Hectoring, pushing and prodding is UDJ’s badge of affectations

By Dilwenberu Nega
July 26 2009

UDJ’s on-going, at times open and at times guerrilla warfare amongst its politically disparate leadership, has now prompted observers of Ethiopia’s political scene to ask: “Who on earth exhumed Kinijit in the first place?”   UDJ may not be enjoying the statutory right of using the once-endearing word “Kinijit,” but its recent actions has all the hall marks of a Kinijit-like political kamikaze.   At the 2005 National Elections, Kinijit became so stupefied by its landslide win of Addis Ababa that it had prematurely declared its coronation only, of course, to soon realise that it was, in fact, attending its wake.   The result of that mother of all political mistakes not only heralded the death kneel of Kinijit, but worse of all, left an indelible scar in the annals of nurturing democracy in Ethiopia.

As if all the damage former Kinijit grandees had inflicted on the democratic process in Ethiopia during the 2005 National Elections was not enough, we now are made to witness a repeat of the very cry wolf with which they had managed to hoodwink domestic as well as international public opinion at the last election.

UDJ’s latest Press Statement accusing EPDRF of minatory posturing against one year old UDJ is, therefore, a fine blend of naked cry wolf and a futile attempt at diverting public focus on UDJ’s laughable hectoring, pushing and prodding.   Leaving the detailed investigation of UDJ’s complaints to the National Election Board of Ethiopia, (NEBE) a cursory glance at UDJ’s latest Press Release unravels the falsity of its real motive.   The stream of UDJ’s complaints against EPDRF come close on the heels of a stream of puerile bickering and mud-slinging campaign by UDJ’s current crop of geriatric leaders from the Kinijit era.   As a result UDJ has got the thumbs-down from the court of Ethiopian public opinion.

At the very heart of UDJ’s current feud amongst its mostly geriatric leadership lies a combination of factors and not – as UDJ is frantically trying to portray - a tug of war between Medrek-philes and Medrek-sceptics.   And they are: the flawed nature of UDJ’s very composition, its inability to grow as it had hoped to do at its inception, the apparent lack of commitment of its members, the conspicuous absence of rallying behind a vision and a tendency to rely on past laurels alone.   What else do you, then, expect but interminable division and civil war from a hastily cobbled together from a potpourri of ersatz democrats and liberal democracy rascals.

The loyalty of the Ethiopian electorate is something that ought not to be taken for granted by any party in government or in opposition, least of all by a UDJ that seems to have lost its bearings.   As a matured electorate, Ethiopian voters have picked up the pieces from the attempted mugging of the democratic process by Kinijit in 2005 and would, therefore, not allow themselves to be deceived again by the chicaneries of the same men and women who had brought nothing but havoc to their lives.

The clarion call for UDJ today should, in fact, - if it believes it has got what it takes to make a meaningful comeback to the Ethiopian political scene - be: “Wake up, Dress up and Show up!”