Cassation Bench upholds chamber ruling

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United Insurance Share Company (UNIC) received a final legal victory over the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations (AACCSA).
On Monday December 22 the Federal Cassation Bench, which is the last court in the national justice system, validated the decision handed down by lower courts.
According to the lower court’s decision, the general assembly that held a year ago was annulled, which means AACCSA does not have any elected board members.
On his official facebook page, Zafu Eyessus work Zafu stated that it is not just a victory for United Insurance or for himself but for those who were by his side. He went on to say “Rather, it is a victory for the truth; it is a victory for the justice system. As such, the judgment provides both an excellent and historic lesson to the skeptics,” Zafu said.
Kebede Chane, Minister of Trade (MoT), told Capital that MoT will consult with the relevant authorities about future actions.
“There is rule of law in the country and based on that the court, who is working for rule of law, has given its decision, regardless of if the decision is right or wrong according to the law,” he said.
“As the Ministry we consider that the association is working as a full entity, due to that the court did not give the correct decision because it affects the chamber activity,” he said.
It (the court) gives a judgment against individuals it’s not right because the association’s actions are based on its own rules and affect a collective body, Kebede said.
“We just heard the court’s decision this morning (Wednesday December 24) so the next step will take place based on the discussions given by relevant stakeholders,” the minister said.
According to the sector experts, the Addis Ababa City Administration Trade and Industry Development Bureau, MoT and Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations (ECCSA) will be stake holders that can intervene in the next move about the city chamber.
Solomon Afework, President of ECCSA, told Capital that they were trying to mediate between the two bodies, while the court has given final judgment. “We will see the situation with relevant stakeholders and decide the best course of action,” he added.
The AACCSA association was in the process of organizing the 10th general assembly on Thursday December 25 at Hilton Hotel, but it was suspended by the court a week ago.
“I am sure that the apex Chamber, Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations of which Addis Ababa Chamber is a member, shall play the leading role in reconciling with its member,” he said on his facebook page.  “I say this because ECCSA, along with Addis Ababa Trade & Industry Bureau and the then Ministry of Trade, had worked and gained relevant experience while establishing AACCSA back in Nehassie 1997 (August 2005)”, he added.
In regards to an incident on December 19, 2013, when AACCSA refused to allow Zafu, representative of UNIC, to attend the ninth general assembly at the Hilton Hotel. A day before the general assembly was held, the outgoing board, which was elected two years ago, sent a letter to United Insurance, advising it to suspend their representative, ZafuEyesuswork. This meant that he was barred from attending the meeting and the letter said the insurance company would have to assign another representative for the general assembly.