Chalachaw Abay and Goshu Gebru, who are related to Meles Zenaw’s wife on her mother’s and father’s side respectively, said in an exclusive interview with ESAT that she actively facilitated TPLF’s illegal annexation of Welkait Tegede, which was historically part of North Western Gondar. The two condemned their relative for changing her identity from Amhara to being part of the TPLF’s high command that has committed unspeakable crimes, torture, killings and ethnic cleansing against her own people.
Chalachew and Goshu told ESAT that Azeb, whom they referred to as corrupt and greedy, is a highly polarizing figure even within her own family, which has split between her opponents and supporters. The majority of her family members hold Azeb in contempt as a result of her part in the suffering of her own people, they claimed.
According to them, since she joined the mafia group of the TPLF and fell under the spell of Sibehat Nega and Meles Zenawi in late 1970s, she has turned into a monster that wrecked the poor people of Welkait Tegede, who were forcefully annexed and assimilated into Tigray in early 1990s.
“No wonder that Azeb made such a dramatic change of identity having joined the inner circle of Sibehat and Meles, the most crooked people within the TPLF,” Goshu said. He said that tens of thousands of Welkait Tegede’s Amaharas have been tortured, killed, disappeared and were forced into exile.
The two relatives of Ethiopia’s reviled “First Lady” also disclosed that many of her close relatives have disowned her and feel ashamed of her. “At the end of the day, Azeb has committed heinous crimes and must be held accountable,” they said.
Azeb Mefin, widely referred to as the First Lady of Corruption, is a member of the most powerful TPLF group, a nine-member executive committee. Azeb also heads TPLF’s multi-billion dollars business conglomerate, the Endowment Fund for the Rehabilitation of Tigray. Azeb is dogged with allegations of corruption, graft and abuse of power since her days as head of Mega Enterprises, which went bust under her leadership.
The fresh allegations of crimes against humanity made by her own relatives will undoubtedly haunt her even after her inevitable departure from the pinnacle of power.