By Groum Abate
Kuma Demeksa, Mayor of Addis Ababa, announced that the City Administration will resume returning all confiscated plots slated for real estate development starting from Tuesday March 15.
On Friday March 11, at the ongoing meeting that started at the beginning of this past week with the alleged real estate plot abusers, Kuma said that the government revised its decision and will give back the plots it had confiscated. He further said that the charges filed against the 47 business people, which resulted in them being barred from travelling abroad will also be removed. A travel ban on 47 major construction company owners, who allegedly took extra plots without the consent of the city, for real estate development has been in place for the last couple of months.
Kuma also said the crime committed by some of the developers would result in up to 16 years imprisonment, but the city reversed its decision taking into consideration the development they are participating in, according to some of the developers who attended the meeting.
The mayor said that some of the plots that have been idle for a longer time however, will not be returned to the owners.
Officials of the City Administration, during the week, met with alleged abusers of plots slated for real estate development, individually, to discuss ways on how to progress with their real estate development after the administration banned them from any activities in October 2010.
The city spoke with all the developers with alleged charges at the city hall on conditions and formalities these developers could get back their plot and resume the construction.
During the previous discussions chaired by Awoke Hailemariam Deputy Manager of the City Administration on Tuesday March 8, the administration wanted the developers to accept their crimes and sign a document the city prepared for this purpose saying that they were involved in illegal activities. By doing this the city agreed to let them get back into the real estate development business. The developers protested the proposal saying that their cases each had unique circumstances and could not all be lumped together.
Later, officials of the city from Wednesday March 9 onward started discussing the issue with the developers on individual basis to persuade them to accept their crimes.