Reshuffle Continues at Palace, Police and Agency

Three TPLF veterans have been relieved of office

The administration of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) keeps up the reshuffling of senior officials running federal agencies last week, including at the National Palace Administration, the Federal Police and Vital Events Registration Agency (VERA).

Three of the four Deputy Commissioner Generals at the Federal Police responsible for departments of Crime Prevention, Crime Investigation and Human Resources were replaced, while the Deputy Commissioner in charge of the Police University College was left untouched, according to people familiar with the Federal Police. This followed the reshuffling of the cabinet by the administration of Prime Minister Abiy last month that saw the coming to office of Yared Tilahun as Commissioner General of the Federal Police. He replaced Assefa Abyou, in April 2018.

Last week, the longest serving Deputy Commissioner General, Girmay Kebede, in charge of Crime Prevention Sector since 2009, was replaced by Melaku Fenta, former head of the Police Commission of the Oromia Regional State. Another two deputy commissioners who served as head of the Federal Crime Investigation Bureau (CIB), Reta Tesfaye (Com); and Human Resources, Sisay Shikur, were replaced by Tekola Ayfokiru and Yehidego Seyoum, respectively. The latter two were transferred from police commissions of the Amhara and Tigray regional states.

The changes in such senior level offices are considered to be strategic priorities, according to people knowledgeable of the structures of the Federal Police.

At the National Palace, its chief for close to a decade, Gebretensae Gebremichael, has left the Administration, after being replaced by Worqnesh Birru, who has been appointed to head the Administration as of April 20, 2018. She was head of the Integrated Land Management, Planning & Policy Project under the Office of the Prime Minister since June 2017, being transferd from where she has worked as a state minister for the Ministry of Labour & Social Affairs, two years ago. She also has served as state minister for Government Communications Affairs Office, under Redwan Hussien, now Ethiopian Ambassador to Ireland.

The National Palace Administration oversees the wellbeing of 13 palaces across the country, organises state receptions, and preserves heritage and property under the custody of the Federal Government. Once known as the Ministry of Imperial Court – Ye Gebi Ministry since 1957, the Administration was reorganised in 2005. It incorporates 14 directorates staffed by over 1,060 employees.

Gebretensae, a veteran TPLF fighter, was a special assistant to the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi before he was appointed to head of the Palace Administration after the death of General Fresenbet.

Abiy has also made a new appointment in bringing Essayas Woldegiorgis veteran of the TPLF former Deputy Director of the National Intelligence & Security Services (NISS), as director general of the Vital Events Registration Agency (VERA) replacing Elsa Tesfay. Essayas was assigned to head the Agency as of May 17, 2018, according to people close to the Agency.

These appointments are part of a series of reshuffling that took place last week. The Prime Minister has also reshuffled the board of directors of the state-owned military-industrial complex – Metals & Engineering Corporation (MetEC) – appointing Ambachew Mekonnen (PhD), minister of Industry, as its third chairman. He replaces Demeke Mekonnen, deputy prime minister, who stayed on the role for less than six months period. Demeke had replaced the long-serving chairman, Siraj Fegessa, the then minister of Defence, now minister of Transport. However, Siraj remains to serve on the Board, alongside Samora Yenus, chief of staff of the Army, according to sources.

Incorporated a decade ago with a 10 billion Br capital, MetEC has 17 industrial subsidiaries employing over 19,000 people, including members of the defence force. Its long-serving CEO, Kinfe Dagnew (Maj. Gen), had resigned from his position last month and subsequently was replaced by Bekele Bulado (PhD), former minister of Trade.

Prime Minister Abiy has also appointed Azeb Mesfin and Asmelash Weldesellasie, both veterans of the TPLF, to seat on the company’s board of directors. Azeb, the widow of late Prime Minister Meles, was purged from the powerful TPLF political bureau in December 2017, while Asmelash is still serving as a government whip in parliament.


Published on May 26,2018 [ Vol 19 ,No 943]



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