The Addis Ababa City Administration admitted it has temporarily closed down hundreds of nightclubs, hotels and businesses for allegedly playing music that embarrasses the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) and for stampeding on the Ethiopian national flag.
The move comes following the announcement of the unilateral ceasefire by the government and the control of Mekelle by forces of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
Apart from this, in the past couple of weeks, Officials from different Sub-cities have shutdown businesses allegedly engaged in illegal operations, The Reporter learnt.
Approached by The Reporter for further clarifications earlier this week, Officials of Bole, Yeka, Arada, Akaki and Gulele Sub-cities, said that several business entities were found to have been engaged in inappropriate and illegal business activities and disturbing residential areas (noise pollution) through music played during the night time.
According to chief administrator of Bole Wereda 3, Philimon Gashaw, undercover investigations over businesses were carried out after they received dozens of complaints of disturbance from unlicensed nightclubs. He noted that the closure was the result of the investigations.
Officials in the Wereda found Harmony Hotel, Kaleb Hotel, XO Addis Club, Join Club, and over 82 similar businesses, to have been playing music that humiliates the ENDF, at the risk of inflaming the public into further violence, had it not taken a prompt decision.
However, these latest pursuits come following the government’s decision to withdraw troops from Tigray region.
“Since we do have the responsibility to protect the safety of the public, we don’t need any court order or higher authority direction. Similar actions will continue to be taken if any businesses operate in violation of the national commercial law,” Philimon told The Reporter.
“There is no difference between a greedy businessman who disgraces Ethiopians and the national flag, and the terrorist TPLF,” he said adding, “some of the night clubs are suspected of financing the TPLF.”
Likewise, similar actions have been taken in different parts of the city, including the closure of entertainment venues and businesses, with many more individuals arrested and investigated.
Gulele sub-city administration has sealed three warehouses suspected of aiding the TPLF forces and arrested 60 individuals for allegedly disturbing entertainment places, sources from the Sub-city told The Reporter.
Similarly, head of communications at Yeka Sub-city, Tesfaye Shiferaw told The Reporter that at least 174 firms have been allegedly engaged in illegal business activities.“We will not continue to tolerate any business entity that violates the law,” Tesfaye said.
Officials from Kality Sub-city also told The Reporter that at least 159 businesses in the Sub-city have been temporarily closed for similar reasons including hoarding, noise pollution, unlicensed activities and the like.
The Reporter has learnt that the Sub-cities have already formed a taskforce to follow such irregularities and are undertaking similar investigations on businesses.