‘Garbage-in-garbage out’ turn out to be the Woyane’s vision of how the Media should operate. No wonder the debris are falling-out of control causing confusion on the regime’s operatives themselves and havoc on Ethiopians. When piled up lies get out of control there in no telling what happens to the producers, distributors and consumers that rely on it for their existence.
by Teshome Debalke
Media penetration in Ethiopia is almost non existence. Symbolically there are a few Mass Medias controlled by the ruling party enough to give any person a headache spewing the party line. The rest are a handful of print media that relay on the ruling party controlled printing presses with little circulation. What’s left of the independent print Medias they echo the regime line for fear of retaliation or as fronts of the regime.
When it comes to digital Media it is even worst. The only Internet provider in the entire country is under the ruling regime security intelligence control. With the second lowest connectivity in the world the regime use it to further control the population. Therefore, Ethiopians are as misinformed in the 21stcentury as they were 100s years ago.
The saddest episode of all is Media in Ethiopia never left the strict control of the ruling regimes to the detrimental of the people’s live. What is different with the present regime it operates front Medias through its network of cadres. Like sham political parties, civic organization, businesses, and the rest the regime determined to survive spreading misinformation posed as private and independent. Therefore, all major Medias posed as private owned by TPLF operatives. Among them, the TPLF owned misinformation depository, Walta information Center and Fana Shortwave Radio that reach the entire population to pass on the TPLF propaganda. The other handful FM radios that target a specific population are to divert and destabilize the community to TPLF liking.
The man in charge of all propaganda is the dishonorable Government Communication Affair Minister (the former Minister of Information), Berket Simon. In his official capacity he is the sole person that regulate and issue allows for all Medias to operate in the country. Single-handedly he is responsible for all the chaos of the Free Press in the country. It turned him as a poster boy for suppression of free press and a laughingstock on cyberspace.
In addition, as a government spokesperson, he decides the official statement of his regime. His draconian style made him popular and ridiculed by international human right and Media organization.
The illusive man born in Wolo province, now known as a part of the Amhara Regional State he represents. He is one of the ten Council Member of Amharic National Democratic Party (ANDA), which supposedly governs the Regional State. As one of the three front regional parties created by Tagray People Liberation Front (TPLF) for confining Ethiopians in their ethnic regions under ruling party of The Ethiopian People Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). The other two are The Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO) and South Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement (SEPDM) that formed the ruling collusion of EPRDF. The ruling EPRDF Website run by TPLF operatives reviles they are noting more than fronts of the TPLF.
Berket is a son of an Eritrean parentage. Their is no official record of him voting to remain Ethiopian during the 1993 Eritrean referendum for independence that required, often forced Ethiopians of Eritrean origin to vote. For reason known only to the ruling TPLF clique he became the representative the Amhara Region where he does not belong, in direct violation of the regime’s own Constitution and policy. Along the same policy, Berket Simon is missing in the ethnic ID system TPLF introduced that forced all Ethiopians identified by their ethnicity.
No one knows what ethnicity he identifies himself. He must either carry fake ID that identify him as Amhara or it does not apply to him courtesy of the ruling TPLF with many other officials with unknown identities. Therefore, since there is no Eritrean ethnicity or a region in Ethiopia, Berket is officially stateless under the EPRDF’s Constitution he is under. Similarly, all Ethiopians with Eritrean origin became stateless and left in a limbo because of the ethnic regions Woyane created.
Then, who is Berket Simon? How did he ended up as TPLF operative? What is his reason to join the Amhara party TPLF created when he is Eritrean? What may be the reason TPLF made him Amharic and the supporter conceder him legitimate representative of the Amhara? Why are they covering up his identify while they spread the propaganda he manufactures?
Answers for these kinds of questions are what the public expects from the regime and its operatives to understand what Woyane is up to with many in its rank with fake identity. Here, it worth mentioning, Melese Zenawi of TPLF and Berket Simon of unknown identity are the only two individuals in the ruling party that held the same position since 1991, coincidence?
The infamous Berket is also the ‘author’ of the only book in the Amharic language titled ‘Ye Hulet Mirchawoch Weg’ (A Tale of Two Elections). It was paid by his ‘friend’ and confidant, Amudi, the Ethiopian born Saudi investor for unknown reason. There is no explanation why Berket chose the subject of Election when he has lots tales to tell about himself, TPLF and his real identity.
For a man with an elusive identity he is all over the map to defend his regime disguised as Amhara as the genius of TPLF’s propaganda to confuse Ethiopians. In his recent rant with a foreign correspondence defending his draconian media suppression he went on the offensive against Western Media. His usual amateurish understanding of the free press with overblown ego serving a third rated tyranny he compared the Media under his control with Western Media. Unless he is a casualty of his own propaganda that deprived him factual information he wouldn’t dare spew the debris as reported by William Davison of Christian Science Monitor
‘The West’s “neo-liberal” media, for all its professed freedom, does little investigative journalism, but rather is obsessed with celebrity gossip and beholden to “big business,” Mr. Bereket says. This is why toxic mortgages sold in 2002 went unreported until they contributed to the financial crash six years later, or the US government’s claims about Iraq’s arsenal of weapons of mass destruction were uncritically relayed, he argues. “I don’t see the media serving the public interest,” Bereket says. “I don’t think that type of media will help the developing world.
He would prefer to see Ethiopia’s press provide “objective information” to assist the majority of Ethiopians in “their daily struggle to improve their economic and political lives.” Newspapers should help a diverse nation “enjoy dialogue, compromise, and accommodation, instead of confrontational politics,” he says.
One wonders, what assures the village boy that controls one National TV, one National Radio and one internet provider in the entire country to speak with such confidence? From the outset, we can determine in what kinds of quandary the people of Ethiopia under and the damage they endured with Berket’s propaganda. The man that believes Skype is the best technology he never known to ban it doesn’t look like bright enough to understand and lecture about the role the press plays and what “objective information” means. Does he know what he is saying when he spews ‘Newspapers should help a diverse nation enjoy dialogue, compromise, and accommodation, instead of confrontational politics“?
The problem is not Berket per say but, those that package his propaganda to pass on to Ethiopians from a man that doesn’t revile his true identity. The search to find out his true identity and what he really does reached a dead-end. Since there is no official website for the Ministry of Communication Affair he runs to know what he does we keep hearing his rant when he comes out occasionally to defend his regime. There is no much information about him in cyber space before he became the Propaganda Minster of TPLF 1991.
Then, who is Berket Simon TPLF’s operatives relay on to spread the misinformation he produces?