Addis Abeba: The administration of the Borana zone told the regional broadcaster that it has arrested and taken several measures against 56 individuals for allegedly stealing aid intended for drought relief. The administration added that it had captured many people partaking in the theft and had also started taking reinforced measures to bring the remaining perpetrators to the court of law.
Jarso Boru, the administrator of the Borana Zone, said that the community contributed a great deal to the arrest of the suspected individuals. 12 people suspected of participating in illegal activities were arrested based on community tip, he said, adding, amongst these suspects are 5 individuals who were in the leadership echelons of Moyale city administration.
Similar arrests were made in more woredas in the zone, according to Jarsoo. In Gomole, Guchi, Wachile, 44 individuals were arrested for alleged involvement in the stealing from food assistance intended for hunger-affected communities.
Additionally, he said that those suspected of embezzling money [meant for distribution] that arrived through the safety net program of ‘Drought shock response’ in the Guchi wereda were placed under arrest and were under legal investigation.
In September last year, Addis Standard’s investigation revealed that individuals at leadership levels were expropriating the assistance for their own benefit. A resident of the zone told Addis Standard at the time that barriers from the local leadership were a reason for the existing food insecurities. Jilo Dido, the administrator of Wachile woreda, also admitted that aid was being expropriated by members of the local administration.
Addis Standard’s attempt to gather information regarding the current measures being taken by the zonal administration were unsuccessful. The zonal police department said that it would not give information over the phone unless it is contacted in person. AS