ACCESS’ DRAMA CONTINUES




The shenanigans of Ermias T. Amelga in the name of Access Real Estate may make fascinating reading but the stories of shareholders are painful and there is no relief in the uncertainty of either legal or financial outcomes. Lives have been shattered, life savings have been lost, retirees have been effectively and ironically rendered homeless. What seems clear is that Ermias has run out of options to avoid recourse in law. But what are the factors that could have turned what initially seemed like a good investment into the nightmare that investment in Access Real Estate seems to have become for homebuyers? And they are not the only ones who have suffered losses. The reasons seem to go beyond the personal, to the political, social and poor institutional governance. The historical summary shown above, suggests the need for improved checks and balances all around. Even if the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth is elicited in court, it is too late for damage control or redress for the many stakeholders from whom huge sums have been collected. Could they have exercised greater caution in their investment activity? Could the expanded leadership of Access have acted more decisively? Hopefully, insights from this case will lead to greater scrutiny of the real estate sector in Ethiopia. It is heartening to see some of the victims organising to make both individual and collective responses to their predicament. The question remains, what preventive measures can be taken to prevent and mitigate the impact of similar occurrences in the future? There are more questions than answers but Ermias’ day in court tomorrow will be interesting when it happens. If not, he may have a few more days of quiet contemplation (or turmoil) under conditions that are not so comfortable.



Published on Feb 01,2016 [ Vol 16 ,No 822]


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