Questionable land policy vexes investors


Investors are asking the City Administration of Addis Ababa to restart leasing land faster. Since Takele Uma became mayor, land leasing has been suspended. According to sources about 3,000 individuals are registered asking for land to develop but most have not received a reply.
A notice the City Land Development and Management Bureau issued on October 14 indicated that they won’t take any more requests for land.
“We are not looking to get land through special treatment,” an investor said. They insist the city administration recommence the regular land lease.
Experts in the sector expressed their fear that stopping the land lease will open the sector to corruption. It is unclear why the city administration does not want to start the land lease but at the same time it facilitates plots for some few individuals through other deals.
“This is the implication of misuse of the public property,” the investors claimed.
Sources said that currently the city administration is busy returning lands to previous landlords or farmers’ children that were displaced from their plots.
One observer said that those who are receiving the lands are not really the owners or the families who own the plots. After they received the land they are engaged in transferring the plot as soon as possible.
At the same time some of the lands are provided to selected individuals for investment throughout the city including in the heart of Addis Ababa.
Capital has been trying to get clear information for two weeks from Tesfaye Lemma, head of the city lease office under the city Land Management and Development Bureau, about when the city will recommence the lease but he refused to give information.