Semayawi Party: A new comer with a campaign fund of 42 Million Birr
By Berhane Kahsay
Tigrai Online, April 1, 2015
Semayawi Party a new comer to the Ethiopian political seen, but it has a campaign fund of 42 Million Birr for the Ethiopian election 2015
Yonahtan Tesfaye, Semayawi Party’s Head of Public Relations, recently had a candid interview with Fortune Newspaper in relation to the upcoming general election pencilled to take place in May 2015.
The party has only been in existence for two and half years and most of its support appears to be from the metropolis and its surroundings. Despite this glaring fact, Yonthan Tesfaye seems to be certain that his party would either form the next government on its own or establish a coalition administration with its fringe allies that tend to surface immediately before every general election. The spokesman further stated that his party has allocated ‘’a big share of its budget and assigned a task force’’ to achieve its objectives.
On a numerous instances, the young political party took its members to the streets grasping the conducive democratic environment that has been in prevalent since the coming of the current party in power. At every outing, it was apparent that the majority of the participants were passionate proponents of the terror group Al-Qaida which gave birth to the virulent and barbaric ISIS that has made a name for itself by decapitating and smouldering innocent people of all ages and nationalities.
The most shocking piece of the interview was the revelation of the size of the campaign fund set aside by Semayawi Party. The Spokesperson disclosed that 42 million Birr has been allocated for the’’ overall election process’’ and that the money was collected from’’ members, supporters from inside and outside Ethiopia and from other sources.’’ If this colossal figure is just for the ‘’election process’’, it is pertinent to enquire how much this party is worth bearing in mind that it has only been in existence for less than three years.
The hastily crafted Semayawi Party was the brain child of the minority Diaspora extremists as well as the old guards of the now defunct Kinijit and Ginbot- 7. And the overriding motive for the creation of the impressionable youth dominated organization was to initiate the failed Arab style uprising in return for monetary reward. But it is quite clear that the gathering of unpatriotic extremists and sell-outs on their own would be in a position to bank-roll the stooge party to the tune of millions of Birr.
The other ‘’sources’’ the Spokesperson referred to may be the ones that are contributing the lion’s share. So, what could be the motive for backing a party that no one is expects to win a solitary seat never mind form the next government? As the head of Public Relations deliberately failed to disclose the identity of the other ‘’ sources’’, we can only speculate as to who these might be. The usual suspects include ideologically driven neo-liberals who have been involved for a considerable period to force the current developmental government of Ethiopia to adopt an extreme form of free market economy that has failed to address Africa’s chronic economic problems.
NGOs such as Human Rights watch, Oakland Institute and Amnesty International, who report to the market fundamentalists, no doubt have brought Semayawi Party under their tutelage in order to use it to intimidate the resilient EPRDF to cave in to their political and economic demands. To camouflage their real intentions, they tend to invariably cite lack of democracy, human rights violation and land-leasing policy that has been formulated to ameliorate poverty.
Without a scant attention to the economic policy prescriptions of the think-tank Washington Consensus, Ethiopia has managed to secure decade’s long double-digit economic growth that has lifted millions of Ethiopians out of poverty. But the pseudo human rights defenders seem to be unimpressed by this success and are determined to bring it to a scratching halt. They consistently have been attempting to instigating civil unrest similar to what has taken place in various Arab countries and Ukraine which appears to be fracturing along ethnic lines. There is so much disorder and blood- letting in these unfortunate regions and the so- called human rights organizations that kindle the turmoil on behalf of their handlers are nowhere to be seen.
Egypt may also be among the other ‘’sources’’ sponsoring Semayawi Party as it wants to stop Ethiopia from using the Nile Waters to achieve food security and to develop hydro-power energy for export to neighboring countries and beyond. The Arab Republic uses Eritrea as a conduit and the pariah state in turn employs its stooge G-7 to facilitate the transfer money into the coffers of Semayawi Party to be solely used to initiate pandemonium that could lead to the break-down of law and order. Only recently, three active members of the organization were caught while attempting to cross into Eritrea to join G-7.
Who else is involved in propping up the surrogate organization that has no political manifesto but purports to be’’ moderately liberal?’’ Muslim fundamentalists invariably utilize Semayawi Party to further their extreme Islamic agendas which seem to be identical to Egypt’s Brotherhood. No doubt these fanatics provide massive financial support for services rendered thanks to the copious amount of hard currencies that regularly comes their way from their Arab and Persian patrons who wish to spread the deadly strand of Islam.
The only way to prevent legally registered parties soliciting funds from the enemies of the state is to have in place legislative steps on political funding and establish an independent body that would scrutinize the size of donations and their sources. The government would then be duty bound to punish those that transgress the law of the land and in this way the prevailing peace and stability that came about as a result of the protracted 17 years armed struggle would last the distance.
It is also the responsibility of the current party at the helm to strongly deal with Diaspora opponents engaged in spreading erroneous information intended to dissuade potential investors from heading to the Horn nation that has become a role model for Africa. Lately, the wife of Andargache Tsege has managed to pull the UK press and media into her side and it may be as result of her efforts and others that the UK government has ended its financial support for some important projects in Ethiopia.
In September last year, the EU Human Rights Committee in Brussels held a hearing on Andargachew and the ill-informed and biased NGOs Reprieve, Front Line Defenders (FLD) and the assassin Ana Gomez were present to do the usual hatchet job. FLD is based in Ireland and was involved in providing camouflage and digital security to Zone 9 bloggers currently in prison for their association with proscribed organization and incitement to violence.
A representative from the Ethiopian embassy was present at the hearing but he utterly failed to robustly defend the measures taken against the leader of the outlawed G-7 who was captured in Yemen, Sana, while on transit to the Eritrean capital, Asmara. It is not entirely obvious as to why EU members chose to ignore the fact that Eritrea has been identified as a sponsor of terrorism and it was for this reason that the UN Security Council imposed hefty and crippling sanctions.
Proper and thorough vetting of foreign office officials assigned to serve in overseas missions ought to be rigorously applied in order to ascertain appointees’ competence, communication skills and the ability to defend government policies and record on human rights. The tasks of the diplomats can simply no longer be left to the formidable Tigrai Online and Aiga Forum who have been involved in sorting out all sorts of extremists for quite some time now. It is most gratifying to witness the way these websites have successfully managed to outwit, outplay and marginalize the numerous Amhara centric cyber outlets engaged in preaching and disseminating politics laden with hate.
Another worrying development that seems to be taking place without a challenge is the appearance of various artists and comedians on ESAT TV. Recently, the singer Abeba Desalagen, and the comedians Wondesen Berhanu (Dokle) and Kibebew Geda were guests of the illiterate chat show host Tamagene Beyene.
These high profile celebrities have taken advantage of their constitutional rights to leave and enter their country without any hindrance, and yet, they seem to be wantonly colluding with an outlawed terror group that owns the television station and has been endeavouring to scupper the freedom of movement that these compatriots have been enjoying since the fall of the Derg.
A concerted effort to legitimatize ESAT and make it a mainstream TV station appears to be in full swing, and the net desire of this is to boost the channel’s audience and sphere so that Shabiya can engineer the irretrievable demise of Ethiopia. Not censuring those that show up on G-7’s propaganda outlet would certainly give a green light for others to follow suit creating a very dangerous precedent that could have grave and far reaching economic and political repercussions.
To prevent the creation of disloyal political parties that could possibly land on the laps of foreign enemies, loyal and patriotic opposition groups ought to be afforded a realistic chance of making it to parliament. This can easily be achieved by the EPRDF not contesting in certain areas and regions. It can also encourage its supports to vote tactically in marginal constituencies to the party that it believes can positively contribute to the development of democracy. Only a vibrant parliamentary democracy would ensure continuous economic growth, peace and stability, and deterrence of external adversaries from inflicting serious and irrevocable damage.
Even Yonatan, the Blue Party spokesman, says he doesn't expect his party to win a single parliamentary seat in the upcoming election. The ruling party, while politically repressive, has presided over the fastest growing economy in Ethiopian history. The former high school teacher says he'll be happy if the Blue Party just becomes an umbrella for people to voice their discontent.