A breath of fresh air for Ethiopia

June 25, 2018 Africa , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS , POLITICS

Reuters photo

 

By

Alem Hailu G/Kristos

 

 

As a tacit ploy, the ethnicity-polarized-politics-obsessed officials of Ethiopia had been breaking the age-old cohesive bond of citizens to fish in troubled water. A good number of them adored driving a divisive wedge here and there to tighten their grip on the reign of power. Sadists, they were inured to the bloodshed their heinous deed had been courting.

 

Orchestrating the tragic drama of a family feud among Ethiopians, such corrupt officials were amassing fortunes in billions, while millions found a hand-to-mouth life an uphill battle. In a mockery of justice, they were stashing away money in foreign banks dictating to citizens the significance of saving and timely paying taxes, at times bending oneself backwards.

 

Unable to pay the exorbitant taxes levied on them after emerging safe from a cut-throat competition, innumerable were the business persons that were made out of play, while the privileged that belonged to the select few were enjoying subtle tax holidays to run lucrative businesses. Such leeches were fattening by the blood and tears of millions, sweet talked into irrigating flagship projects with hard-won wealth. The latter were lending impetus to the enunciated renaissance journey of the country, while the former were dreaming of a leap in billions. Needless to mention, while millions were engaged in developmental thrust, rent seekers were becoming rust in the developmental wheel. While the country was hard-pressed for hard currency, they were rolling in foreign currency in foreign banks.

 

As the catch phrase of the day was “Though conspicuously corrupt, one will stay in power even if one doesn’t get off the political track!” a state-sponsored corruption was rampant. As opposed to the principle ‘a journalist has to be honest to the truth and the audience,’ when it comes to the government and officials in power, nothing unflattering was acceptable in media circles. No doubt, investigative journalism was a fish out of its element.

 

As such, with a toothless face, the media did allow the exacerbation of improprieties. Strangulating much-prophesied democracy, a pie in the sky, entertaining the idea of opposition parties or balancing news and articles was downplayed as a task that tarnishes the nation’s image. Laughable as it sounds, selling the government as immaculate and the country a safe haven of democracy and development were the salient tasks of the eunuch government media, shunned by the general public as a fabulous fiber.

 

The justice system was far from impartial. Double standards were highly manifest in its service delivery. There were groups that could engage in grave illegal activities scot-free, while the minor case of the disfavored was dragged into light owing to the latter’s differing political stances. This way own party members, who attempted to break ranks were fated to end up behind bars.

 

The police too were not careful in seeing to the constitutional democratic and human rights of citizens. Thus, under the garb of fighting terrorism, it was exercising terrorism. This heinous act coupled with debilitating penury, which comes in tandem with an uneven distribution of wealth, resulted in the migration of citizens due to a push factor.

 

The boundaries among the executive, legislative and the judiciary organs were blurred. It was after detaining suspects the police were trying to sniff for evidence. Such practice, obviously, was opening room for detaining opposition party members and bloggers. That was why some took arms to bring the dictator to its knees seeking a base in a neighboring country.

 

Bureaucratic red tape was not uncommon in governmental organizations, where sloth, inefficiency and resource wastage lacked attention. The conspiracy of these undercurrent factors was bogging down the sought-after service delivery on top of stripping it of quality. Public grievances were mounting by the day. The country was losing badly-needed hard currency as a result of this tragic episode. Even after confessing in a deep renewal session, many officials could not abstain from their rent seeking mind bent.

 

In the spheres of diplomacy, the country’s approach with some of its neighbors was lacking a mentality that keeps in step with the modern outlook. It was taking the aforementioned shortfalls and as a backdrop the new Prime Minister of Ethiopia Dr. Abiy Ahmed took a bold step to mend wrong turns. Answering questions after a speech he recently made to parliament, he noted that sowing the seeds of discord to meet one’s selfish ends, running after personal gains abusing power, infringing on the human and democratic rights of people under different pretexts, gagging the media, emasculating courts and handling government-run enterprises with bankruptcy would grind to a halt.

 

To the delight of peace and justice loving Ethiopians, neighbors, riparian countries and the international community, his clear measures made to the required effect are underway. His speech has gained credence among the major segment of society.

 

Leveling the ground, he wants to welcome opposition parties chased out under different pretexts to come home and participate in elections; no more window dressings.

 

He wants all to abide by the rule of law.

 

He upholds the delivery of justice in the true sense of the word.

 

He espouses peaceful coexistence and unity in diversity that emanate from the bottom of citizens’ heart.

 

True to the binding agreement Ethiopia and Eretria reached in Algiers, he wants to settle their border dispute handing over Bademe to the latter without any further ado as the case is settled in favor of Eretria. This move has won a thumbs up response from Eretria.

 

He also wants riparian and neighboring countries to rest assured Ethiopia is a genuine friend in regional integration and common growth.

 

He wants the partial or full privatization of government enterprises in a prudential step.

 

But, as a last ditch effort, those who made an empire at the cost of harm to the majority as well as dissatisfied rent-seeking officials, at every layer, are exhibiting discomfort. Oblivious to the fact that s/he who wants to talk his walk has to walk his talk, as if not lechers, they are giving vent to their vexation through defamation in various channels and instigating clashes among ethnic groups.

 

It is to slam such heinous motives Ethiopians are demonstrating support seconding the premier’s stance. It is in such a bid millions had poured into the largest square of Addis Ababa in support of the premier and the remedial solution he vowed to take immediately after he took power.

 

A breath of fresh air or a feeling of change for the better is wafting through the country. There is a call for lauding the premier and supporting him in every possible way so as peace, justice, development and regional integration send long roots in this war-torn and conflict-ridden part of the continent. Rallying behind this spirit of a better tomorrow, let us support and reinforce democracy. Let us spur common growth that ripples across the region and the continent. God bless Ethiopia, God-marked cradled of mankind.

 

 

 

 

Alem Hailu G/Kristos

A published poet, novelist, editor, translator of masterpieces, literary critic, playwright and journalist from Ethiopia. M.A holder in literature, Addis Ababa University.

Looking for a traditional publisher of a collection of poems. My novel: ‘Hope from the debris of hopelessness’.

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2 Comments

  1. Hiwot Hailu June 26, at 22:03

    Alem, What a powerful and illuminating Post! The existent truth exposed confidently with out a dread of harassment is what Ethiopia as well as all humanity deserves! No more media " with a toothless face"!!!!!!!!!! I was living with an obnoxious feeling of impossibility asking, "Who can save Ethiopians from the crafty mauling of these devils incarnate?" My ONLY hope was the intervention of the Mighty Hands of God. Now I am joyful experiencing His Word which says that He makes Pathways where there are absolutely NO possibilities of pathways in human power! Glory to Him! Dr. Abiy respectfully asked all of us to pray for and work with him. Let the God of David protect him from the enemies of One and United Ethiopia!! To live and see more wonders, let us keep on stretching our Ethiopian hands for praise and supplication to the Lord!!! Hiwot Hailu

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