A year after a similar reshuffle, the management of the Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE) has proposed restructuring on the role 26 directors working for the bank. However, the request by the bank was rejected by the board of the bank, The Reporter has learnt.
The proposal by the management has come as a surprise for many employees of the bank.
“It has not been one year since there was a change at the level of directors,” said a senior official at the bank.
“I don’t see the need for the change,” said the senior official.
According to sources, the board, chaired by Shiferaw Shigute, who is also the head of the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) Secretariat, rejected the proposal.
The board has challenged the senior management to justify the need to bring in new directors to the post. However, the management has failed to back its proposal with a sensible argument.
“It is puzzling for me on what basis they plan to bring in new people,” argued the same official.
Most specifically, there are areas called core ones including credit appraisal, customer relations and project approvals.
The board has been firmly asking why the senior management needed to change directors on those core posts.
The recent attempt by the management came just a few weeks after a similar change at top management level.
Accordingly, Tadesse Hatiya, Teka Yibrah, Almaz Tilahun and Dereje Awgichew, vice president for credit management, corporate services, finance & banking management; and project financing, respectively, lost their position.
Only a vice president for lease finance & branch operations – Teshome Alemayehu – has managed to retain his position.
To fill the vacant posts, Getachew Waqe, Haileyesus Bekele and Hadush Gebreegziabher, all from DBE, were assigned as VP for project financing, credit management and corporate services as well as finance & banking management.
An investor close to the bank’s operation told The Reporter that he has confidence in the existing directors rather than a new one.
“I don’t see any reason for a new one to come,” said the investor.
Established in 1909, DBE is mostly known for project financing of different sectors. Over the past nine months, the bank has reported an outstanding loan of 36 billion birr.
The bank has been in turmoil since the replacement of its long-serving president, Esayas Bahre.
His departure was related to a report circulated regarding the performance of large commercial farms.
This report, which accuses local investors of mismanagement of loans given to them by DBE, faces a mass condemnation from the investors themselves.
They lambast the report for its shallow understanding on how commercial farms operate.
The Reporter has tried to contact Getahun Nana, president of the bank concerning the proposal. However, the president was inaccessible despite repeated attempts to reach him.
The Reporter has also reached out to Shiferaw Shigute for explanation of the matter. However, he declined a request for comment.
“I am outside the country,” Shiferaw said.