Thirty-seven households that reside around Greek School in the vicinities of Dembel City Center told The Reporter that they were told to vacate their residences to make way for the expansion of the Oromia President’s office.
The residents complained that although they have lived in the area since its inception more than 60 years ago, they have now been told to vacate the area via notices posted on electric poles.
“We are not convinced by its appropriateness; so, we request for a quick solution from you,” the letter they wrote to the Prime Minister’s Office reads.
In a letter addressed to the deputy mayor of Addis Ababa, Adanech Abebie, PM Abiy Ahmed (PhD), and Deputy PM Demeke Mekonnen, they argue that their case should be addressed according to the “Expropriation of Landholdings for Public Purpose and Payment of Compensation Proclamation.”
The proclamation issued in 2019 states that people who would be expropriated should be notified of the same at least before one year and if the matter is urgent, it should be conducted in a manner that respects the dignity of the people.
Hence, they ask if the decision to expropriate them is appropriate, how the previously approved expansion on 2.6 hectares of land was raised to seven hectares and why the expansion is being implemented on a zigzag line that hurts some and benefits others.
Speaking to The Reporter, the Chief-of- Staff of Oromia President’s Office, Getu Weyessa said that like any other person that asks for land for expansion projects, they have requested for land to do the expansion.
The intention to do the expansion is meant to bring all offices of Oromia that operate in rental offices to the same place in order to facilitate service provision.
“Residents who agreed to vacate their properties for the expansion are coming and receiving compensation and the President’s Office is responsible for paying the compensation for people that come with proper documentation,” Getu said.
The 37 households are desperate that they could not even get replies from any authority they complained to.