By Berhane Kahsay
Tigrai Onlne December 07, 2013
Ana Gomez, a featherweight Portuguese EU Member of Parliament, is still as twisted, vengeful and vindictive as ever. She returned to Ethiopia after 9 years of absence and the transformation of the country since then must have been a massive shock to her system. On the other hand, Portugal’s economy is on a life support machine and is kept afloat thanks to the EU’s infusion of 80 bn Euros.
It is pretty obvious that her anger has greatly intensified as the country she left behind nearly ten years ago has made tremendous strides in nurturing democracy, the rule of law and in registering two decades long double-digit economic growth that is showing no sign of abating. Ana Ginbote resents Ethiopia’s success story that has bowled over Africa and beyond. Her meddling in the internal affairs of a sovereign country continues to this day but it appears no one is paying her any attention even for a split of a second.
The angry and emotional old woman is now politically marginalized but occasionally the Portuguese lady is observed spewing the usual garbage from the remote corner of EU parliament. Ms Ginbote admitted in the interview she gave to Addis Standard newspaper, during her recent visit to Ethiopia, that her views have been invariably ‘’attacked’’ by many members of fellow cross party parliamentarians including Mr Louis Michel who is the chair of EU Foreign Affairs Commissioner.
Clearly the Commissioner and his colleagues are elated by what they are seeing in Ethiopia and have no time for a spiteful member who has nothing constructive to contribute. How can they have a respect for such a dishonest and unprofessional parliamentarian that was sent as an impartial observer but ended up working with the opposition openly and even went as far as leaking the results of the election before its official announcement?
In high insight, EU Foreign Affairs Committee must be regretting for deciding to dispatch an inexperienced, immature and second rated politician, that spent a great deal of her time with Berhanu Nega in her Sheraton hotel room, as the leader of European Union Election Observation Mission( EU-EOM).
During her conversation with Addis Standard’s deputy-editor-in –chief, Tesfaye Ejigu, Ms Ginbote said: ‘’ what I saw during Meles Zenawi was a dictatorship. I have lived in dictatorship in my own country.’’ Quite rightly Portugal was under a brutal dictator, Antonio de Oliveira Salazar, who ruled the country with an iron fist from 1932-1974. For 42 years, an authoritarian right wing government was at the helm and its secret police Policia Internacionale de Defesa do Estado (PIDE) suppressed civil liberties and political freedom in order to prolong the tyrant’s tenure in power.
In Ethiopia we have a budding democracy, a plethora of opposition political parties and vibrant private broad sheet as well as tabloid newspapers that would not flinch from criticizing the party in power whenever necessary. Independent bodies such as the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, Institution of the Ombudsman and Anti-Corruption Commission exist to ensure the rights of the citizens are protected at all costs. Dictatorship does not reign in Ethiopia; this assertion is simply a figment of her imagination. The EPRDF administration does not shy away from caring for its nationals as was clearly demonstrated when over 100,000 people were brought home from Saudi Arabia in just ten days.
When speaking to Addis Standard, the Portuguese lady stated that during her meeting with Abadula Gemeda she mentioned that’’ Judicial independence does not exist in Ethiopia and that she welcomed the move by PM Hailemariam to prosecute high officials, even a minister charged with corruption’’ with regard to the former, many Ethiopians would strongly dispute this erroneous assertion by citing a single example of Reyot Alemu who is currently in Kaliti prison. Initially, she received 14 years but on appeal, Ethiopia’s Federal Supreme Court reduced her jail terms to 5. Does this not show unequivocally the presence of independent judiciary? Furthermore, would Reyot have considered appealing if she had no confidence in the transparency of the law?
For Ms Ginbote’s information, the action against high officials implicated in corruption was instigated by the late Premier according to the report presented to the House of peoples of Representatives by the Commissioner Mr Ali Sulaiman. This is clearly a revenge move against PM Meles for demolishing her 2005 election report piece by piece and since then she has been struggling to recover her shattered credibility.
Deputy Editor of Addis standard, who appears to be a closet G-7, said the following to her:’’ a lot of Ethiopians respect you. Ethiopians like honesty. They gave you an Ethiopian name.’’ When he says Ethiopians, is he referring to the peoples of Somalia, Gambela, Bensahngul, SNNP, Tigrai, Oromo, Harari or Afar? The answer is emphatically----- no. How is it possible that the inhabitants of the above regional states that have benefited immensely from the federal system would ‘’like’’ a dishonest woman that allied with those that are trying to reverse the achievements of the last twenty years? The Deputy Editor is simply kidding himself and knows quite clearly that the only support this woman has is mostly derived from minority Amhara elite at home and in the Diaspora.
The Portuguese lady is so desperate to tarnish the good name of PM Meles, she went on as far as suggesting that ’’ Meles built up the tension between Muslims and Christians inside Ethiopia.’’ This is crass. Ms Ginbote knows the tension was between traditional Muslims and Wahabians that wanted to spread extremism in Ethiopia, and not with the followers of Christianity. Meles played a decisive role in defusing the situation as he was wise enough to realise the importance of peace and stability in his resolute determination to transform Ethiopia into a prosperous country that would cater for the needs of the entire population.
Ms Ginbote also told the deputy editor of Addis Standard that the opposition parties’ weaknesses were down to the late Premier. This is far from the truth; they are in such a predicament due to the simple fact that they don’t have the support of the electorates. On the other hand, the EPRDF has a solid following because of it impeccable track record piled up over the last 20 years. Her friend Berhanu Nega repeatedly flopped with his numerous fund raising events in the Diaspora, and it was as a result of this disastrous failure that he was forced to lick the boots of the Eritrean dictator.
The deputy editor was further informed that:’’ The American’s pressure had political prisoners freed; opposition leaders and Birtukan Medeksa and others.’’ For a starter the Americans didn’t pressurise Meles to release political prisoners as there were no citizens imprisoned for their political beliefs. There were, however, Kinjit members put behind bars for attempting to overthrow a democratically elected government; these were eventually released by the then President as they submitted a written confusion of their wrong doings and pleaded for clemency which was granted. How come Eskinder and et.al are still languishing in Kaliti?
Ms Ginbote’s shocking revelation was when she said: ‘’ I know it was not easy for the new PM to assert his role as PM. I know there was a lot of internal fighting within the power. He is not a Tigrian...’’ Who said a non-Tigrian can’t lead the country? PM Hailemariam, who hails from Wolayta, was unanimously chosen and has successfully managed to ‘assert’ his ‘role’ right from the start. The ‘’ internal infighting’’ Ms Ginbote is referring to is once again a figment of her wild imagination.
Members of the TPLF within the EPRDF understand the implications of complete domination of one ethnic group over the other. Seventeen years of hard and bloody struggle was waged to remove 100 years Amhara supremacy. A repeat of the past is not in the interest of the country, and as far as the current federal system is concerned, there is nothing that can prevent a Somali or an Afar from leading the nation. Of course there those who would aspire to drag us back to the bad old days but they would never succeed as we have reached a point of no return.
Meles is no longer with us but his strong and unfading legacy will remain with us and the world at large for many generations to come. Who will remember when Ana Ginbote is finished?