Despite a popular enthusiasm and an air of hope out in the public domain…

Despite a popular enthusiasm and an air of hope out in the public domain, there has yet to surface substantive policy reforms by the administration of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD), claims gossip. Nonetheless, there is a hyper movement in the officialdom, where individuals are moving around. This is truer in the area of the financial sector and the diplomatic field, gossip observed.

Following the change of guard at the central bank, where Teklewold Atnafu has left the helm after 13 years of governorship, Yinager Dessie (PhD) took the enormous task of reorienting the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE). The office he left behind, the National Planning Commission, is provided with a young economist, Eyob Tekalegn, who has a considerable record in the diplomatic sphere and the private sector, gossip disclosed.

Bekalu Zeleke, another young man who has run the state-owned Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) for over a decade, has been serving with a letter of appointment as a deputy governor of the central bank, without a particular portfolio. The office he left vacant has been taken by Bacha Gina, a former vice president of the Cooperative Bank of Oromia (CBO).

With a long service as a mid-career officer at the private Awash International Bank (AIB), Bacha`s rise to the helm of the nation`s largest bank caused discontent within the industry, and inside the bank, gossip observed. He came from a relatively small bank. Many of the nine vice presidents at the CBE feel there are experienced and competent in their midst to replace their former boss, says gossip.

It appears to be plausible for the bank to see the departures and resignations of disgruntled senior officers at a vice president level, in protest to what they may see as an outside imposition, gossip foresees. Almost all the presidents of the CBE over the past two decades were those promoted from the rank and file, gossip recalls.

Another area of hyperactivity is seen in the country`s foreign missions but described by insiders as a reshuffling, according to gossip. Last week has seen the second batch of senior diplomats moving around, beginning with the recall of Ethiopia`s most senior diplomat, Teqeda Alemu (PhD). His recall, rumoured for some time now, has been a cause for an uproar for no country pulls back its ambassador when he serves as a non-permanent member of the Security Council of the United Nations, before his terms come to an end, claims gossip.

Once a state minister for Foreign Affairs, the reasons for Teqeda`s recall varies depending on who speaks about it at the gossip corridors. Some claim his insistence for the new administration to focus on what matters at a strategic level caused it, while others attribute it to the administration`s views that he has served for too long. However, the fate of an old hand in the nation`s diplomatic arena will be evident once he is back; thus the speculations on the reasons for the recall, claims gossip.

Teqeda has been replaced in New York by Taye Astkesellasie, Ethiopia`s ambassador to Egypt, gossip disclosed. Once a State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Taye had served as Ethiopia`s diplomate based in Los Angeles.

Those who insist that Teqeda`s recall is only a part of the second wave of reshuffling attribute the recall of another veteran diplomat, Brehane G. Kirstos, from China, according to gossip. Brehane has served his country as a senior diplomat for the past 27 years, assigned as an ambassador to the United States, Belgium and China, with a tenure as a state minister, gossip recalls. His next placement is still undecided, gossip disclosed.

While Taye`s reassignment leaves the mission in Cairo vacant, other embassies waiting for appointments include Moscow, Beijing and Seoul, in the latter case Shiferaw Jarso has been moved to Khartoum, gossip revealed. He replaced Mulugeta Zewde, who has been assigned as Ethiopia`s ambassador to Abidjan, Nigeria, according to gossip.

Published on Jul 07,2018 [ Vol 19 ,No 949]



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