Ethiopia | Minister Melaku Fenta detained on corruption charges

May 10 2013

(Daniel Berhane)

Ethiopian police detained twelve individuals today, according to the press statement from the Federal Anti-Corruption Commission.

Melaku Fanta, Director General of the Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority with the rank of a Minister is among the detainee.

His deputy, Gebrewahed Woldegiorgis is also put in custody.Melaku Fanta - Director of Customs & Revenue Authority(Minister)

The identity of the rest ten detainees was not disclosed. Though it appears none are in the top leadership.

Melaku Fanta was elected to the out-going Council of Addis Ababa city Administration in 2008 as a candidate of ANDM/EPRDF.

Melaku Fenta has BSc in Economics and MBA as well as Diploma in Public Management and Urban Governance. He was studying MA in Customs and Revenue in 2010.

Previously, he served in the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, then in the Regional Affairs Department of the Prime Minister Office at different levels and also at the then Ministry of Revenue.

As of 2008, he is in charge of the Revenues and Customs Authority – which replaced the Ministry of Revenue.

He is also one of the 180 EPRDF Council members.

Melaku will be the second Cabinet member to be sacked since the passing of former Prime Minister Meles Zenawi last August.

It is to be recalled Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegne recently called the public to provide him tips on corrupted officials.


You may read the full text of the press statement here (link)

  1. Ayer Bayer

    Police seized millions of dollars and millions of birrs in cash from the private residence of Gebrewahid Woldegiorgis.

    The courts are not specifying the correct amount of cash that was seized because they are corrupt and want to steal some of it.

    The courts are corrupted through bribes , political manipulation, intimidation and domination.

    Gebrewahid is the latest fall-guy in the ongoing power struggle inside the ruling junta. He is no more corrupt than any of the other acting or retired TPLF officials who have been sucking the life blood of Ethiopia during the past 20 years.

  2. Gobena Godana

    This measures clearly show us how the Ethiopian government committed to fight against corruption. As most of us know this political organization was stepped up in this way so it is the culture of EPRDF. The EPRDF members and people of Ethiopia will continue to expose corrupted government officials and individuals so that our hop full beauty Ethiopia development will be continues. I think this is a yellow card for rent seekers either in government institutions or individuals in private business and delala(ደላላ). corruption is not only collecting the money and city places as arrested officials & individuals. It has also many dimension including assigning civil servants, transferring civil servants, step up and/or nominating individuals in government position with nontransparent procedures. so the government should also see in multidimensional approaches in his anti corruption program;;;

    1. Observer

      Please don’t get biased by this news. Melaku might have been a victim of a very complicated conspiracy planned by the government. He is a person of high character who has been very dedicated and hardworking to bring about changes he was engaged in. His great achievement in helping to develop the Afar Region and later setting up and running the Tax Revenue Administration office are a few to mention.. The Revenue office he is running is a cash cow for the country and they had to replace him with one of their own from Tigray… That is how they accuse and eliminate someone if they think he is on their way preventing them from stealing more. They chewed him like a sugar cane eating the juicy part and throwing him away the same way they do for the remain. I know it is going to be a difficult road until he clears his name and may God be with him and his family in this difficult time?

      1. Felix Muller

        Melaku Fanta deserves to be behind bars. He was leading on of the least servicde-minded agencies of Ethiopia, where nothing is communicated clearly, rules are changed constantly, and the structures are replicas of the ancien regime of the Emperors, with all its nooks and crannies, and feudalism. Another agency wich is thorroughly unpolite and inefficient was Berhan Hailus old turf. And he got sacked as well! ANd dont make this into an ethnicity issue!!! Disgruntled diasporas who blame their misery on a certian ethnic group deserve utter misery!

    1. eyob

      Alas!! People who perceive TPLF as enemy or offended by the measures taken by TPLF starting its early age are now within it clearly for their own purpose. These people are never surpassed by anyone to pretend as the real members- like the saying a pop beyond the pop. Therefore don’t you think that this people are revenging by defaming it? Ato g/wahid is one example- he was Derg- official-

    2. kuki

      it is not about the length of pm hailemariam`s power but it should be about the strength of the eth govt to struggle against corruptions you see many or most ethiopians are struggling to find every day`s food but are working day and night but those will have 37 milliion birr inside homes .

  3. Indelbu Kassa

    I hope he will not be the last to be arrested. Others higher officials should learn from this and commit themselves to the betterment of Ethiopian people. Now a days in our country, it becomes more apparent that the gab between poor and rich is increasing because of corruption. Let’s fight corruption and have equitable wealth distribution among the Ethiopian people. Long live Ethiopia.