Never the only one; but one of the most hypocritical and disingenuous political drama on the very fake political game of “the transfer of historic and peaceful political power” manifested itself when the late prime minister, Ato Meles Zenai was struggling on his way to his never comeback destiny – death. The Ethiopian people had been denied the right to know first about the disappearance and later the death of former PM., Ato Meles Zenawi let alone the right to know how his health condition was during his premiership. Folks, I am not talking here about the health condition and the death of Ato Meles from the perspective of personal matter; but it is from the perspective of the situation of a man who was the head of the executive branch of government formally but the head of all the three branches of government in reality; and who had a lot to do with having a totalitarian power and the making of fake but dangerous personal and political cult.
Meles Zenawi and Hailemariam Desalegn
One of the very notorious higher officials of EPRDF, ATO Bereket Simon first tried to tell the Ethiopian people that “the great man of not only Ethiopia but also Africa” was on vacation as the result of the exhaustion because of hard work. But he later senselessly told the people that it was nobody else’s business to know about the whereabouts and the condition of his big boss. Imagine folks, how the very ugly political drama by this guy and his cronies extremely undermined the legitimate rights of the people who were seriously concerned not merely about the disappearance or the death of Ato Meles but most importantly about the fate of their country. Why? Because as what was going within the ruling party could have serious consequences, it was and still is the fundamental rights and responsibilities of the people to ask for appropriate and timely information. That was and still is the very gist of the matter. No more! No less!
Another most disgraceful/self-dehumanized subordinate of Ato Bereket , Shemeles Kemal did tell the same story in a much more ugly manner. Of course, as he is a mere parrot of the tyrannical regime, it was neither unexpected nor unreasonable to hear from him otherwise. He is one of deadly parasitic cadres of the inner circle of TPLF/EPRDF.
And furthermore, one of the very stupidly arrogant and crazy old guards of TPLF, Ato Sebehat Nega told the Ethiopian people a very nonsensical story. On the one hand, he told the people that Ato Meles had no any health problem except that he was advised to take rest as he was exhausted because of “intensive and extensive” work throughout his life and particularly as the “powerhouse “ of the ruling elite and the head of the executive branch of government; on the other hand, he tried to comfort himself and his cronies who are the brain- children of Ato Meles by saying that the ruling party is able to function well and carry out its tyrannical political agenda and practice without its mastermind ,Ato Meles Zenawi. Well, leaving aside the very ridiculous mystification of Ato Zenawi’s political personality, the issue of whether he worked hard as a genuine agent for the well-being of the people and as a factor for unity within diversity under a democratic system is not only negative but terribly dysfunctional as far as the question of a real sense of national interest is concerned. And that was the way it was for the last 20+ years.
Sadly enough, the way to the “declaration of the transfer of historic and peaceful political power” had to pass through another “big “political game by the ruling circle. This kind of unprecedentedly and foolishly orchestrated political drama was terribly disgraceful to the country and her innocent people. Not only this, but it was also a very disgracefully performed political drama to the deceased PM., Ato MELES Zenawi himself. That was actually a very ugly politically motivated “declaration” in a very poorly disguised manner of two –week mourning by those highly frustrated elites of the inner circle of the ruling party. The people of Ethiopia have been told (better to say warned) that if they did not get out and “shed their tears” in front of the deadly misleading if not worthless government-controlled media, they would be considered not only as “anti-great leader” but also “anti-democratic revolution “and would face serious trouble. We have heard so many ridiculous stories about how the inner circle of the ruling party used any means to get the people out and to show their” extraordinary love “to the late PM. We have witnessed a very disgraceful drama when the most underdog (homeless) citizens crying that they were in that kind of devastating life because of “the magnanimity of the great leader “and being worried that they have no idea what would happen to them without their “great dad.” It is absolutely a national disgrace to be run by a bunch of people (ruling elites) who have no any sense of shame to go to the extent of using those very unfortunate homeless citizens for their dirty political game in front of the eyes of the world. I am not talking just from what I saw and heard about. I have to make clear here that many genuinely concerned Ethiopians including the writer of this commentary had series contacts back home and get information about the reality on the ground. And sadly enough, the information they got back day in-and- day out was that the people had almost restless days because of a very nagging and noisy horn blowing all over the neighborhoods (Kebeles ) in cities/towns they live in as a serious warning call for a “historic flood of tears” in paying tribute to “the greatest leader in the history of the country. “ Imagine folks how these ill-guided ruling elites are stupidly trying to rewrite history.
The pro-TPLF/EPRDF newspaper of Amare Aregawi (the Reporter –Amharic version) has tried hard to describe the highly politicized mourning on the death of Ato Meles with highly mystified and/or fictious expressions such as: “… as gold is tested with fire, and so is the people of Ethiopia”; “Ethiopia will pay tribute to her leader who has made her anew…”; “The only leader who made the people shed their tears”; “The fortunate /lucky leader”; “Make ( like Meles) history to have reputation” ; “ Abay will be dammed up ,Meles shall be remembered”; “The popular motivation has been awakened by the passing away (of Meles Zenawi)”; and many more typically factious types of characterizations. Mind you folks, all these hypocritically orchestrated political dramas were very clear signals that the inner circle of the TPLF/EPRDF was in the process of propaganda to deceive the innocent people of Ethiopia to believe that the “great legacy “of Ato Meles would be transferred” historically and peacefully to his very loyal brain –child ,Ato Hailemariam Desalegn . And it happened so.
Now, let’s proceed to the last episode of “great and peaceful transfer of political power. “ Some compatriots genuinely showed kind of optimism about the said transfer of political power; but unfortunately enough, it was without a credibly rational ground. Some with their mere innocence or with kind of political correctness said that the new prime minister, Ato Hailemariam Desalegn should be given time arguing that the guy not only looked humble and religious but he would also need time to assert himself as a real head of government and influence the ruling party he was chosen to chair. I wish things could be as simple and innocent as they seem. But that was not and could not be the case as the very nature and practices of the ruling party is concerned.
In the first place, the very creation of the three members of EPRDF is part and parcel of an open secret political drama of our political history. They were created and nurtured by TPLF that was of course itself the well-taken care baby of EPLF, currently called People’s Front for Democracy and Justice – in short Sha’abiyah. The former EPDM was created (1980) and nurtured by TPLF, and sadly enough forced to reorganize itself as an ethnic –based entity and renamed APDM (1982) and a non-Amhara “freedom fighter” (Ato Bereket Simon) was assigned as one of its top leaders. Do not get me wrong here that I am simply against anyone from any national or ethnic origin to be part of the political process of the country. I am talking about a very hypocritical political agenda and practice by TPLF that has caused serious political and socio-economic consequences.
The second subordinate entity (OPDO) was created( the late 1989) by TPLF first by putting a bunch of prisoners of the civil war and soldiers who defected from the defense force of the then government; and subsequently nurturing and organizing them as democratic political entity representing the Oromo people.
The third and the late created (1992) subordinate entity of TPLF was SEPDM (Sothern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement) which the new Pm.Ato Hailemarim Desalegn belongs to. This group was created to cover a multi-ethnic region of southern Ethiopia, and to promote as well as to implement the very political agenda of TPLF. And that agenda was and still is keeping the people ethnically divided under the cover of the right of nations and nationalities and perpetuate the political system dominated by TPLF. That was the way it was!
It goes without saying that Ato Hailemariam Desalegn is the brain- child or the product of all those very disingenuous and extremely hypocritical political games. Given the way he joined EPRDF and his political record throughout his membership, and the way he managed to climb the subsequent high political ladder (vice minister and foreign minister) has nothing to do with his personal courage to speak his own mind or his political courage to be a critical player. Do not get me wrong that I am merely talking about the question of his academic standard and capability. What I am trying to say is that as far as his loyalty to the tyrannical regime for the last several years is concerned, there is no doubt that he has been and continues to be one of the terribly dysfunctional educated politicians. Is there any genuine Ethiopian who could give a true and only true testimony about Ato Desalegn’s courage to express his concern when the fundamental political and human rights of innocent citizens have been crossly violated including arbitrary detention, intimidation/harassment, torture and extra –judiciary killings?? Is there any honest citizen who is in a position to testify that Ato Desalegn was courageous enough not to be a mere messenger (speaking tool) of the late PM. when the innocent people including those he “represents” suffered untold suffering? Is there any genuine citizen who may honestly argue that Ato Desalegn’s humbleness, faith or any other personal goodness have contributed to the political betterment and socio-economic improvement of the majority of the people ? Does the” new” prime minister have both political and moral capacity to convince the people that his party/front has operated under a real sense of constitutionalism, not with a mere constitution(document) which has been used to crackdown the peaceful and legitimate rights of the people? The list of legitimate questions can go on and on and on.
The Ethiopian people have been inundated with all kinds of ridiculous stories when Ato Desalegn was” assigned” (his own word) by his front to take over the throne of the late prime minister and to carry on the legacy of his political mentor without a slight change. And he unequivocally promised to his bosses who are controlling him behind the scene and to the rubber –stamp parliament that he is different from the former prime minister physically only, never otherwise. He was quoted by the Reporter (Amharic version ) of Amare Aregawi saying the following: “In order to make the blue-print engraved by Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in this country memorable and observable today, tomorrow, many years to come, and forever (eskewodiagnaw) , … not only anything possible but beyond ….”
I watched his comment on the question of his intention to constructively engage the opposition political forces which are operating legally and peacefully and the fate of political prisoners. It was very disgraceful to see him struggling within himself to imitate the political characteristics of Ato Meles not only in terms of the language he tried to express his arrogance and/or idiocy but also his body language. It is disturbingly worrisome and terribly disgraceful to see a great country with great people being represented by these types of people. He (Ato Desalegn) exactly copied the very notorious style and political content of his former mentor when he said, “…his government cannot and will not have any dialogue with those opposition groups with” double huts. “And he made himself a kind of cloned politician (of Ato Meles ) when he responded on the question of political prisoners by saying, “… those are not patriots, but trouble makers (ateramashoch) .” It is this kind of extremely dirty political drama that the innocent people of Ethiopia are being told day –in and day-out that they have a” historic and peaceful transfer of political power.” What an outrageous and disingenuous political prostitution!
All these political stories turned to be totally nonsensical when innocent Muslim Ethiopians were and are being intimidated /harassed, arbitrarily arrested, tortured and even killed right around their places of worship for the simple reason they demanded for getting their religious freedom respected which is of course one of the fundamental human rights. I strongly believe that the people should say no to the continuation of the political legacy that has tested and terribly failed.