Continuing with the reshuffle within OPDO, mayor of Adama, Guta Lanchore, was suddenly sacked from a post he held for a little over a year. Adama is home for an estimated 300,000 people. Guta is being replaced by Bakar Shalle, who is leaving his post as State Minister for Government Communications Affairs to take up the new assignment. With the departure of Bakar Shalle from the federal government, cabinet posts held by OPDO’s further dwindles. The official explanation given to the rank and file for change of guard is that the party needs to quell the growing resentment among the town’s dwellers, fueled by the incompetent response of the government to breakdown of the city’s main water pipeline, resulting in loss of water supply for over two months, for which the mayor had to take the wrap.
However, insiders believe that Guta might be just the latest victim of the regime’s systematic purge of the mid-level leadership of OPDO. It is to be recalled that 120 such mid-level cadres were thrown to jail in 2010 for opposing Meles’ attempt to remove Abadula. This purge seems to be renewed now. In early August, Tadele Nagisho and Said Jundi, president and vice president of Oromia supreme court, respectively, were fired. No public explanation was given for the action. Allegations of corruption and ‘poor performance’ have been used to quietly remove at least 35 zonal and municipality administrators in the last three months. Eleven of them are from Borana Zone.
Following the recent conflict in Moyale town, high ranking officials of the Zone, including the governor, Kanu Jilo, were thrown to prison for publicly accusing the Ethiopia army of letting a militia from Somalia ransack the town while the 4th division was stationed just two kms away. More officials are said to have been fired and jailed since then.