Former Addis Ababa mayor denies land, condominium scandal

Takele Uma says transfer of Condominium unit in Addis Ababa to unregistered citizens was implemented as per government policy

Takele Uma _ Addis Ababa
Takele Uma (SM)

borkena
September 1, 2020

A day after an opposition party released findings from investigative research on selected sub-cities in the capital Addis Ababa — which revealed that hundreds of thousands of square meters of land were illegally transferred to land grabbers —former mayor of the city Takele Uma denies it. He called it a “false” report.

In a status update on his Facebook page, he said “you may disintegrate a country with false information but you may not build a country with it-there is no political profit from it.”

The study released on Monday accused city administration authorities of illegally transferring over twenty thousand condominium units. What makes it illegal, as far as the Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice party — the entity that revealed the information — is that hundreds of thousands of residents of Addis Ababa registered for it, and we’re saving money for it for over a decade.

The former mayor defended the illegal transfer of the Condo units when he said that it was something that the cabinet decided. Based on his assertion, those who got the condo units when they were not on the waiting list are people “who were displaced from their land.”

“Of the 67,000 families who owned land but were reduced to laborers or security, the condominium units were transferred to 20,000 of them who were in the worst situation. And what has been done is the least, not much,” he said in his Facebook message.

Other than that, he added, there is no family that was given a condo unit illegally. 

Furthermore, he painted an image of himself who was fighting against illegal land grabbing. “Regarding land grabbing, we had been taking strong measures against it since day one,” he said.

Takele Uma also criticized the Ethiopian Citizens For Social Justice Party (EZEMA) for what called a “lack of solidarity with those peasants who were inhumanly displaced from their holdings.”

On Monday this week, EZEMA called for an investigation into what it called unprecedented illegal land grabbing and illegal transfer of Condominium units. Addis Ababa City authorities including the then Mayor, Takele Uma who is currently appointed as the minister for the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum, are indicted in the scandal.

Radial ethnic Oromo activists are voicing their support to Takele Uma. The Condo units were transferred to ethnic Oromo “peasants.”



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