By Dilwenberu Nega, August 02, 2012
Ever since Abebe Gelaw’s rant and gush at serene Prime Minister Meles Zenawi earned him pride of place among Ethiopia’s useless toxic diaspora, as well as among irresponsible members of EOTC’s runaway synod in America, Abebe has gone from bad to worse.
To those familiar with his hobbies and eccentricities during his stint at North London College, his recent drools and scribbles is nothing new. In point of fact, according to his erstwhile cronies, they reflect the other side of Abebe: a person who is prepared to go to great length to be counted. In principle this is an attribute which he must be encouraged to nurture with all his might. The trouble with Abebe, it seems, is that he gets carried away too easily by the tap on the back and the ululations he receives for the dirty work well done on behalf of those who foolishly believe that his shouts and screams will melt away Meles Zenawi. Incidentally, according to G7 dissidents, Abebe’s unwarranted intervention on May 18th was the brain-child of power-hungry Birhanu Nega.
A person eager to be counted has to be able to think and act independently, and not make himself the robot of power hungry individuals.
Many had hoped that this young and promising Ethiopian journalist would use his May 18th misdemeanour – which had robbed him his NCP membership and blocked his right of access to US Government press conferences – as a learning curve. Unfortunately, this wasn’t to be, for Abebe was under pressure by his employers to, instead, come up with a plan that would promptly reinstate his reputation as a journalist to be reckoned with.
So Abebe “The foolish heart” and the gang of cowboy journalists at ESAT came up with a ‘brilliant’ idea of hoodwinking the international community by concocting a “Breaking News” on the “death of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.” As if this was not enough of a soap opera, ESAT’s anchorman brought in the one and only ‘expert on Ethiopian affairs’ to comment on the untimely death of the man whom the whole world acknowledges as the “Architect of up, up and away Ethiopia.” In his great wisdom, Abebe Gelaw, told the world “Meles Zenawi’s regime has come to a screeching end.” This is G7’s way of THINKING BIG!
Three days on, however, far from coming to a screeching end Meles Zenawi’s “business as usual” administration is ploughing ahead with the implementation of its Growth and Transformation plan secure in the knowledge that Ethiopia’s “first among equals” is convalescing in a place of his choice.
ESAT has committed a grave dereliction of duty by inventing a story and citing the ICG (International Crises Group) as its veritable source of information. Within minutes the ICG, angry at being dragged into the domestic politics of Ethiopia, distanced itself with an unambiguous Press Statement declaring: “Crisis Group is not in a position to speculate about the fate of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, nor have we commented on it to date.” This should have spurred ESAT to come up with a public apology, but instead they let their mad dog out on a damage limitation exercise. Writing on what has for all intents and purposes become the dumping ground for lies and fabrications on Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, ethiomedia, Abebe Gelaw, unequivocally declared “Meles Zenawi is dead.” By so stating he has confirmed what has been on the lips of many Ethiopians both at home and abroad: the guy is a nut case.
Ethiopians abroad very rarely vilipend journalists for the work they produce, but not so with Abebe Gelaw. It’s not only because he shouted at Prime Minister Meles Zenawi at an august gathering while he had a unique opportunity to have check-mated the Prime Minister with tough questions, but because he seems to have jettisoned away sensibilities and sensitivities which responsible journalists have to demonstrate in the discharge of their duties.
ESAT’s future, as a result of its totally irresponsible act of concocting the death of Prime Minister Melees Sinai, is now vulnerable to a quick and painful death as people who have been contributing money to ESAT are bound to ask a justifiable question: Are they or Ethiopia getting value for their money? The answer is a big NO.
It is in the nature of Ethiopians not to harbour sadism and revenge even to their political opponents. At a time when Christians and Muslims are praying for the speedy recovery of Ethiopians a handful of empty barrels here and there are deafening our ears with their dark fallacies. The majority of Ethiopians have taken heed of the explanations given by the Head of Communications Office, Minister Bereket Simone, and yearn for the day when they shall see Ethiopia’s Great Communicator continue fighting his corner for Ethiopia.
In the meantime, however, we must not lose sight of the fact that Ethiopia has no rhyme or reason to parade her convalescing Prime Minister to international media in order to stop the rumour mills of the chattering class. Neither is Ethiopia Egypt, nor is Meles Zenawi Hosni Mubarak. During the 21 years of EPRDF’s rule, in the tug of war between veracity and mendacity, Ethiopians have been exercising their inalienable right to choose between believing the Angel or the Devil without outside interference. In the fate of their workaholic Prime Minister, too, they need no one, least of all a cowboy journalist to tell them on whom to believe.
This short commentary brings with it my humble best wishes for a speedy recovery to Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.
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