Office concludes a 400,000 birr house rent deal for outgoing President Girma
Previous 530,000 birr deal annulled
The Office of
the President has finally concluded a deal to rent a 400,000 birr per
month residence for outgoing President Girma Woldegiorgis on Friday
September 20, canceling previous plans to rent a fully furnished house
from Elias Arega at 530,000 birr a month.
current house owned by Solomon Girma, businessman and owner of Mesale
Bar and Restaurant, has been selected by the government to be the
residence of President Girma, who has served in the position for the
past 12 years after the first president, Negaso Gidada (PhD) resigned in
In the past few months the president’s office, i.e. the
Palace Administration, has been looking to rent a house for the outgoing
president. Three weeks ago the office had reached an agreement with
Elias Arega to rent a fully furnished house for 530,000 birr per month.
Although it is not known why, the plans were changed and a new deal was
concluded with Solomon Girma instead.
Solomon told Capital that the house is semi furnished, ‘as the president will probably prefer to bring some of his own stuff’.
two-storey residence which includes a swimming pool, located on Haile
Gebresilase Avenue, behind Axum Hotel, was rented to the Kenyan Embassy
the previous year. Before that the owner himself was living in it for
five years after construction was completed.
elevator is being installed in the house by Dan Technocraft, a lift
technology supplier and contractor, before it is transferred to the
Office of the President. According to sources, the lift installation
will cost 1.6 million birr.
The deal was finalized on Friday Sept. 20 at the head office of Documentation and Authentication Registration Office (DARO). “Based
on the standard of my house I could get higher offers than the
president’s office’s but I am proud to rent my home to the outgoing
president,” Solomon told Capital with delight.
Sources said that the owner has to turn over the house to the Office of the President, by the end of September.
per Ethiopia’s laws, the outgoing president has the right to receive
several benefits, including a presidential standard residential house,
but if the former president is involved in political activities the
benefits shall be terminated.
According to the country’s
constitution, the president shall not be in the position for more than
two terms or 12 years. The current President is the first to occupy the
position for two terms since the constitution was ratified.
President Girma, whose second six-year term comes to an end next week, is renowned for his role on environmental issues.
‘Proclamation No. 255/2001 Administration of the President of the
Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia’ states that the government has
to supply an up-to-the standard residential house and other facilities
for the outgoing head of state. A September 2009 proclamation no.
653/2009 further states that the government will provide benefits for an
outgoing head of state, heads of government and other top government
According to the proclamation number 653/2009 under
the article ‘Rights and Benefits of Outgoing Heads of State and
Government, Senior Government Officials, Members of Parliament and
Judges Proclamation’ an outgoing President, Prime Minister or Deputy
Prime Minister shall be provided with a residential house having
four-to-five bedrooms, the administrative costs of which, including
remunerations of housekeeping staff, shall be covered by the government.
proclamation also states that an outgoing President, Prime Minister or
Deputy Prime Minister and his family shall get local and overseas
medical services at the expense of the Government.
President, Prime Minister or Deputy Prime Minister shall be provided by
the government with three high standard transport vehicles,” the 2009
proclamation also states.
In related news, speculation about the
incoming president is rampant, even though the government or the leading
party (EPRDF) has not given any hint about the identity of the incoming
One presumed front-runner to replace President Girma
is former Caretaker Mayor of Addis Ababa and prominent diplomat
Ambassador Berhane Deressa. However, it has not yet been confirmed by
According to the 2001 proclamation, the president shall have no affiliation with any political parties.