Public housing

Ethiopia: Addis city administration cancels public housing lottery due to ‘intrusive tech assault’

Addis Ababa: The Addis Ababa City Administration canceled the recent public housing lotto under the city government’s condominium savings scheme known as 20/80 and 40/60 and was on the about to be distributed to thousands of the city’s inhabitants. The mayor’s office said yesterday that the lotto had been revoked entirely after allegations of technological tampering by city administration officials were investigated.

Adenach Abiebie, Mayor of Addis Ababa, Shumete Gizaw (PhD), Director General of Information and Network Security Administration (INSA), and Hailu Adugna, Team Leader of the Investigative Committee of the ‘INSA, gave the Report last night.

According to the explanation given by the officials, an investigation team consisting of individuals from IINSA, the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) and the Ministry of Innovation and Technology had been created to bring clarification of the malfunctions of the lotto, which the city administration said early on that it was done without human contact and with technological assistance. However, several irregularities were reported including adding thousands of names that have neither saved nor registered with banks in the lotto system.

Mayor Adanech noted that the administration and the public were saddened by the difficulties encountered during the lotto draw and thanked the townspeople for what she called a sense of solidarity effort with the administration.

Alluding to the said intrusion, the mayor said that a “technological journey” had been committed which aimed to achieve not only “the theft of residential units, but also political objectives” at the expense of flavors.

The Mayor specifies that the administration first received and trusted. “There were reasons to believe that. Because in the past there were systems that were developed and used.”

However, irregularities later emerged, including through “institutional connections”. Although he said at the time that INSA had certified the technology-assisted lotto, the letter stating this was not genuine. The data “has been in the hands of people for five days and it was done by order of the authorities”, according to the mayor, who assured the public that alleged experts and people in various leadership positions had been arrested and were making the object of investigations; further action would be taken proportionately, she said.

Ten city government officials accused of tampering with the system are being detained and are being investigated, according to state media last night.

They are: Dr. Muluken Habtu, Head of Office, detained for his alleged involvement in the system; Abraham Sermolo, Deputy Head of Office; Mebrat Woldekidan, director; Habtamu Kebede, software developer; Yosef Mulat, software expert; Getachew Berihun, Software Expert; Qasim Kedir, software expert; Sitotaw Gizachew, developed the software; Bayeleign Reta, software controller;

Micheas Tolerra, housing information and technology expert; and Kumsa Tolla, director of housing information and technology.