Addis Ababa Mayor (acting), Takele Uma, was recently criticized for building a special police force and for banning peaceful demonstration organized by Baladera Council. His last day of the job was yesterday but he has not yet confirmed that he is leaving office. Although unclear if the issue will be an agenda item, his party Oromo Democratic Party, whose chairman is PM Abiy Ahmed, is holding its meeting today.
October 16, 2019
Addis Abeba mayor (acting ) Takele Uma is reportedly removed from his position.
Based on Addis Standard, which is believed to be close to the dominant party in the ruling coalition – Oromo Democratic Party- published the story on Wednesday as a news alert.
The report quoted what it called “sources close to Addis Standard,” as saying that the decision came ““a face-to-face meeting with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed during which the Prime Minister informed Takele that he was being replaced.”
His deputy, Endawok Abete, is also reportedly removed from his position. Unlike Takele Uma, who is a central committee of ODP, Endawok Abete is from Amhara Democratic Party. In the past, there have been reports of friction between Takele and Endawork Abete as the former over administrative matters in the city. Takele Uma was criticized for building a “personality cult” and dictatorship in the city.
There was also an allegation of illegal distribution of city identity cards to non-resident ethnic Oromo use in what critics said was a move to alter the ethnic composition of the Ethiopian capital.
What is clear is that Takele Uma organized a special police force for the city a move that triggered suspicion, and was also criticized by by opposition groups like Ethiopian Citizens For Social Justice (also known as EZEMA)
The outgoing mayor also banned a planned demonstration by an advocacy group in the city which was supposed to take place last Sunday.
Although Takele Uma’s last day at work was said to be on Tuesday, state media and affiliated media sources have not officially reported about it at this writing. It is however unclear as to why Takele Uma is removed from his position.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has seemingly picked one of his close confidants from within his ethnic Oromo Party (ODP), Adanech Abebe, who has been serving as a Federal Minister of Revenue to date, as the next unelected mayor of Addis Ababa.
City bylaw stipulates that Addis Ababa mayor has to be elected from among the members of city councilors. As an effort to bypass the legislation, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed used the title “Deputy Mayor” to his appointees.
Coupled with radical ethnic Oromo nationalists exclusive ownership claim over Addis Ababa which ODP itself seems to espouse based on the statement it issued sometime this year, the appointment of mayor illegally, as advocates call it, from outside members of the city council has caused an opposition which led to the establishment of a movement called Baladera Council under the leadership of prominent activists and journalists Eskinder Nega.
If the appointment of Adanech Abebe is true, it remains to be seen how it will resolve the issues raised by the Addis Ababa residents.
Join the conversation. Like borkena on Facebook and get Ethiopian News updates regularly. As well, you may get Ethiopia News by following us on twitter @zborkena