The Addis land grabbing menace


Recent reports showing concern with regards to land grabbing in Addis Ababa has rendered the city administration to hold up the services of land management indefinitely.
At the beginning of this week Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice (ECSJ) has disclosed that in the past few months thousands of square meters of land had been illegally taken.
According to Dereje Kassa, Deputy Head of Office of the Mayor and Cabinet Affairs, for an interim period, clarified that on the basis of land grabbing the city administration had decided to suspend the services of land management for the time being.
As he stated land banking and transferring, land development and urban renewal, construction permit and integrated land information services has been held up until the concerns are cleared up.
The study conducted on the matter concludes that illegal land grabbing and transforming of condominiums by politically motivated decisions has reached a critical high.
Key placed, road and public areas have been fenced illegally in five sub cities with officials in the Oromia region playing as the major actors in the land grabbing as per the report.
“The land grabbing and illegal transfer of condominiums was done by organized groups and individuals in the presence of security forces and with the involvement of officials and employees of the city administration,” states the report of ECSJ. The study accused officials of the city as they remained unconcerned as the grabbed lands were sold to a third party while police officers provided protection as ethnic Oromo youth fenced key places and vacant areas.
The former mayor has defended that the so called illegal transferring of the condominium units were decided by the cabinet affairs a year and half ago to those who were displaced from their land in order to build the condominium units.
“The condominium units were transferred to 20,000 of them who were in a worst situation from the 67,000 families who were forced to leave their land” said Takele in his Facebook page.
Recently the former deputy mayor Takele Uma announced the commencement of the land audit and registration scheme in a bid to tackle land grabbing issue and begun issuing title deeds to farmers starting from August 10.
The Deputy Mayor of Addis Ababa City Administration has told city officials to take immediate action in granting farmers, who own farming lands in the city’s surrounding areas, with a legally binding land title deed.
The city Administration will give title deeds to lands owned by farmers after they are registered as they are prone to be affected by land grabbing.
The land audit and registration drive will be backed by technological advancements in partnership with Ministry of Science and Innovation, according to Mayor’s Office.
The registration of lands owned by farmers will be completed till October 10, 2020.