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Published On  Oct 16,  2011
   
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THE FINE LINE
 

 

The spectre of possible cabinet reshuffling in the federal government is back again, gossip noticed. There is a widespread feeling up at Arat Kilo that a considerable number of the ministers - young and inexperienced - are making a dent in implementing what is considered to be the most ambitious government program of the GTP. Not even the president of the nation, Girma W. Giorgis, during his state of the union address to the joint assembly of both houses last week, could contain his thoughts; describing the plan as “overstretched”, gossip noted.

But it is too early to tell who among his disciples the chief priest will retain or replace, according to gossip.

However, the administration has been subjected to strong criticisms from those within for the neglect and abandonment of those who served it as ministers, vice ministers and state ministers over the past two decades. Some of them could fall from power, thus losing all that public office brings in form of privilege, but those remaining might also wonder whether it is worth serving such an administration, claims gossip.

There were a few examples in the past. One shocking incident was the purging of Assefa Kesito from power and his forceful eviction from a state-owned house. He had made a surprising ascendance to power as Minister of Justice in the aftermath of the historic 2005 election, was removed from his position as a minister for his poor performance in handling the unpopular bill on charities and civil societies and was subsequently appointed as an advisor to the President’s Office. The image of his furniture scattered around the door of a small villa published in an Amharic weekly was no doubt an embarrassing moment for the administration.

Another person who served as Justice Minister was Hareqa Haroye. Departing from public office, where he once had the privilege of enjoying a chauffeured four-wheel drive, he has been reduced to commuting. The Defense Minister was kind enough to give him a ride recently, gossip claims. Speaking of defense ministers, the once strongman Seyee Abraha has reportedly now been served notice to leave the state house where he has been a resident for two decades. Although it is unlikely to expect generosity from his comrades-cum-archrivals, it is not clear whether his family will be given a replacement house in his absence.

This accusation of abandoning of former ministers may not be limited to those who have fallen from grace. Even those who are inside the fence and are believed to be on good terms are not being treated accordingly, gossip disclosed.

Two former deputy prime ministers stand out as examples, gossip claims.

For instance, Tefera Walwa, who has had a problem getting a retirement entitlement for some time, could not find office space granted by the state, claims gossip. He has had to settle for accommodations of sorts at the legal research center run by former Justice Menberetsehay Tadesse, gossip disclosed.

The dilemma is a little different when it comes to Addisu Legesse, though. Although he resides in a refurbished government house, he has yet to be able to claim all the privileges and entitlements listed in the law for retired public service people. Despite retirement from his cabinet position, he still uses an office located inside the Prime Minister’s office up in Arat Kilo, and has thus not been granted all the privileges the law is suppose to provide him, claims gossip.

All these woes come as a result of the failure by the Ministry under Sufian Ahmed to establish a bureau responsible for such follow-ups, claims gossip.  

 
 
 
 
 
 
   
 
 
 

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