Court blocks new construction on historical Ayalew Birru house


Construction of a G+6 building, started at the compound of Ayale Birru (Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Army at time of Ras Tafari Makonnen) has been blocked by an Addis Ababa Court after a hearing. The court ruled that the building would block the old heritage house at the same compound.
The old house which has two buildings and and two villa houses is located around Bole Dembel. It was the residences of Ayale Birru. In the time of Dergu and EPRDF the house served as a Kebele and youth office.
In 2008 through the order of the then PM, Meles Zenawi the house was given to international model Liya Kebede to preserve the house. Liya invested millions of birr to relocate the residents. She brought 27 condominiums for them. Now it is a guest house.
A letter written by Ali Abdo former Mayor of Addis Ababa, ordered Wereda 18 Keble 07 to give 175 square meter to a diaspora named Dawit Degefu for compensation for his old house. That house came from the 2,768 square meters of the old Ayalew Birru house.
Since then different officials opposed the idea of the new building. However, before his passing, Dawit convinced the officials.
Elsabet Dawit, the daughter of Dawit, pushed the case on and finally started the construction but the court blocked it until the case got a solution. The court adjourned to hear the case on March 15.
During his lifetime, Ayalew Birru held a number of important governorships. From 1916, he was Shum of Wagara. From 1928, he was Shum of Semien Province. From 1917 to 1918, after Lij Iyasu was deposed, Ayalew Birru was made the Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Army by Ras Tafari Makonnen.
On 18 January 1918, Ayalew Birru married Manyahilush Kassa. Manyahilush was the second daughter of Ras Kassa Haile Darge.
In 1931, Ayalew Birru was rewarded by being named Fitawrari and Minister of War. Between 1933 and 1934, Ayalew Birru fell into disfavor with the Emperor; most likely over money. As result, he was exiled to Arsi Province.