Ethiopia:Press Conference prohibited to cover scandal about Addis Ababa,says EZEMA

Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice Party says the press conference was prohibited to cover-up the illegal transfer of condominium units and illegal land grab, and illegal settlement

borkena
August 28, 2020

Ethiopian Citizens For Social Justice (EZEMA) party, one of the major opposition parties in the country, said on Friday that police prohibited its scheduled press conference event in the capital Addis Ababa.

It was supposed to take place in the morning at the Ras Hotel in the center of the city. It was the Kirkos sub-city police that dispersed the crowd where the press event was meant to take place.

Police reportedly claimed that it was not informed about the press conference (from higher authority).

Natnael Fekeke, EZEMA public relations officer, told VOA Amharic reporter that that party had similar press conferences in the past and did not have to inform law enforcement authorities about it.

He said this time his party has informed the Federal Government of Ethiopia Ministry of Peace — as required by the new regulation of COVID-19 prevention.

EZEMA party thinks that the government did not allow the press conference because it was about two sensitive issues for the residents of Addis Ababa (and beyond).

After receiving information about the illegal settlement and illegal transfer of condominium units in Addis Ababa, the party established a committee to study the public complaints about the issues. The press conference was meant to disclose the findings from the study, said the public relations head of the party, Natenael Feleke.

He said the findings from the study, which appears to be scandalous that would put the city administration and the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed too, will be released to the public through other means including social media platforms. “No power on earth will stop us from doing so,” he said.

What he did not say is the time when the party is releasing the information.

Police were contacted for a remark about the cancelation of EZEMA’s presser event but there was no response.

There had been accusations against Takele Uma’s Administration — he is now transferred to the Federal government as minister of Mining and Petroleum — about moves to alter the ethnic composition of Addis Ababa city in favor of ethnic Oromos. 

Critics say measures ranging from issuance of thousands of city identity cards to those who are not residents of the city to the illegal transfer of tens of thousands of condo units in the city were taken along the line of changing demography in the city which does not have an elected mayor.

Last week, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s confidant, Adanech Abiebie, was named as the mayor of Addis Ababa city replacing Takele Uma.



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