Tax evasion in Ethiopia

25 Nov

As you, all know, Ethiopians don’t have expire date on their government period. When the Prime Minster is ready to resign, you will be told by then. Till then, you have to wait and see. We do have a lot of rules and regulation’ Excessive power of charge is ample here in Ethiopia. There is high possibility that you could be arrested today, tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.

Many have been detained but few are charged. Charges have different scenarios. Here in Ethiopia Tax evasion is different from the general term for efforts to not pay taxes by illegal means. Tax evasion in Ethiopia is pure politics.

Charge#1 -Earlier; may be a primary attack was started with Birhane Mewa, Former Ethiopia chamber of commerce president, from his suggestion that the government should give protection for Ethiopian infant industries who were really struggling against the competition from Chinese manufacturers.

And; he was accused of tax evasion, not even the party’s members really believed the story. When Birhane left Ethiopia via Kenya after being released on bail, people were sad that a capable, Ethiopian-loving man was leaving Ethiopia; yet again. The formation of Kinijit and Birhane’s role as a representative of the party in the US has returned Birhane back to where he belongs – public life. The measured and articulate interviews he constantly gives on VOA these days have made him a hero in Addis.. Birhane might be a fierce believer on some values and principles; and naturally, this kind of people may sometimes be uncompromising.

Charge#2-Few months ago; It is recalled that Revenue and Customs Authority (RCuA) arrested Ato Ayalew, one of the biggest investor in the country (may be the second richest person in Ethiopia) suspecting him of tax evasion and other related activities. Prosecutors brought Ayalew and three other individuals before the court on March 22 accusing them of collaborating with Ayalew and successfully claimed extra investigation days for the co-defendants and has been continually rejecting the bail application of the defendant.

Charge#3- the government officials have often described VOA’s Amharic Service as the ‘voice of the opposition’, saying its broadcasts reveal an anti-government bias. Meleskachew Ameha, an Amharic Service reporter in Addis Ababa, was detained for two weeks, last year, in a case involving alleged possession of illegal broadcast equipment (& tax evasion). Then after, He was released without charge.

Charges#…………….will continue.

“The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax” ….Albert Einstein


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