Kassim Fite, former deputy head of Land Administration & Development,Addis Ababa




Kassim Fite, former deputy head of Land Administration & Development,Addis Ababa

Inopportune

What Happened:

 

Kassim Fite, the former deputy head of Land Administration & Development, joined the spotlight after the controversy over lifting his immunity went fierce, to eventually end with a consensus that put him under custody as he returns fromChina. Kassim, a Member of the Parliament (MP), had immunity from criminal charges. Lifting his immunity was not an easy task for MPs as they saw the faults within the procedures that brought the case to their attention. Eventually, as the parliament was debating on Kassim’s immunity, he went toChinafor what he claims to be a training engagement. That pushed the temperature over his case high up. Rumour had it that Kassim had fled from the country. But he was detained on his return fromChina. A sufficiently experienced man in land issues, Kassim’s detainment was a cover story in the spotlight.

 

When It Happened:

 

Kassim was detained on July 28, 2013. The parliament lifted his immunity on July 4, 2013.

 

What to Know:

 

The corruption case in which Kassim is said to have been involved relates to a 500sqm land in Bole District. The plot initially leased to Girma Afework (Eng.) for the construction of a 12-story luxury apartment is said to have been improperly given to Yohannes Derseh, a hotel owner. Kassim is said to have presented with partial documents only to the lease board of the City so that the plot be granted to Yohannes. As deputy head of the Bureau responsible for the administration and development of the City’s land resources, Kassim shall present all the available information about the history of landholdings to help the lease board decide in the best interest of the social good. He deliberately has overlooked his responsibility in a way that could harm the previous leaseholder, investigators seem to believe. If to go by the claims of the investigators from the federal corruption watchdog, Kassim’s act involved corruption.

 

Hotspot:

 

Kassim’s detainment passed through historic events in the parliament. Whereas some MPs were in favour of lifting his immunity, to at least protect his possible disappearance, others wanted to for parliamentary procedures to be strictly followed. The dispute between the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Parliament went further even after Kassim’s immunity was lifted. Even if the parliament lifted the immunity of July 4, 2013, the Commission was allegedly not informed about it. When it receives the information, Kassim was said to have left the nation already. It all went high for the predictions were that Kassim has actually fled the nation, for through.

 

Personal Highlight:

 

Kassim is said to be an experienced hand with sufficient experience in the workings of the state. He is said to be articulate and fast-learner.
In Hindsight:

 

The lease rate of land in the ever-growing city ofAddis Abebahas been rising so fast as to make land a vital productive resource. Latest figures show that minimum lease rate varies from 33.25 Br per square meter for a third grade land in the fifth development zone to 6,000 Br per square meter for a first grade land in the first development zone of the city.



Published on Sep, 08, 2013 [ Vol 14 ,No 697]


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