The Wabe Shebelle Hotel, nationalized by the Derg regime in 1975, was returned to its rightful owners last Tuesday.
The hotel was returned to Beedemariam Makonnen, Wondwossen Makonnen, Michael Makonnen, Teferi Makonnen and survivors of the late Dawit Makonnen. It had been under the management of the Privatization and Public Enterprises Supervising Agency (PPESA), which gave it back to the original owners.
The decision to return the property to the rightful owners was made in 2000, but the handover took 11 years to accomplish due to some technical problems, according to PEPSA sources.
“We are very delighted,” Beedemariam told The Reporter. He revealed that the new name of the hotel would be the Wabe Shebelle share company. The new management has chosen to retain the services of the 200 employees of the hotel, and say services will resume as previously.
The 11-storey, 108-room hotel was built towards the end of the 1950s and went into operation at the start of the 60s by Emperor Haile-Silassie for his five grandchildren. It was, however, nationalized by the military regime in 1974 following proclamation 26/67 that placed private wealth generation instruments under government management.