Land governance and Responsible Large Scale Agricultural Investment Dialogue Platform in Adama

Transparency Ethiopia Adama branch organized and conducted a one day dialogue platform with different stake holders from CSOs, government actors and the private sector, on the matter of  land governance in general and responsible large scale agricultural investment in particular at Adama Gete Hotel on October 6,2017. The dialogue platform held in Adama city aimed at assessing the right over land in general and rural land administration in particular to address the existing problems. The objective of the platform was to sensitize the use of such platforms to address existing issues and problems.

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Land governance and Responsible Large Scale Agricultural Investment Dialogue Platform and Future Activities in Bahir Dar

A one day dialogue platform with different CSOs, government actors and the private sector was carried out by Transparency Ethiopia Bahir Dar branch on the issue of land governance and responsible large scale Agricultural Investment on 29/10/2017 at Water Front hotel, Bahir Dar. Just like the ones conducted in Addis Ababa and Mekele, the discussion platform in Bahir Dar also briefed the participants about the land governance system of Ethiopia, especially the rural land holding rights and in terms of the rights that many peasants in Ethiopia entitled with, and the associated new phenomena that is now expanding in many developing countries overall the world having its own practical challenge, and significant amount of benefit if exercised responsibly, large scale agricultural investment. Participants made reflections on the issue and they even made their own debates due to the difference in their views on issues that we presented for discussion. many of the participants said that they are glad to be part of such kind of issues based discussion and workshop, they said that the topic that we selected for discussion is great and detrimental but they suggested that it would have been better if the discussion was made with decision makers, and law makers and also to proceed with this issue based workshop supporting it with research and findings on issues relating to the actual overview of responsible agricultural investment, to be able to understand the level and the manner of agricultural investment and its character in our country.

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Bizarre!!!

Many of us are wondering and anxious to know what ever happened to those individuals who were all over the media for allegedly being corrupt. What happened to them? Have they been charged yet? If so, how is the trial going? So many questions come to our minds due to the grave nature of the crimes they are said to have committed and since the government was so assertive and “bragging” not to show any mercy and to take serious measures on those individuals who were suspected of betraying the public’s trust .

As I went through different Medias and publications to find answers to my questions, I came across a column published by the reporter magazine which made me feel bleak and doubt the seriousness of the government to combat corruption and bring the corrupt to justice. I guess the critics raised at the beginning of the corruption crackdown on arresting the corrupt individuals by so many individuals and institutions saying it was just a destruction or meant to divert the public’s attention from the different resistance taking part in different parts of the country and it is just a mere action taken by the government to win back the public’s trust. These and other criticisms are starting to make more sense now. It’s just like Melaku Fanta’s case all over again. The guy was charged with corruption, all the evidence against him broadcasted to the public through the national television. It has been more than four years since he’s been charged, but sadly no judgment has been passed by the court till this date.

In the column, published by the reporter magazine on September 24, 2017, it states that the federal high court has passed the last warning to the federal public prosecutors. Amazingly, the public prosecutors, time and again failed to show up before the court when there is a court hearing concerning the individuals who are under police custody for corruption and according to the reporter magazine, if and when they show up, they show up late. It is very unprofessional when a public prosecutor repeatedly comes to court late on any responsibility bestowed upon him let alone on such a big and sensitive public proceedings like these.

On September 22, there was a court hearing concerning the officials suspected of corruption from the ministry of finance and economic cooperation. But, once again, the public prosecutors were nowhere to be found. Since their presence was mandatory, the court refrained from proceeding with the hearing. The court then ordered the vice attorney general, Ato Teka and corruption crimes director Ato mezmur to appear before the court and give explanation on why the prosecutors were late. And according to Ato Mezmur’s explanation, the prosecutors are late because the case needs a lot of work, organizing a charge takes time and said they are also working on other similar cases. The court also asked why an official charge has not been lodged yet against Ato Alemayehu, state minister of ministry of finance and economic cooperation. Ato Teka, deputy attorney general replied saying that the complex and broad nature of the case has hindered them from pressing charge on the suspect within the time period provided under the law.

On a similar case, the public prosecutors have completely failed to press charges at all and provided the court with a letter declaring their decision to withdraw to prosecute Ato mesfin, one of the corruption suspects from Ethiopian sugar factory, Omo Kuraz 5 sugar. So the court had no choice but to let this man walk free. Many of the suspects, sadly, are walking free thanks to the incompetence displayed by the public prosecutors. However, this does not mean they should all be convicted just because they are suspected of committing a crime, because every suspect is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty. And it is the public prosecutors responsibility to prove the suspect in fact has committed the said crime beyond a reasonable doubt. But what we are witnessing currently is far from this reality.

Land governance and Responsible Large Scale Agricultural Investment Dialogue Platform and Future Activities in Mekele

Transparency Ethiopia Mekele branch organized and conducted a one day dialogue platform with different stake holders from CSOs, government actors and the private sector, engaged in agriculture and related fields, on the issue of land governance and responsible large scale Agricultural Investment with the financial support granted by the EU civil society fund II and GIZ in Mekele on August 16, 2017 at Seti Hotel, Mekelle

Just like the one conducted in Addis Ababa, the dialogue platform conducted in Mekele city,  aimed at briefing the gathered stakeholders on the matter of land governance in general and responsible large scale agricultural investment in particular and revolved around rules and regulations governing the land administration systems in Ethiopia and the voluntary guideline which Ethiopia has adhered to. The objective of the platform was to sensitize the use of such platforms to address existing issues and problems.

In the platform a brief presentation on TE and its activities was presented by Mrs.  Hadas Berhe followed by an in-depth presentation by Mr.Mihretab, on rules that govern land administration in Ethiopia and voluntary guidelines. A group discussion was also made and presented by each group on a sample land contractual agreement. At the end reflection and comments were forwarded by the participants.

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Youth briefing session Hawassa

The Youth Association Leaders Briefing was held at SNNPR Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission meeting hall on August 18, 2017, Hawassa. 50 Youth Association Leaders were invited to the Briefing through the South Ethiopia Youth Association, but 45 attended the program. These included representatives from the regional Youth Association Leaders, Hawassa City Youth Association Leaders, and Sub-city level Youth Association Leaders. The presentation focused on introducing Transparency Ethiopia and its Anti-corruption movement, types, causes and effects of corruption and ways and strategies to fight corruption. There were some interesting points raised and comments given on the discussion part from the participants and some suggested that we work closely with sub-city and kebele level youth associations to help us spread our hands further into the society.

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