Tigray: KHAT should be banned permanently with Covid-19
By Amleset Tesfay
Tigrai Online March 31, 2020
In accordance with the Ethiopian constitution and the laws of the state of Tigray, Tigray declared a state of emergency to save the lives and protect the health of the people. The declaration will remain in effect for about 15 days or may continue until the spread of Covid-19 is fully contained in Ethiopia and elsewhere.
Tigray has also established a task force to coordinate the response to Corona Virus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
We support and appreciate the Tigray Government’s measures taken to combat the spread of Corona Virus disease 2019 (Covid-19). We also support the Tigray people, the Third Weyane’s and Baytona Tigray’s leadership initiates taken to keep the safety and health of the public.
About 25 years ago, the late Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi was asked by a BBC Journalist the reason why he did not ban KHAT in Ethiopia. Meles’s response was “in some parts of Ethiopia KHAT became almost part of the culture of the society.” We all agree in some parts of Ethiopia Khat was consumed before Meles was born and so he was not able to ban Khat.
According to the recent Africa’s BBC news published on March 27, 2020, Somalia temporary banned the stimulant leaf khat because of coronavirus. However, Somalia Campaigners are campaigning the restrictions to be made permanent.
The question is what about in Tigray and/or in Ethiopia? Consuming Khat was a taboo in Tigray and some Ethiopian regional states. Most young Tigray youths used to wonder when they see a person consuming leaves like domestic animals. But, nowadays consuming KHAT is also becoming part of the culture of Tigray.
Tigray under the watch of its leaders, it has become a dumping place for KHAT Leaves for over twenty years. In 2018 at a meeting in Mekelle city, the Tigray Artists association had requested the governor of Tigray to ban the stimulant Khat from Tigray.
Well, on march29, 2020, the governor of Tigray declared the KHAT BUSINESS HOUSES to be closed for about 15 days to prevent corona virus infections. The Tigray parents and religious fathers are still asking Khat to be banned from Tigray permanently. People are demanding TPLF leaders to ban and stop granting KHAT business licenses.
It is very well known that TPLF is one of the civilized revolutionary forces, and a world class political organization in Ethiopia. TPLF under the leadership of Meles Zenawi brought about radical economic growth and prosperity in Ethiopia. TPLF is also credited for pioneering Ethiopia’s democratic system and democratic parliamentary elections.
Currently besides the TPLF, the third Weyane and Baytona Tigray are also becoming politically as strong as the TPLF; but they should also show their leadership on the most important social issues as well.
Third Weyane, Baytona and independent Tigray should form a coalition party and work together as a strong alternative party to TPLF and help TPLF to bring rapid social and economic transformation in Tigray.
If the three parties work out their minor ideological differences and form a coalition party, the future political leadership of Tigray may belong to them.
From the political developments in Ethiopia and with the madness of the illegitimate prosperity party, majority Tigrayans want to become the masters of their own political destiny.
Any genuine Tigrayan political party should never give away Tigray people’s decision making power and freedom to incompetent people who control the Menelik Palace without a formal election. Tigray people should never be dictated by unfit and immature people who love to grab power by extending elections illegally. Never again!
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