4 January 2018

Ethiopia: Commission Gunning Its Attention Towards Forgery

The Federal Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission is focusing on decisively alleviating forgery amid the problem's rise in the corruption landscape.

In a show of this trajectory/latest development, the Commission celebrated this year's International Anti-Corruption Day with the theme 'Let us strengthen the anti-corruption fight by exposing Forgery'.

Commissioner Ayelegn Mulualem stressed the need for working on forgery and document falsification used as a gateways to societal problems like corruption, rent-seeking. In light with this, the public should be involved in fight against the problem of forgery, which is increasing in stature, he added.

Wondater Deneke, Ethical Education and Public Relation Officer at the Commission, stated that forgery as a crime is on the rise citing how most of the cases that used to come before the commission used to be offenses related to power abuse, but forgery as a crime is growing side by side to it. "Forgery and false statements are usually involved in big corruption offenses".

He continued to say that the danger with forgery outside of earning profit unlawfully is that the process can also criminally exploit important public service sectors that have huge importance to the general public like health, education.

Awareness creation and public mobilization are already underway at different level to fight against the issue. Wondater cited that measures are taken in some regions and at the federal civil service level, which involves giving a chance to those involved in forgery to come forward and out themselves, and holding accountable those who don't use the chance.

Speaking on the legal side of the issue, Deputy Director of Seized Property with Federal Police Commission Terefe Hordofa for his part says that there are no gaps or loopholes in the legal coverage when it comes to forgery. According to him, what needs to be done is to study new developments that comes as a result to economic growth and social activity, and provide a legal cover against them. "Notwithstanding this, we can say that the current legal framework provides law/ban against adapting, imitating objects or documents, and their punishment are strong enough to stop them."

Wondater also shared this view that the law is good enough to restrict forgery, but the issue remains on executing the laws, and halting the problem in its bud, and focus should be diverted towards doing that.

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