Home | News    Monday 29 December 2014

Ethiopian opposition figure downplays reports of job dismissal

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By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

December 28, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) – An Ethiopian opposition leader on Sunday dismissed reports alleging he has been fired from his job at the government-run Addis Ababa University.

Local media outlets reported that the leader of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress, Merara Gudina, who chairs also the coalition of opposition parties MEDREK was fired from his academic professorial position.

The reports indicated that Gudina, an associate professor of political science at Addis Ababa University, was fired for his political views and due to the growing popularity he gained among university students in the build-up of the upcoming general elections.

“I haven’t received any letter of dismissal from the University,” Gudina told Sudan Tribune.

However, he claimed that the University has withheld his seven month salary for unknown reason.

“The university didn’t pay my salary since June while other employees were paid,” said Gudina adding “I don’t know why but I am in debate with the concerned bodies to release my salary”

The former MP is known of his democracy-related critics against the ruling party. Referring to the previously-fired opponents, opposition circles say Gudina is most likely to be fired soon.

Recently two opposition members who have been working at Ethiopian Airlines and Commercial Bank of Ethiopia were reportedly fired from their jobs.

Opposition members said their dismissal was politically motivated but government authorities said it was taken on disciplinary administrative measures.

International right groups are accusing the horn of Africa’s nation of tightening crackdown on independent media and opposition members ahead of the polls slated for May 2015.

In October, Amnesty International accused the Ethiopian government of illegally detaining over 5,000 members of the Oromo ethnic group, over the past four years to squash political dissent.

According to Amnesty, the detainees are accused of supporting the Oromo Liberation Front, a movement labelled by government as terrorist entity.

Ethiopia has repeatedly denied allegations of illegal detention and harassment, describing it as fabricated accusations aiming to tarnish image of the country.

The country’s electoral board this week said the country is prepared to conduct a democratic, free and fair election.

(ST)

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