An Open Letter to Prime Minister Meles Zenawi

By Dilwenberu Nega
June 06 2009

H.E. Ato Meles Zenawi MHPR
Prime Minister
The Office of Prime Minister
Addis Ababa

Although I write on my own behalf, deep in my heart of hearts, I somewhat feel that I am also giving vent to the pent up sentiments of multitude of Ethiopians both in the Homeland and Abroad. These could be in farmsteads up and down rural Ethiopia or they could be on the factory floors of urban Ethiopia. They could, on the other hand, be the young, the middle-aged or the old age pensioners going about their daily business of eking out a living in recession hit United States, Europe, Africa and Australia.

Of one thing, however, I am very clear in my mind: that though the rigours of high-inflation, the dearth of foreign currency and the intermittent black out in towns and cities have undoubtedly made Ethiopians in the Homeland feel insecure, they need no reminding from someone like me, who lives in relative luxury in developed Great Britain, that Meles Zenawi’s Ethiopia is by far better than Mengistu Haile Mariam’s Ethiopia.

By the way, I am adamant that I am not in the business of turning you into a demigod. Doing that would serve nobody any good, and I am cocksure that you would not approve of it. Besides, we, Ethiopians, have acquired bitter experience from our ‘choice’ of turning an ordinary human being into a demigod in our recent past. I am simply being courageous enough and speak the truth – which is sweet to those who seek her and poison to those who wish to bury her.

The Diaspora, on the other hand, is a completely different kettle of fish, therefore, one needs to exercise due care in not regarding the Ethiopian Diaspora as a politically homogeneous entity. The Ethiopian Diaspora is as politically mongrelized as it is a patchwork of ethnicity. I am not referring, here, to the now dwindling number of the ardent followers of the politics of hate and envy. I hope, Prime Minister, you know who I am talking about. I am not talking about you know those profligate Ethiopian liberal-democrats, who have built their second homes in Addis, who have taken due advantages of your Government’s duty free privileges to Ethiopian returnees, but only to denounce Ethiopia as “a nation on fire” upon their return. Nor am I referring to the rouble-rousing demonstrators who are the sons and daughters of the very parents your Government’s economic policies helped them become millionaires in no time.

Mr Prime Minister

Out there in the Diaspora are responsible men and women who constitute the silent majority. Because they have not garnered sufficient courage yet, you don’t see them organizing pro-Meles Zenawi demonstrations in Europe and America, nor read their articles on Ethiopian websites. And believe you me; they have very valid reasons for not expressing their views publically. It would mean inviting cyber-tigers and Shabia’s lap dogs to scuttle their lives. But the good thing is that the fear has not robbed them their cognitive powers. That is why today, out there in the midst of the Ethiopian Diaspora, runs a common thread that appreciates the work well done – but not yet completed – by EPDRF in general and by you in particular.

That is why every time you state: “I have had enough” there is an instant “Winners don’t quit, and quitters don’t win” reaction from the ‘sane’ Diaspora.

Your Excellency

It’s no good being repetitive; a word is enough for the wise. Rest assured, then, that you have more silent admirers and supporters both at home and abroad. Can you, therefore, consider staying on until 2015 as both Prime Minister and Chairman of EPDRF? Ethiopia, today, needs a no-nonsense Meles to deal with galloping Somali Jihadists.

With kind regards

Dilwenberu Nega - Wales, Great Britain