City Administration’s First Attempt to Collect 600,000,000 Fails
City Mayor Kuma Demeksa led the Addis Ababa City Administration’s failed first attempt to collect 600,000,000 birr from city-dwellers. The money, which is said to support city developmental projects, was to be collected from local residents and businesses
Beginning on Monday January 3, 2011, development committee members in all 10 sub-cities went door-to-door in selected kebeles, demanding an allotted amount of money from every person determined by their individual income. According to sources, most people refused to pay the money, insisting that their income and expenses were personal matters.
An anonymous barber who spoke with ANO reporter explains, “They came into my barber shop and asked me to pay 200 birr.” He says that he refused to pay the money, protesting that he could not afford to pay that much. “I tried to give them 30 birr, explaining that this is the amount that I could pay. They refused to accept the money, arguing that the least amount of money one can pay in this kind of business is 50 birr,” continues the barber. “They even threatened to write my name on the list of people who are resistant to pay, and I told them that they can do as they wish. So they wrote my name and went.”
“Only God knows how much I suffer to cope with today’s living conditions and support my family. They have no moral, religious or legal right to demand a contribution of money from me,” says the barber.
According to sources inside the city’s EPRDF office that every city dweller is required to make a contribution according to their income.
According to the source, under the five-year development plan, different institutions have been established and committees, consisting of 15 popular dignitaries, have been assigned in every local area to ensure the accomplishment of the development goals. The committee members have undergone “capacity building“trainings. “The contribution expected from the residents of Addis is not limited to a monetary one, but include manpower, knowledge and in-kind contributions.” said the source.
Mayor Kuma Demeksa, held a briefing on the same issue for a group of stakeholders, which included religious leaders, a week ago.
In the meantime, the city council has levied similar charges against traditional welfare associations, known as Idirs. The Idirs are voluntary social co-operatives, established to provide assistance to members in times of hardships. The contributions demanded from these organizations ranges between 500 to 5000 birr, based on the financial status of the Idirs.