The Overlapping Arms of Democracy

Two companies that are as familiar to Fortune as they are to the courthouse and to the Government are Access Real Estate and Holland Car Plc. Though these two do not have a business relationship, they have in common, much that is unusual.  A synopsis of those commonalities goes like this. Both companies are owned by Ethiopians who lived in the Diaspora. Both repeatedly found themselves in debt and consequently in breach of contract. Both fled the scene but were shown mercy by the government and returned to the country under promised protection to see if they could make good to their disgruntled and outright angry shareholders, employees and creditors. Both made regular appearances before various courts and both continue to elude prison bars. In fact, Holland has left the country again. An interesting aspect of these two cases is the government intervention that permitted the founders of both companies to return to Ethiopia, with guarantees that they would not be arrested. While the greater good may have been intended, it is a cardinal principle of good governance that the executive arm of the country’s administration remains independent of the judiciary and the legislature. Somehow, those lines seem to have been blurred. Most of the stories about these two, as reported by Fortune in the year under review, had their origins several years earlier. However, from the start of 2014/2015 to the end of the year, their activities continued to be noteworthy, particularly in the case of Access.

A sample of Fortune’s headlines follows.

  1. Federal High Court Rules against Access Real Estate in 47m Br
  2. Federal High Court Orders New Audit in Access Real Estate Case
  3. Holland Car Proposal to Recover 80m Br Rejected, Auction Pending 4. Bankrupt Holland Car Plc gets Grace to Honour Commitments

Published on Sep 07,2015 [ Vol 16 ,No 801]



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