New Adama mayor suspends eight city council members

By Merga Yonas|The Reporter

The newly-elected mayor of Adama town, Bakar Shale, suspended eight council members from his administration in the middle of the week on charges of lacking “good governance” and indulging in “corruption”, it was learnt. During the assessment session for the second quarter of 2012/13, the assembly deliberated on issues ranging from strengthening the “goal” set under micro and small-scale institutions to the extent of meeting the “objectives” of the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization.

Meanwhile, the meeting held this week that mainly focused on “good governance” and “corruption” ended with the suspension of eight city council members of the Adama town administration, a source who attended the meeting and requested anonymity told The Reporter.

According to him, following the suspension of eight council members of the city administration, investigation has been going on to find out the ex-lent of their alleged lack of good governance and being involved in corruption. Withholding the identity of the eight council members, the source added that three of them were removed from their posts while working in kebele offices, while the rest were at the higher administration of Adama town. The Adama town, which has been witnessing an overwhelming suspension of council members and mayors in the last two years, has left its residents in bewilderment.

Some residents of Adama argued that the recent fallout between residents and the administration over the break-up of water pipeline, electric blackout and related other services caused the replacement of the former mayor.

Observers claim that the official explanation given to the rank-and-file for change of the guards is that the party needs to quell the growing resentment among the town’s dwellers.

Fueled by the incompetent response of the government to the breakdown of the town’s main water pipeline, this had resulted in loss of water supply for over two months, for which the mayor had to take the blame, observers explained.

Following the step-down of the former mayor, Guta Lanchore, who was appointed to work at the party level in the OPDO, Bakar has engaged himself in restructuring the working system and levels of the town administration.

However, insiders believe that Guta might be just the latest victim of the systematic purge of the mid-level leadership of OPDO, the observers added. Before the latter assumed office on November 21, he used to work as the deputy head of the Office of Government Communications Affairs.

Adama, with its population of about 300,000, is a busy transportation center. The town, located about 99km to the south-east of Addis Ababa, is situated along the busy road that connects Addis Ababa with Dire Dawa and Djibouti. The town also sits between the base of an escarpment to the west, and the Great Rift Valley to the east.

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