Addis Ababa City Administration denies accusation of discriminatory practices
June 25, 2020
Addis Ababa’s acting Mayor, Takele Uma, tries to regularly make headlines for altruistic and “efficiency” in running the city administration. In doing so (and sometimes with the not so articulated rhetoric), he paints himself as a sort of progressive, within the context of Ethiopian politics, a politician who cares about the future of Ethiopia and the future of Addis Ababa city.
But in the shadow of that image, there appears to be a deeply ethnic Oromo nationalist figure who is striving to change the composition of the city in a way to serve ethnic politics.
It was not too long ago when his party officially claimed exclusive ownership right over Addis Ababa City. There have been allegations that his administration is practicing a discriminatory policy regarding the transfer of Condominium units to owners and illegal land settlement.
Ethiopia has been facing multiple security and political challenges (both internal and external). For that reason, activists and politicians avoided bringing the malpractices (unjust too) in Addis Ababa City to the limelight vigorously. The coronavirus situation has provided another layer of the curtain for the Addis Ababa City administration to conceal ethnically motivated policy measures intended to alter the ethnic composition of the city.
The city has already experienced too many illegal demolitions under the pretext of development and law enforcement work in the city.
There had been even killings in the city in connection with demolition, not to mention arrests.
Yet, the problem got worse. And opposition parties have started to speak out against it.
On Thursday, Ethiopian Citizens For Social Justice (EZEMA) issued a statement condemning the discriminatory practices in the city administration.
“Concrete information we get from residents and from our party structures, the city is appearing as if it exists with the will of few individuals,” the party said in its statement.
It also said that the party was ignoring issues in consideration of the difficult nature of a transition time. The party warned that the discriminatory practices by the city administration will further complicate the problems facing the city and those who are orchestrating the illegal land settlement practices and illegal transfer of Condominium will be held responsible.
The party has formed a committee to formally gather additional information and investigate discriminatory practices in the city administration. It also encouraged residents to continue to send information to the party.
The party said it will announce the results of its investigation regarding discrimination in connection with condo transfers and illegal land settlements in the city.
EZEMA is not alone. Balderas for Genuine Democracy, a legally registered party, has been studying and exposing grievances of Addis Ababa City residents.
Critical voices in the city say ethnic-based apartheid system is on the rise and ethnic-Oromo nationalist parties appear to be are into it under the guise of “redressing historical injustices.”
Addis Ababa City administration denied all the accusation.
The Mayor and his City Administration was not directly elected by residents of the city.
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