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Andargachew Tsege during an interview with Anchor Media, August 17, 2023 (Photo : screenshot from Anchor media interview)

By Staff Reporter

ADDIS ABABA – August 18, 2023 – (BORKENA) – A veteran politician said that the country has been entangled with corruption and nepotism. Andargachew Tsigie said in an interview he had with Anchor Media that individuals close to the ruling party have become the richest citizens out of the blue.

Andargachew, the renowned politician who was once kidnaped by TPLF-led Regime at Sana’a, Yemeni Airport is saying that people in Ethiopia are leading life from hand to mouth. He said that the residents in Addis Ababa have been forced to buy a quintal of teff for birr 10,000 and a kilo of tomato for birr 100. But on the other side of present day Ethiopia there are individuals  who throw wedding parties at a cost of millions of birr, according to Andargachew.

Andargachew said that a quintal of teff was sold for birr 3,000 some five years back and a kilo of tomato was priced at birr 20 birr. Now things have gone from bad to worse, according to him. He said that he can hardly imagine how 90 percent of the people survive this cost of living.

The veteran politician expressed surprise at how the officials and other few individuals who are affiliated to the incumbent were drenched in corruption and nepotism. He said during his interview with Anchor Media that those who were once poor have currently emerged a muscular power in terms of financial resources. These people who had no means of their own income have amassed a big amount of money estimated at hundreds of millions of birr.

Andargachew raised an issue about an individual who was once unable to settle a monthly payment for a gymnasium service. Expenses for his gymnasium exercise were covered by the hotelier. Now that man has become one of the richest individuals in the town, according to Andargachew. “This same man, still jobless, has donated 20 million birr to Addis Ababa City Administration. He has become the owner of 100 million birr,” Andargachew said. There are thousands of such people who have become rich without raising their single finger to do a job, according to him.

He has also raised about an individual who prepared a wedding ceremony at a cost of birr 70 million. “He invited 7,000 people for the wedding.” This is the country where such millionaire individuals are mushrooming overnight, according to Andargachew.

Andargachew was asked whether he had any discussion regarding the issue with the Premier. He said that he forwarded comments and views to the Prime Minister by mentioning the names of the corrupted officials. “I have resisted this for a long time. I have told him that an individual [he mentioned name] has taken such an amount of money. But the Prime Minister has not done anything to correct the practice,” he said.

Andargachew said that the ethnic-based racism that was witnessed during the TPLF regime has now become a common trend. Thousands of people who are affiliated to the incumbent are amassing benefits illegally. Systemic theft is rampant in the country. “People are being employed en-masse without any proper qualifications. The theft is being committed by officials who are practicing this nepotism,” he said.

The veteran politician mentioned corruption incidents, extortion and some individuals rotten in corruption. “I know an individual who paid two million birr so that his detained wife would be released. Today the son of Werkineh Gebeyehu (PhD), chief of IGAD, drives a Range Rover that costs 40 million birr. The country is inhabited by people who have embezzled money from the impoverished people. There are military generals who own hotels and big buildings. A general [he mentioned name] from TPLF converted 900 million birr to USD and sent it overseas through the airport” Andargachew said.

Available sources indicate that Angargachew Tsigie was the chief executive officer of ESAT, an independent media outlet in Ethiopia. He previously served as the secretary-general of an opposition political party, Ginbot 7, which was labeled as a terrorist group by the Ethiopian government until International Airport and languished at an unknown prison in Ethiopia. On 29 May 2018, he was released by the Ethiopian government following political reforms by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Andargachew left his country last week in connection with the deteriorating political situation in Ethiopia.

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