Engineer Simegnew Bekele, Project Manager of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), was found dead this morning at Meskel Square inside his Land Cruiser.
Even though some say he was assassinated, still the police has not yet provided details. On social media some eye witnesses are stating that they have seen vehicles of the military and soldiers fixing the CCTV around Meskel Square yesterday. His assassination is orchestrated by covering those street cameras, according to the post by activist Seyoum Teshome FB post.
The Metal and Engineering Corporation (METEC), which is owned by Ethiopian military, has been working on the multi billion dollar GERD project at different levels.
METEC is the main contractor of the GERD on divisions of the electro-mechanical and hydraulic steel structure.
Engineer Simegnew was in Addis Ababa planing to take journalists to the GERD dam visit to prove that the rumor that the construction of the dam was stopped is not true, according to AP report.
Recently it was reported that over 60% of the construction has been finalized from just over 40% in April 2016. With a height of 243 meters, 610 meters of length and with total storage capacity of 15 billion cubic meters, the dam has total installed capacity of 1,870 megawatts.
Currently some 11, 000 employees are reportedly are engaged in the construction of the GERD. launched in April 2011, the construction of the dam is expected to cost some $5 billion. The government has been raising the money for the project fully from domestic ad vow not to take external loan or aid.
Meanwhile some were expressing their worries about the funding administration, transparency and audit of the public’s money being invested into the project. Some were also expressing their concern about the involvement of METEC in the project following the reports of its failure in delivering the ten state sugar factory projects and mismanagement of the funding, among others.
The main contractor of the project is Salini Imprgilo of Italy, which was also engaged in some of the hydro projects of Ethiopia in the past.