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Addis Ababa’s new Deputy Mayor, Takele Uma ordered the City Land Management Bureau to confiscate 11 fenced plots of land owned by MIDROC and put them into the land bank. Limited construction had been ongoing on those plots over the past two decades.
Included in this were three hectares of fended land in Piassa. Twenty years ago MIDROC agreed to build and 40 floor building in Piassa but changed their mind and decided to build two G+4 buildings.
The city had been criticized for allowing MIDROC to hold on to idle land for such a long time, and since they failed to start construction the government took the land and plans to re-sell it via tender.
The fenced land in Mexico Square was planned for a business building. Another plot next to the Sheraton Addis Hotel were taken away from MIDROC even though they had paid 87 million birr to relocate people who lived on that land. The company says they plan to appeal. In total MIDROC lost 250,413 square meters of land.
Capital asked Beyen Amdissa, Lease Land Supervision officer at the Land Management Bureau why land was taken from some investors when they had started digging holes for the foundation of their building. He responded by saying.
“We have put up with a lot so this is the right time to action. If a building has some columns and floors we can at least consider that there is some work going on there but a majority of the lands we took away are empty lands and buildings with stalk foundations.”
A week ago, Takele Uma told the press that they snatched 412 hectares of land from developers and out of it 138 hectares of land were given via a lease land tender. In total the city administration has placed 154 plots of land back into land banks.
The land bank also took over 95 pieces of land measuring 456,428sqm held by government institutions, as well as 11 other plots of land acquired by Ethio- Telecom, the Defense Minister and Federal Ministries measuring 2,743, 200sqm. Some of the repossessed land will be used to build condominium housing on the outskirts of the city. Currently the administration is auditing city buildings. If plots remain empty and construction doesn’t start in some areas the land will be returned to land banks.
MIDROC is owned by the billionaire Sheikh Mohammed Hussein al-Amoudi who is currently in custody in Saudi Arabia.