Ruling prosperity party relieved defence secretary Lemma Megersa and two other senior members from party responsibilities.
The Prosperity Party branch in the Oromo region of Ethiopia reportedly suspended Lemma Megersa from his position of the executive committee.
The decision came following a party evaluation in the past two days which was led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. The evaluative meeting was closed one; journalists were not allowed to cover it.
Head of the region’s Prosperity Party branch, Fikadu Tesema, who spoke to Oromia Broadcasting Network regarding the meeting, said Lemma Megersa was removed from his position for “failure to discharge his responsibility.”
Apart from Lemma, Teyba Hassen, also executive committee member, and Milkessa Midega who was central committee member of the party are removed from their position on similar grounds; failure to discharge responsibility.
Fekadu Tessema told the local media in the region that those whose suspension is disclosed on Sunday “could return to their positions whenever they are ready to serve to the extent of their responsibility.”
Lemma Megerssa has been serving as the Minister of Defense. And it is unclear if the Prosperity Party is removing him from his ministerial position as well.
Teyba Hassen has served in the past as the Mayor of Sashemene, a city that was ravaged by radical ethnic Oromo youth groups in early July of this year, until Lemma Megerssa picked her as the vice-president of Oromo regional state following the reform movement for which he was believed to be one of the leaders.
Rumor on social media has it that the Oromo region Branch of Prosperity Party is on the verge of a split over ideological line. Some espouse radical ethnic Oromo nationalism – an ideology that is said to be among the reasons for the massacre of over 240 people. Over one thousand residential houses and hundreds of businesses were also burned in multiple cities like Shashemene, Ziway, Batu, and Arsi Negele, among others.
Dozens of security and administrative officials in the region were arrested following the massacre for failing to defend the lives and properties of thousands of non-Oromo Ethiopians living in the region.
In Shashemene, Meron Tesfaye who was in her ninth month of pregnancy was forced to be nude after a mob broke into her residence and beheaded her only because the killers believed that “Amhara baby will not be born.”
The Oromo region Prosperity Party did not say if the “failure to discharge responsibility” of removed leaders is linked to what many Ethiopians believe to be an ethnic cleansing crime committed in July of this year.
News of Lemma’s purge from the party came a day after leaked audio from Oromo regional state meeting unveiled plans of Oromo regional state leaders to Oromize Ethiopia at the expense of the rest of Ethiopians.
#Ethiopia's ruling party removed defense sectary Lemma Megersa from party responsibilities. This will sure be followed by removing him from state post. Lemma may not have direct links with religious militants who massacred Oromo Christians in Ormiya region but gave them freeride. pic.twitter.com/JSyqVvJbKZ
— Horn of Africa Watch (@HOAW101) August 9, 2020
1. Finally, Defense Minister Lema Megersa is relieved from official duties following Prosperity Party-Oromia meeting at the PMO. Not surprising taking his disapproval to some of the most prominent initiatives of the PM including the formation of Prosperity Party.
— Abel Abate Demissie (@Abele_a) August 9, 2020
#Ethiopian politics has become just Oromo politics.
PP in Oromia is a party of ideologically incompatible groups&individuals ranging from those who want to have an independent country to those who want to be another TPLF.
If PP ever wants to rule z country, one group shall win.
— The Ethiopian Hermit (@EthioHermit) August 9, 2020