By Berhane Kahsay
Tigrai Online April 07, 2013
Woyane had a successful and productive 11th congress in Mekelle, the capital city of Tigray. New members have joined the Central committee and Politburo in place of the old guards who guided the Front to a stunning victory, and played an important role in the formation of a democratic Ethiopia.
As a result of the thorough periodic self-assessments and appraisals, Woyane Tigray has become one of the most successful and enduring political organisation in the history of Ethiopian. Irrefutable track records clearly indicate that the Front will still remain in pole position to significantly influence the socio-economic transformation of the country for many more years to come.
The culmination of the congress in a transparent and democratic manner was a huge blow to those who were anticipating a terminal schism within the TPLF in the absence of the revered late Premier Meles Zenawi. On the contrary, members and supporters of the organisation came out of the gathering determined to work very much harder than before in order to propel the spectacular economic success of the last 20 years to the next level.
It is amazing that an organisation that was established 38 years ago still remains as potent as ever and shows no sign of wilting. The ability to successfully circumvent over three decades of stiff and testing challenges speak volumes about the TPLF’s incredible stamina and resilience. There is only one TPLF and no factions within it except in the wild imaginations of its withering opponents. So what has been the effect of this on the opposition at home and the toxic Diaspora?
OLF has fractured into little bits, and lately, another organisation named Oromo Democratic Front (ODF) has been formed by Abo Leencho and Dr Dima who triggered the disintegration of the OLF by opting out of the Transitional Government of Ethiopia (TGE) that was established in 1991. If these two individuals had ignored Esayass’ orders to leave the TGE, the OLF would have been a formidable proposition by now. Dr Yacob Hailemariam has just joined Semayawi Party after finishing off Kinijit and losing a leadership position within Andinet Party that was led by Birtukan Medeksa. Andinet is now taken over by Siye Abraha, ex-TPLF member and Dr Negasso who was an ardent supporter of Meison.
Birtukan seems to have abandoned politics all together but recently she came out of hibernation to spew out the usual tripe but no one was listening. Dr Berhanu Nega, who established G-7 after destroying Kinijit has not been heard of or seen in public for a considerable time. This bloke seems to have a unique knack of not lasting the distance which he learnt from his short days with EPRA in Asimba. We now have a new G-7 and what is left of the old one has become a good source of income for the illiterate Tamagene Beyene and Abebe Gellaw. The gutter mouth piece, ESAT, is used in the money spinning venture by engaging in the worst and vile form of ethnic politics and white lies.
ESAT claimed that Ermias Amelga, owner of Access Real Estate, was apprehended because of his ethnicity but later on it transpired that the reason for his brief incarceration was for issuing a cheque when his account was penniless. The same man took millions of birr in advance from his unsuspecting customers by entering into contracts promising to deliver brand new homes in less than two years. Ermias failed to keep his undertakings and he is now living in the US well away from the long arms of the Ethiopian law.
ESAT further used the ethnic issue when the multi-lingual Abune Mathias was unanimously elected as the 6th Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (EOTC). He is the second leader of the EOTC to have come from Tigriay that introduced Christianity to Ethiopia and, is the home of the first EOTC church, Maryam Tsion, which was built during the reign of Ezana in the 4th century AD.
Furthermore, Tigray produced St Yared who invented church musical melodies, notation systems and musical instruments that are still used in EOTC worshiping places. No wonder the last two highly educated Patriarchs happened to be from Tigray the centre of Christianity. The first four Abunes, who had no formal education, were Amharas and it appears that the chauvinists arrogantly believe that the EOTC should not be led by non-Amhara high priests.
The shameless toxic Diaspora/ESAT were even campaigning for the restoration of the Derg era Abune, a very close friend of the notorious Meleaku, who authorised the death of hundreds of young people in Gondar during the 17 years of reign of terror. It wasn’t surprising at all that the Abune fled the country when the EPRDF liberated Ethiopia from the fascist junta.
In addition to the introduction of Christianity, the Axumites also immensely contributed to the survival and spread of Islam when they protected and sheltered the followers and family of Prophet Mohamed who were persecuted by the Quraysh. Lately, the extremists have been gathering to hurt Ethiopia and, King Armaha and Nebiye Mohamed must be turning in their graves with sheer anger.
Now let us leave the worthless toxic Diaspora for a moment and focus instead on the opposition at home. While the TPLF/EPRDF has been going through major overhauls, nothing of the sort is taking place within the rivals of the governing party. Drs Beyene and Merara have been at the helm of Mederek for over two decades and the indications are that they are unlikely to do the honourable thing and exit from politics for good. They have excelled in destructive and vengeful politics, and are completely devoid of clear strategies and policies required to extricate Ethiopia from abject poverty. The two senior citizens have made Medreke unaccountable, stale, inward looking and visionless. Seasoned observers believe that the status quo is not likely to alter so long as the two individuals are at the top of the gathering of disjointed and disparate groups.
Fortunately Ethiopia is endowed with an excellent governing party but not with opposition parties that are competent and capable of challenging the TPLF/EPRDF in the areas of economy, democracy, corruption and good governance. The country is craving for loyal and competent alternative politicians that can work for the interests of their own people and not their foreign sponsors. A strong, organised and responsible opposition is a prerequisite for a healthy and vibrant democracy, and stability.
And for these to set firm roots in the country and be part of the daily life of the populace, an appropriate and conducive environment has been created but the myopic second-best politicians are failing to take full advantage of it. The political space is not ‘’narrowing’’ as we are led to believe and the opposition are simply using this excuse to masquerade their weaknesses and rejections by the electorates during the previous local, regional and general elections. It is pretty certain that the same fate will await them in the next regional elections scheduled to take place in the next few months.
No one is suggesting that the TPLF/EPRDF government is beyond reproach. Currently Ethiopia is rocked by rampant corruption and the worst form of bad governance; it requires immediate attention before it precipitates social unrest that could wipe-out the phenomenal economic achievements of the last two decades. The support of the electorates has to be earned and cannot be taken for granted. If the opposition assume power constitutionally, it would not be on the strength of their political programmes but as a result of the failure of the TPLF/EPRDF to repair its serious and detrimental short comings.