Finally, the much expected restructuring of federal agencies…

Finally, the much expected restructuring of federal agencies and reshuffling of their ministers and director generals, by the administration of Hailemariam Desalegn, appears to have arrived, gossip disclosed. In a way, it is a sign that Hailemariam and his allies within the Revolutionary Democratic camp have reached a crucial phase of power consolidation, which has been evident since the passing of the late Meles Zenawi, claims gossip.

Contrary to the popular fear that the fateful and unexpected departure of a strongman, who has had a tight grip on power for a little over two decades, would lead the ruling party into the abyss, if not to collapse altogether, the EPRDFites have proved to be sober on the surface. Yet, there has been a political process, whereby several of the leaders have tried to galvanise their base and remain united, leaving no room for dissent within the rank and file and signs of breakaways among members of the leadership, gossip observed. In time of adversity, the EPRDFites are known to have a culture of retreating into their trenches, claimed gossip.

Almost a year after the uncertain and uncharted political high seas, the administration, which has people leading collectively and in a consensual manner, appears to be ready to make a move in reengineering the executive branch of government, gossip disclosed. In two weeks, there will indeed be some changes in the composition of Hailemariam’s cabinet, beginning in the first week of July 2003, gossip revealed.

There will, for instance, emerge new ministries, such as one responsible for forestry resources and the environment; a grand ministry in charge of central planning for the economy, as well as the upgrading of the national intelligence and security agency to the level of ministry. All of these federal agencies will need ministers to be appointed, while other existing ministries, such as Urban Development & Construction, as well as Water & Energy will be renamed as Urban Development, Housing & Construction and Water, Irrigation & Energy, respectively.

The ministers in the latter two ministries will remain the same, claims gossip, while there will be a movement in the Ministry of Transport, where Diriba Kuma will be assigned to serve as Mayor of Addis Abeba for the coming five years, gossip disclosed. His position will be taken by Workneh Gebeyehu, now commissioner of the Federal Police, although it is yet to be clear who will replace him as the next commissioner, claims gossip.

Other moves include the minister of Agriculture & Rural Development, Tefera Derebew, who will likely be replaced by Demeke Mekonnen, claims gossip. Tefera will stay for a while, without having a placement though, according to gossip. Another veteran of the EPRDF government is Teklewold Atnafu, governor of the Central Bank for over a generation, who will be replaced by a person whose identity remains undisclosed to gossip.

The vacant position at the Ministry of Justice, since the departure of Brehan Haile last month, will be taken by a rather young and upcoming politician who has been serving in the Prime Minister’s office, claims gossip. Another important move is, however, expected at the Government Communications Affairs Office, where Bereket Simon, director general with ministerial portfolio, will give up the office he has established to Redwan Hussian, now chief of the EPRDF Council, gossip disclosed.

Bereket is expected to assume a responsibility at the Prime Minister’s Office, being head of the National Security Council (NSC), replacing Tsegaye Berehe, former chief of the Tigray Regional State, gossip disclosed. The Council is a powerful entity within the Prime Minister’s Office, led in the past by veteran TPLFites, such as Mulugeta Alemseged, Abay Tsehaye and Tsegaye, gossip recalls.

Published on June 30, 2013 [ Vol 14 ,No 687]



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