International Trade contrary to the procurement proclamation. The Enterprise spent 38 million Br for the engines.

All the defendants were involved in awarding the Egyptian supplier through an illegitimate procurement process, claims the prosecutors’ filing.

The four officials mentioned above also faced additional charges for abuse of power and failing to manage the damages caused by the defective engines, according to the case filed.

The charge stated that the Enterprise announced a tender in September 2012 for the procurement of engines. For the initial tender that was disclosed in a newspaper, 14 companies including Egypt Power responded to the call of the Enterprise.

But, the defendants shortlisted only Egypt Power along with another supplier, reads the charge. They also allegedly framed the technical requirements to fit with the Egyptian company. The process ended with awarding the Egyptian firm for the supply of the engines in three lots.

However, the defendants made the company deliver the products entirely in a single round, the prosecutors claimed in their charge filed to the Federal High Court Lideta Division’s 18th criminal bench.

Along with the counts, the charge encompasses a list of 20 witnesses and 31 document evidence.

In the court session held on November 7 to hear the charge, Feyisa Aboye, the maintenance division expert, who is amongst the defendants did not appear in court as he is not under arrest yet.

During the next session on December 7, 2017, the court will hear the objections of the defendants.

In the same week, when Anbessa Bus officials faced charges, the Office of Attorney General also pressed a charge against Shipping executives causing damage worth 87 million Br.

Established as a share company, in 1945 during Emperor Haile Selassie’s regime, Anbessa City Bus is among the institutions whose top and medium level management members have been arrested for grave corruption offences since June 2017.

The recent grand corruption storm took a little over 120 individuals from federal and city institutions including Addis Abeba City Roads Authority, Ethiopian Roads Authority, Ethiopian Sugar Corporation, Addis Abeba Housing Development Project Office, Ethiopian Shipping & Logistics Enterprise (ESLSE) and Ministry of Finance & Economic Cooperation (MoFEC).

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