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Addis Ababa City Administration restructuring, new sub-city

Lemi Kura added as the new sub-city to Addis Ababa City Administration

Addis Ababa City _ new sub-city _ Lemi Kura
Swearing in ceremony of the new appointees of the sub-city administration (Photo : Addis Ababa City Administration)

October 21, 2020

Addis Ababa City Council on Tuesday had a discussion on restructuring the city administration. And one of the agenda items was restructuring sub-cities.

Before yesterday, the administration had ten sub-cities. The new mayor, Adanech Abeibei, seems to have managed to push for the agenda of creating one more. Whether the initiative is informed by political motives or otherwise is unclear.

What is clear is that Lemi Kura is added as the new sub-city. And Elias Mohammed is the Chief administrator of the new sub-city.

On Tuesday, her administration announced eleven new appointments to run the restructured sub-cities. It is claimed the new leadership is selected based on academic qualification, experience, and leadership competence. It is public knowledge that political loyalty or affiliation takes primacy in the appointment of top-level (even junior level for that matter) bureaucratic positions in the federal, regional, and city government positions. Seen from that angle, it is only questionable if Adanech Abiebie‘s new appointment is free from it.

She took over her new role in August 2020 after the former mayor, Takele Uma, was removed from the position on grounds of what later was said to be a corrupt practice specifically on urban housing and land administration. The government later disclosed that over 20, 000 condo units in the city were illegally transferred to people who were not on the waiting list of registered residents in the city.

Furthermore, 210,000 hectares of land in the city was said to have been misappropriated. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed seemed to have inherited the customary practices from TPLF era governance whereby authorities who violated ethical practices are assigned to a different role (usually Ambassadorial position). In the case of Takele Uma, he was rather promoted as Minister of Mining and Petroleum.

The politics of Addis Ababa is certainly one of the most controversial issues in Ethiopia especially after Abiy Ahmed took office in April 2020.

Under his leadership, his former party, Oromo Democratic Party (ODP), now defunct, played a key role in the formation of the Prosperity Party, and it is believed to have retained colossal leveraging power in. Before the merger, ODP claimed exclusive ownership over Addis Ababa.

Apart from that, there had been allegations of attempts to alter the demographic composition of Addis Ababa in the past two years. According to those who espouse the view, the goal is to gain an advantage during the election. More than 80 percent of Addis Ababa residents are believed to be non-Oromo when Abiy Ahmed assumed power in 2018.

Bilingualism has emerged as a new problem. The Abiy Ahmed government wants the ability to speak the Oromo language and Amharic language as a criterion in the process of recruitment for government positions. However, most young people in the capital Addis Ababa do not speak Oromo language which means that they are less likely to land on public service jobs. Abiy Ahmed firmly defended the move when he appeared at the parliament on Monday this week.

Leaders of the movement to defend the rights of the people of Addis Ababa, like Eskinder Nega and his deputy Sintayehu Chekol, are incarcerated on trumped-up charges of involvement in the violence following the death of Hachalu Hundessa in early July 2020.

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