City Admin contradicts itself over condominium draw

The Addis Ababa City Administration said it canceled the 14th round condominium draw over faults in the system and discrepancies in distribution during its implementation. The statement was made five days after the draw. 

Ahead of auditing the process, the data between the one sent by the banks and the data uploaded to the computers showed discrepancies, accordingto the city admin. 

“The system used for the lottery draw has been designed to create transparency and accountability. It has undergone many attempts since the enrichment, and was tested for four rounds,” the city admin said.It also said the fifth and final round of testing was attended by stakeholders from the registers, companies and those who had prepared the system.

Adanech Abiebie, Mayor of the capital, explained that the system compared to the past, is a special application designed to be free from physical contact to protect from various illegal activities and provide a reliable, transparent and fair operation.

On Thursday, July 14, 2022 Adanech said “We have experienced a technological insanity,” adding, in this process, not only burglary happened but also political interests were expressed.

The report on the system was well-received and well-trusted, and there were reasons for believing the data, According to Adanech. This was because there were other systems that were developed and used by this groupin the past. 

The city claimed the software application used for the draw had quality issues and was prepared in a way that individuals could exploit it.

Shumete Gizaw (PhD), director general of the Information Network Security Administration (INSA), said the administration found it to be an unjust system. Shumete says the system does not comply with international development standards.

It had mixed the developer and authenticated body at times,with the combination of user and authentication, prone to fraudulent behaviors, according to Shumete.

According to INSA, the whole system was not professionally designed and was made by one man using one laptop.

List of eligible people for the draw, and handling from banks and the Housing Corporation were problematic and subjected to change, INSA added. The data list was in the hands of an individual for about five days, according to the same source.

The person who developed the system used hidden software that prevents the error from being reported on the computer, according to Adanech.

With all the mixed justifications circulating in less than a week, residents are demanding a clear and reasonable answer and what the next step will be.Most people that registered for the units have been saving the required amount.

Fiker Kasye, a resident who registered 17 years ago for the condominium houses, has been saving and fulfilling the needed down payment. As the price he allocated for rent escalates from time to time, Fiker expected this round could be the time his questions were answered with regards to house ownership.

“Even if people advise me to be skeptical of the fairness in the handover of the condominiums, I was sure that those registered in 2005 would acquire the long-awaited condominium houses in the 14th round,” Fiker said with frustration.

The city admin officially annulled the latest draw and plans to administer a lottery draw again.

While presenting last fiscal year’s report, the Council of Addis Ababa City Administration revoked the immunity of its member, Muluken Habtu (PhD), head of the city’s Innovation & Technology Bureau.

Following a request made by the Ministry of Justice, which accused the official of misusing his power, the Council voted to approve the motion to revoke Muluken’s immunity. This comes just two days after the city admin discovered ineligible individuals that were included in the lotto.

According to residents who registered in 2005 and 2013/14, the city admin has to check what is happening behind the draw of condominium houses and its fairness. Residents are asking for an error-free technology and for an immediate lottery draw.

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