New mayor appointed to Addis Ababa draws controversy

Takele Uma benti is appointed as deputy mayor but will be serving as the new mayor of Addis Ababa which is drawing controversy.

Takele Uma Benti
Takele Uma Benti swearing in as mayor of Addis Ababa
Source : SM

July 18,2018

Addis Ababa City Council appointed Takele Uma as the new mayor of the city replacing the outgoing Driba Kuma. The council called a special meeting to make the appointment.

Both the outgoing and the incoming mayors are from Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO) and the issue appears to have divided politicized Ethiopians who are active in social media. And what opponent of his appointment claim is that the new mayor is known for his radical ethnonationalism and that he expressed ethnic claims, Oromo, over Addis Ababa.

His appointment also seems to have also involved violation of the City Council’s regulation. According to the regulation, an individual who is not a member of the council can not be mayor of the city. What the council did to bypass the regulation is to appoint Takele Uma as deputy mayor while he is given the power of the mayor and will be carrying out all mayoral portfolios.

One of the major problems with the system is that, unlike the practice in many democracies, residents of Addis Ababa do not vote to elect their mayor directly.

The new mayor shared his feeling yesterday regarding his new appointment :

    “It is truly an honor and privilege to serve our nation’s capital (Addis Ababa- Finfinnee) and its people at this defining moment in time.

    Addis Ababa Finfinnee belongs to all Ethiopians regardless of region, religion or social class. It’s the microcosm of our “rainbow” nation, bubbling with all kinds of diversity—ethnic, cultural, spiritual, and economy.

    A melting pot where Ethiopia’s many cultures meet and intersect. It’s also our primary gateway to the world. And Africa’s undisputed diplomatic capital.

    I am so excited about the opportunities before us…..”

The council also appointed Dagmawit Moges and Dr. Solomon Kidane as deputy mayors.

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