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Buses procurement sparks disputes among metropolitans

Adanech _ Buses procurement
Adancech Abiebie saw behind the wheel of the new bus that is said to have cost over $360,000 U.S. (Photo : public domain)

By Staff reporter

ADDIS ABABA – The Addis Ababa City Administration has made official last week about the procurement of 200 brand new city buses at a cost of birr 3.8 billion. This means a single bus was purchased for birr 19 million or USD 350,000.

The issue has now become the talk of the town. People across the city are voicing complaints about the exaggerated amount of money scooped out wantonly from the coffers of this poor nation…

Mayor of the City, Adanech Abebie, said that to alleviate the ever-pressing transport problem that has been aggravated by the socio-economic hazards and the skyrocketing number of population, the administration executed the purchase order. “The Administration is working round the clock by giving emphasis to the improvement of public transport services and expansion of roads and traffic systems,” Adanech said. 

The Mayor said that her administration has deployed five months back 110 buses under Lion’s brand. ‘’To date we have kept our words and emplaced more buses for services on city roads. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to Brighten Trading Company for its big support to realize this initiative,” she said.

Adanech Abiebie , Addis Ababa City Mayor, is seen in the bus flanked by Federal Minister for Transport, Alemu Semie (on the right side) (photo : Public Domain )

However, prominent activists known in the social media platform are voicing grievances on the issue. Elias Meseret said on his Facebook page that he had contacted two Chinese companies regarding the cost for a new modern bus. The price quotes he received from two different companies reportedly show that a single bus could cost from 111,320 up to 130,000 USD. This is well below the half cost of the single bus purchased by the City Administration.

Sulieman Abdela wrote, quoting a source that a modern touring helicopter could cost about 20 million. This is the same price as that of a single bus recently purchased by the City Administration.

Another Face booker, Wasihun Tesfaye, said that the cost of the single bus the City Administration claimed to spend could buy three new buses.

Meanwhile, The Weekly Addis Standard wrote in its June 03/2021 issue that the first Lady, Zinash Tayachew built a primary School (with enrollment capacity of 1,800 kids) in Hawi Gudina Woreda, West Harerghe Zone of Oromia Regional State at a cost of birr 13.8 million. 

Fana Broadcasting Corporation also reported on January 11/2021 that the office of the first Lady, Zinash Tayachew, built a secondary school at cost of 20 million birr in East Shewa Zone of Oromia Regional State.

How many schools could have we built had we used 3.8 billion birr properly?

In January 2022, Mayor Adanech Abeibeie claimed that it spent 2.2 billion birr ( over US$  45 million) for the renovation of the Addis Ababa City Administration building.  


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  1. How much a full size school bus in USA and other Western countries cost? In upwards of $250,000 USD. Right? That is why most of the current fleets used by many small school districts are at least more than a decade old. 20-yr old school buses are common. Electric school buses? Forget about it! Then how much those for daily public transportation used in Western large cities and small towns cost? Try to find a 3-4yr old decent used one with low mileage for less than $200,000 USD. A new full size passenger bus at less than $500,000 USD is unthinkable. Now, if the mayor and her office spent that amount of money for one of those bootlegged clunker Chinese made buses, then some crafty salesman is taking her for long ride. Look at what is going on with those ‘beautiful’ Chinese made trains used by the railway authority. It did not too long for many of them to be out of commission. I say buy toys from Chinese companies but not assets. Remember the whole railway line was built using high yield loan from China itself. I have a report recently that the railway authority has just signed a contract with the commies to fix the broken down engines and supply spare parts. You loan money with an interest and you make additional profit by contracting the project yourself. Folk, we have been in the wrong business all along. The commies in Beijing ate our lunch and they don’t even say excuse me! They are not done there yet. They use the proceeds to build a spy balloons to watch you strolling in your Little Ethiopia neighborhoods of DC, The City of Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Toronto, Dallas and Seattle. I told you not to start with me about those commies! Just don’t do it!

  2. Just look at the link below to find out how the commies drug can get hooked up for life. I will sell you clunky engines and when they break down I will tell you I can fix it but you have to pay me 25 millions in USD upfront and if you are tight for money I can have one of my buddies in Beijing to finance it for you. This is the modern day indenture bondage and slavery rolled into one. But a desperate borrower you will not feel the weight of the loan you accumulated until suddenly the bills start piling up on your desk. You will be crushed to pieces. That is what most the Sub Saharan countries are facing under the weight of the high yield loans by commies in Beijing. The other bully in Moscow is content to sell you modern military hardware so you can kill each other to extinction. These poorly crafted trains made in China remind me of the adage about certain car models made in Detroit in the 1970’s. It goes like ‘Don’t buy a car made on Mondays because everybody is suffering a hangover from the wild parties during the weekend. Don’t buy a car made on Fridays because everyone is in a hurry to go home and party all weekend long. Don’t buy cars made on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays because the worker is irate for being written up by his boss for tardiness. In this case in Chinese factory every worker is seething in anger inside asking himself why he is paid so much less than his peers in Detroit and Stuttgart. He will be ok if he meets the quota expected from him.

    Here is the link:

  3. Wicked exploitation from the PP as they boast about their spending habits. They are building Addis Ababa for outsiders. For European businesses and American NGOs, not in the benefit of our own people.

    Inflation is through the roof and the country is actually becoming poorer. Everything is built with loans and foreign investment. Our people still haven’t learned the basics of construction and manufacturing!!!!!

  4. I would prefer to expand & maintain with this cost the fallen Addis-Light-Tram transportation.
    Now a days many countries are trying to build emmission free Public Transportation.
    The chiness have built us The The chty railway before 10 years, nevertheless, we are unable to maintain it or expand it. I read last time the claim from the city authorities about the callenge of Addis-Light-Railway because of spare parts and the required Budget and senking support from china.
    Now the city is spending lot of dollars to purchase the buses.
    Does this sound rediculous??
    Or may be the sign of corruption??
    The city addministration has to deal with it!!

    bus purchase


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