Municipality serves four other developers with two-week notices to relinquish close to 50ht .The lease agreements of five developers, including Midroc Ethiopia Investment Group, who had been granted land in Arbaminch Town have been cancelled by the municipality following their failure to develop the plots.

On Thursday, March 3, 2011, the developers were given two weeks notice before the land, totalling 47,500sqm, is to be repossessed by the municipality.

Midroc Ethiopia has been ordered to relinquish a 38,000sqm plot it leased in 2005 and that had been earmarked for the construction of its planned Arbaminch Resort Hotel.

The hotel forms part of the hospitality project that includes the Hora Ras and Bahir Dar Blue Nile hotels of Midroc Ethiopia, which is owned by Ethiopian born Saudi tycoon Mohammed Al-Amoudi, and was established in 1996.

The conglomerate has over 40 subsidiary companies operating in agriculture and agro-industry, construction, hospitality and tourism, manufacturing, mining, oil and gas distribution, real estate development, transport (including air), trade and commerce, healthcare, as well as education and training.

The other four plots being repossessed are 3,000sqm of Hibre Agro Plc, 2,000sqm of Adika, 3,000sqm of Gatalma, and 1,500sqm of Garemush Bogale, a businessman.

“These businesses have breached the clauses of the lease agreements they had signed as long ago as 2007 and 2008 without developing the plots,” Tadesse Data, mayor of Arbaminch Town, told Fortune. “We have held consultations and issued notices to them in newspapers to start development, prior to repossessing it. The municipality cannot allow these plots to remain idle.”

The town administration has started dialogues with other businesses slacking in the development of their plots, according to the mayor.

“The campaign to reclaim land from idle developers will continue,” Tadesse said. “We will continue to engage with the business community and our doors are open to interested developers.”

The administration is also working towards tackling illegal land grabs by residents of the town, Tadesse claimed.

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