" Memorial"

Lemma Gutema

ለማ ጉተማ

Lemma Gutema (1940 - 1998)

Who was Lemma Gutema ?...


Lemma Gutema was born on 17 July 1940 in Arsi (Ethiopia) in the town of Bekoji, cradle of so many of Ethiopia’s world - famous athletes.

His father was Ato Gutema Debel and his mother was Woizero Werkenesh Dagne.


He had his elementary and secondary education at the Kokebe Tsebah School in Addis Ababa.


In 1959, he joined the Ethiopian Naval College in Massawa and was commissioned in 1962. In 1963, he enrolled for a two-year advanced naval officer training in England.

He then joined the Law Faculty of Haile Sellassie I University with the first batch of students and got his LLB in 1968.


In addition, he received different types of administrative and military training both inside and outside the country and was able to impart the knowledge and experience he thus acquired to his compatriots.


His love for his country and his people is attested to not only by the many official positions he assumed but also by the colleagues who worked with him.


 To cite some of the important posts he assumed:

* Instructor at the Ethiopian Naval College;

* Legal Advisor of the Ethiopian Navy after getting his LLB;

* Commander on reconnaissance ship of the Ethiopian Navy;

* Laison Officer of the Ethiopian Navy and Instructor at the Annapolis Naval Academy (Maryland);

* Commisioner and then Chairman of the Enquiry Commission set up after the change of regime in;

* Commissioner and Chairperson of Compensation Commission;

* Chief Administrator of the Hararge region during the critical period of the Somali invasion;

* Minister of Internal Adminstration;

* First Secretary of the Commission to Organize the Party of Workers of Ethiopia (COPWE);

* First Secretary of the Workers Party of Ethiopia (WPE);

* Ethiopian Ambassador to the German Democratic Republic; and

* Vice President of the National Assembly (Shengo) of the People’s Democratic Republic of Ethiopia until he was detained by the EPRDF regime in May 1991.



Thus, Lemma Gutema served his country and people as Commander, Commissioner, Minister and Ambassador. His distinctive character was love and respect for human beings.



Yet, he was detained for seven years without any trial and deprived of medical attention for the serious heart problem that he was suffering from. He died while in detention on March 8 1998, leaving behind the family that he loved and the country and people that he had served with dediction.


Lemma Gutema is survived by his wife, Woizero Genet Lemma, and five children.


We have opened this website in his name so that his life and achievements will not be forgotten.