Crying about Terrible Symptoms of Ethiopian Political Illness

Not Attacking the Cause?

Commentary, by T.Goshu

As part of human life and behavior, this tendency is not of course uncommon in the process of dealing with most of our problems, and there is nothing wrong with it as such. It becomes very serious and worrisome when it comes to the question of figuring out the root cause of the symptoms we suffer from, and the need to apply the right treatment.

The analogy between symptoms, diagnosis   and attacking the very cause of a disease with the right medication or treatment in the world of medicine and serious illnesses in the arena of politics is not only logical but also powerfully convincing. It is true that the intensity and seriousness of all symptoms of illnesses are not the same. They significantly vary from disease to disease, from subject to subject and from circumstances to circumstances. Some are mild, less complicated, not complicated and/or short-lived in terms of duration.

The mild and less complicated ones may go away with simple self-treatment or with the help of others. Some may be so swift and acute requiring urgent and highly coordinated responses. And so many other symptoms may develop through time and become chronic, huge price incurring, and enormously painful. Those symptoms which cost high prices and are horribly painful are caused by diseases which can turn deadly if they are not diagnosed before it is too late and treated accordingly.

Needless to say, the political illnesses we experienced for the last four decades and continue suffering from are getting incredibly severe and deadly. Sadly enough, we are not still seriously willing and meaningfully able to focus on the issue of attacking the root cause of those very terrible symptoms by pulling our time, energy and resources together. In other words, we are still victims of simply crying about the worst political pains we are suffering from instead of going deep into the right diagnosis and coming up with the right treatment.

And this kind of undesirable if not harmful tendency have made us vulnerable to the very deceptive and dirty propaganda of the tyrannical ruling circle and its parasitic media including the Reporter of Amare Aregawi which continues carrying out the dirty job in the name of independent media/press . It is not uncommon to hear the higher officials of the TPLF/EPRDF government saying that if there are problems at all, it is merely because of the problem of implementation, not the policy and wrong doings at the top the powerhouse of the system which is of course the inner circle of TPLF/EPRDF itself.   These kinds of very hypocritical/cynical excuses had been repeatedly used by the late   MP.Meles Zenawi whenever he was asked and challenged by certain international critics and even by the diplomatic community of the donor countries in Addis.

Unfortunately enough, the legacy of these kinds of very dirty and wicked behaviors and practices are being carried out by a puppet prime minister and two powerless surrogate deputies, and the third one (from TPLF) who is a real mastermind of premiership.  And those media out lets such as the Reporter has continued to fool the people to believe that all kinds of systemic and institutional crises have nothing to with a despotic, corrupt, tyrannical/dictatorial if not deadly inner circle of the ruling circle. They try hard to keep the untold sufferings (symptoms) in our country away from the root cause which is of course the top (head) of the chronically ill system, the very inner circle of EPRDF which is being manipulated and controlled by the inner circle of TPLF.

Let me make myself clear why I am mentioning the pro-TPLF/EPRDF newspaper –The Reporter. As usual, when I went The reporter, Ethiopian newspaperthrough this newspaper’s issue of 12/09/12, its editorial caught my attention. It says, “Let there be a Priority, Focus and a Concerted Effort for a Systemic and Institutional Building!” (“Lesereat ena Letequamat Genbata Qidemia Tekuret ena Rebreb Yedereg!”) This is a very fantastic topic sentence if we take it at its face value. In substantiating this seemingly strong premise, the writer singled out some very big and critical entities as clear indicators of the seriousness of the problem.

To my understanding, the ongoing reality with regard to the mentioned entities in our country is a crisis, not a problem as we know. Although the crafter of the editorial is not genuine and courageous enough to touch up the very root  cause of the systemic and institutional illnesses which is of course the inner circle of the ruling party for obvious reason( for being pro-ruling elites), raising the chronic symptoms is not a bad thing as such.

The editorial tries to express the concern of the writer (Amare Aregawi) about disturbing practices in critical institutions such as the Parliament, the Court, the Police, the National Bank, the Urban administration (municipality-land administration), and even Educational Institutions. It strongly complains that these institutions have literally become simple instruments of advancing reckless individual and group interests. It says that the parliament is totally impotent to the extent of unable to raise questions about the enforcement of the laws it makes leave alone discharging its constitutional responsibilities and duties in a meaningful manner.

It describes the status of all other mentioned entities in a very frustrating and disturbing manner. It clearly states that those very critical institutions are deadly infected with corruption (big and small bribe) and especial connections among highly abusive officials. It says that most of these deadly practices are being conducted simply via telephonic conversations and instructions. Imagine folks how it is extremely dangerous to witness the very essence of the rule of law being killed by the judicial system which is staffed with parasitic political cadres and other deadly opportunistic judges.

Imagine how it is deeply worrisome to watch the highest financial regulator (the National Bank) is becoming an entity for the advancement of political, family, friendship, and other types of interests.

Mind you folks how the country is in a very deep trouble when the educational system which was supposed to shape and build its young generation is being hit by horrible corruption .Imagine how it is so bad to see educational institutions being turned into the training centers of the indoctrination of the “revolutionary democracy.” Imagine how it is miserable to see the results or grades of students are being exchanged for money like any other tradable stuff.

Think about the situation where students are evaluated and promoted based on their association with the tyrannical ruling circle .Yes, unless we want to deceive ourselves, we are watching the hard fact that this generation is at the verge of total dehumanization and nihilism.

Imagine how it is seriously damaging to witness the law enforcement entity (the police) being used as instrument to enforce the political will of tyrants. Imagine how it is deeply terrible to watch the police intimidates, harass, arrest and torture innocent citizens with total disregard of constitutional rights. Imagine how it is extremely worrisome to witness the police operates on total arbitrariness.

Think about the situation where the municipalities which are of course parts of very critical local  administrations, especially in dealing with land issue  are totally at the will of individuals and groups who have political and other forms of ugly connections.

Now, let me once again make clear myself why the Reporter’s editorial is relevant to the very topic of my comment. The crafter /writer of the editorial has never shown the courage to take his concern beyond telling the story of terrible symptoms which are of course parts of the day –to-day experiences of the innocent people of Ethiopia ,the direct victims. He has never told us about the very symbiotic relationship between the head (the inner circle of ruling party and its executive body) and the tail( all executive and regulatory bodies – the ones mentioned as examples.)

The writer did not try to make  a convincing sense by telling us how it is logically and realistically possible to treat the chronically ill system in general and its parts (institutions and agents) in particular without touching the very sick political system as a whole which is of course controlled by the very inner circle of TPLF/EPRDF.  What is more disingenuous is when the editorial tried to appeal to the government of TPLF/EPRDF to do something about the rotten system in general  and the failed institutions in particular while the government /the ruling party itself is the root cause  of the spoilt system and dysfunctional institutions. Needless to say, there is no partial treatment for the chronic illness of the whole system which is caused by the very head /brain of the system itself (the top ruling elite).

I am not trying to claim that it is easy to convince the Reporter (Amare Argawi) not to mislead the innocent people of Ethiopia by merely telling the story that goes around the bush (symptoms of illness only) but by having a courageous and honest concern about the very big and root cause of the political and socio-economic, legal, moral and ethical crisis in our country.

This is because the newspaper has been created and designed as very good cover up for the dirty political drama in the name of independent media/press. As a regular reader from its inception, I am sorry to say but I have to say that the Reporter is a very good player in a very mischievous political environment.

Folks, the list of painful symptoms we are suffering from because of the total absence of good governance (political freedom, rule of law and socio-economic justice) is so long. Look at the unwarranted and inhuman demolition of houses /shelters of the tens and thousands of innocent citizens.

Imagine folks how it is painfully disastrous to see the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country is treated by the ruling party. Leave aside losing the sea out let (Asab) thanks to the very reckless ruling group, the giving away of large tract fertile land to the Sudanese government just as any ordinary gift is inexcusable and dangerous political stupidity.

The eviction of hundreds and thousands of indigenous citizens from their lands and villages; and  leasing a very large and fertile areas to transnational corporations which has no any other interest other than making huge profits is one of the extremely painful symptoms caused by the senseless political elites .

Imagine how it is horrible to see thousands of Ethiopians fleeing their country and perishing on their way to places they have no clue leave alone knowing their destiny; and being treated inhumanely in every corner of this planet in general and across the Red Sea in Particular if they are lucky enough to arrive alive.

Look at what is happening to Muslim Ethiopians who are simply crying for exercising their religious freedom, one of their fundamental human rights. Their representatives who were trying to peacefully coordinate their legitimate and legal demands have been thrown into jail and convicted of act of terror. What is much more disturbing is that as it has always been; the so-called prosecutors are very busy with   fabricating and dramatizing the “criminal “charges on those innocent citizens.

Imagine how the Ethiopian Orthodox Church is suffering as the result of the dirty political game going on in our country. Mind you how the ongoing negotiation for reconciliation, reunification and peace is suffering because of the ugly mix between religion and politics. Look at how the religious leaders who conducting meetings after meetings with no any sense of progress are victims of a very disingenuous environment as the result of an endless ugly political game.

Imagine the very miserable political system which has done nothing when people are considered as immigrants in their own country and forced to leave unconditionally leaving their belongings behind.

Imagine the horrible situation where innocent spouses have been dehumanized by a crazy political cadre of the ruling party who forced them to go naked, and force the wife to pull the genital organ of her husband tied to a string. Is it not difficult to think about this kind of dehumanization leave alone to watch happening in a country with a long history of appreciable culture?

Well, the list of extremely painful symptoms of an evil-driven political behavior and practice is very long. But, the necessary effort to go beyond those symptoms and challenging the root cause is still very unsatisfactory. I am not saying it is not necessary to talk and write about the horrible symptoms we are suffering from. Absolutely not! What I am trying to say is that if we lose the capacity and willingness to attack the very breeding ground of the deadly cause of the illness in a well-organized and coordinated way, the painful symptoms will never get better leave alone going away.

I hope some efforts being made in different parts of the country and by various political opposition groups and sections of the society will make a difference if they pull their efforts together in a much more significant manner. I hope we all genuinely concerned Ethiopians (by citizenship or by origin) will do our part in the process of the struggle that is aimed at fighting against the root cause ,the terribly failed political system as whole , not merely treating the  miserable symptoms.

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