(by EthioTime) Seems an attempt of overhauling the leadership of his government, Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn has recently removed Mekuria Haile, Minister of Housing and Urban Development.
Though Prime Minister Hailemariam did not offer any reasons as to why the minister has been sacked, a letter that was signed by the PM mentioned that Mekuria was given another position in government as advisor to the PM on the issues of housing and urban development with the rank of a minister. Is has also been confirmed that Mekuria received the letter a week ago, reports a local newspaper in Ethiopia.
However, according to a high-level discussion held back in November 2015, lack of good governance and emergence of rent-seeking trends in the government institution has posed a serious threat to the system. And hence, the Ministry, which is led by Mekuria, is one of the institutions that were cited in the good-governance report, which was discussed at the high-level meeting.
However, recent reports indicate that Mekuria’s ministry was raised in connection to severe maladministration and lack of good governance. Former comrades of the ruling EPRDF revealed that the real administrative power has never been given to Mekuria which led to create strong network of officials to embezzle the land and housing development mainly in the city of Addis Ababa.
Mekuria was severely challenged in the House of People’s Representatives in June in connection with the performance of his Ministry and the slow delivery of public condominium houses to home-seekers.
Particularly, he was grilled by a Member of Parliament after he reported that over 80 blocks of condominium houses were either lost or were not constructed despite fact that they were included in the site map. MPs were also angered over his comment that he claimed he knew nothing about the lost houses.
Mekuria, who was born in Azza area of Gurage Zone, has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Addis Ababa University (AAU) and has obtained his Master’s degrees in International Business Management and Business Administration from Universities in Ireland and England. His first post in the public sector is the Trade, Industry and Urban Development Bureau of the Southern Region and cabinet member of Southern Regional State. He then moved to Addis Ababa as manager of the city under Kuma Demekssa who was back then Mayor of the city. His current ministerial portfolio materialized in 2010, in the then Urban Development and Construction Minister which was later renamed as Minster of Housing and Urban Development.
Image: Mekuria Haile