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Siblings freeze projects of late president

The children of the late Ethiopian President Girma W/Giorgishave decided to freeze all projects related to their recently departed father, warning anyone to refrain from profiting from the name and legacy with the exception of the government. Should that not be honored, the family is prepared to take legal measures, according to Solomon G. W/Giorgis, the fourth child of the late President.

“We will not allow the use of our fathers name for any project by individuals and organizations,” Solomon said in a statement. “The use of our fathers name for projects is only to be used by the government of FDRE.”

The second President of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia was well-known in activism and advocacy, in particular,the environment as well asYouth engagement until his passing at the age of 94 last month. He had been active through a foundation named after him and there had been a planned school to be opened under his name in Butajira.

This particular school was to cost 129 million Birr to build and the fundraiser was initiated by local entrepreneurs receivinga lukewarm reception from donors and potential supporters. 

“As his age progressed, the demand of his time and public appearance only increased. For many, he became like an industry, where anyone would demand of him to endorse their ambition and raise money for many causes with little accountability,” Solomon told The Reporter.“We are not against charity or public causes,” he said further;“but when his name is used, there needs to be accountability and follow all government regulations; and should have a certain standard.”

“This decision of ours was not taken lightly but it is to make sure that things were done according to the law of the government,Charities& NGO’s proclamation 621 / 2009.As he was an old man, we are afraid that others could have taken advantage of him.”

Furthermore, the family is requesting anyone who suspects others are compromising the name or usingit without the family’s authorization to contact them for an immediate action.

AssefaKeseto knew the president well and served as his advisor at some point. “Till the end, anyone can attest the president was healthy and knew what he was doing.He wanted to leave a legacy and he did that,” he told The Reporter via a phone interview.

Assefa invited the president to an annual gathering at his neighborhood and had him hand gifts to children who excel academically. The environmentalist even planted a tree in 2006 as a lasting legacy to the neighborhood, according to Assefa.

“If there is anyone who contests his name or likeness to be used onward in charitable gestures, they need to contest it in court or come to an understanding with the parties involved,” he asserts.