Christian Tadele received 74 million Birr via his CBE account
On March 22, 2015, a Facebook page with more than 136,000 followers posted a screenshot image claiming that Christian Tadele, the public relations head of the National Movement of Amhara (NAMA) and a member of the Ethiopian House of People’s Representatives, received 74 million birr through his bank account opened at the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia.
The post shared a Commercial Bank of Ethiopia account number, alleging that the account belongs to Christian Tadele.
The Facebook post was viral and has received over 300 reactions and has been shared over 50 times.
HaqCheck, however, confirmed that the bank account does not belong to the claimed person and was opened in the name of “The Memory of Artist Hachalu Hundesa.”
False donation collection SMS platform
On March 14, 2015, a Facebook page with more than 12,000 followers posted an SMS number, claiming that donations were being collected for people affected by the drought in Borana through text messaging using the number 655.
The post stated that the initiative was started by Oromo artists, that the number for the donation collection was obtained from Ethio Telecom, and asked others to join the donation campaign.
HaqCheck called the customer service centre of Ethio Telecom to investigate the issue. Hence, Ethio Telecom confirmed that no donation is currently being collected via the SMS number.
A satirically altered image of a Bereket Adera
A Facebook page shared a satirical post claiming that Bereket Adera, a young woman investor, was pictured reading the third “Medemer” book of PM Abiy Ahmed while being turned upside down.
Following PM Abiy Ahmed’s launch of his book titled “Medemer”, the Oromia regional government invited investors and prepared a sales and promotion programme for the book. Bereket Adera attended the programme in which purchases of more than 609 million Birr were made.
There were also claims on social media that the woman investor bought the book for 50,000 euros.
However, the picture was altered and made up by composing various images. HaqCheck found the original image published on the Internet.
Even if the post was satire, such posts have the tendency to mislead many people.
Social media users are advised to exercise caution while viewing possibly fraudulent and untrue posts. Before responding to claims and posts, they ought to seek out more information sources.
HaqCheck urges governmental institutions and other relevant parties to provide updates and clarifications on a timely basis.
We encourage social media content creators to be responsible and refrain from spreading inaccurate or misleading information.
The availability of sufficient information is crucial in the fight against misinformation. Disinformation spreads widely as a result of a lack of information. The government and other organisations should protect the public’s and the media’s right to access information.