Posted September 14, 2012 in News

Post Meles Ethiopia: continuation of Meles Zenawi or a new vision insight?

By Adisie Tesfu, Oslo, Norway

Date : 12 September 2012


Ethiopian nationals and international friends of Ethiopia have been wondering to hear what the future holds for Ethiopia following the mysterious death of Meles Zenawi. The following paragraph from Hailemariam Desalegen, acting Prime Minister would sum up our future, if indeed, the heroic sons and daughters of Ethiopia have surrendered their quest, for genuine democracy, political pluralism, and the revival   of greater Ethiopia.

“We affirm to the Peoples of Ethiopia and to all our friends that we have renewed our covenant to pursue our goals and Prime Minister’s aims and ambitions with great zeal and vigour”.

Acting Prime Minister had also announced that the country is prepared to build a mausoleum which includes a library, an exhibition of Melese’s life, with a view to commemorate  and continue the  legacy of the  of the  former  leader.

Late Prime Minister’s wife Mrs Zenawi had also told the Ethiopian crowed and the entire world that she is prepared to “serve” the country if and only if the aims of Meles Zenawi are sustained, status quo maintained. In her own words if the policies remain “ eskalteberethe and eskaltekelese dres”

 It appears that the ruling circle in Ethiopia is determined to keep the status quo of the Meles regime, whose sole headship and core values emanates from the narratives of ethnicity as opposed to civic nationalism. As a follower of Marxist ideology, Albanian variant – the blindest form of Marxism,   bogged down with ethnic division, ethno-centricism;  Zenawi had indisputably driven  the country into ethnic essentialism, and ethnic xenophobia.  The legacy of Zenawi had left ethnic based mini states to acquire their sense of belongingness by way of jus sanguins (the law of blood) which has nothing to do with liberal values, civic societies and demotic changes proper. Such dogmatic ideologies, paradigms of the past, had always been instrumental in serving the personal and /or group egos such as those of Ceausescu of Albania, Kim Jong of Korea and our late Prime Minister, Zenawi.

The every day practice of TPLF for the last twenty years have proven conclusively that its fundamental values, doctrine negate the core   values of democracy, transparency, accountability, transparency and human rights – collective and /or individual.  Ever since late Prime Minister and his cronies came into power, they have used ethnic myth, ethnic division with a view to stay in power. They have always worked against the existence of genuine opposition parties including the All Amhara Peoples Movement/ Party (AAPO) led by professor Asrat woldeyes, MEDHIN , EPRP, OLF  and the recent UDJ party. All these and other genuine parties have been  systematically annihilated or made ineffective and divided so as not to raise any  meaningful , parliamentary opposition; without paying attention to the tailor made opposition parties, hatched and nurtured by Zenawi and his cronies for the last twenty one years.

The legacy followed against mass media, journalists and human rights activists has always been troubling. They have been subjugated to sham anti terrorism laws, laws enacted with clear intent to punish civilians, to restraint press and close the foundations of democratic view and progress in the country; instead the Ethiopian public has been hoodwinked to romanticize Zenawi , as the most devout , sadly, if not the only gifted leader.

Hailemaraim and Mrs Zenawi are there with all intent and purposes to continue the legacy of the Meles Zenawi. What exactly are they determined to continue? Is it the legacy of killing civilians? Genocide? Crack down of opposition parties? Dividing greater Ethiopia into ethnic enclaves?  Downsizing Ethiopia to the extent of a landlocked country?  Or is it his political behaviours marred with turncoat and /or   duplicity, hypocrisy, misrepresentation of fact, double standard…. that they are determined to continue?  Don’t we deserve better? Does Ethiopia deserve better? When does better time come for Ethiopia?

What exactly do they want to preserve in their mausoleum? Are they going to preserve and sustain the blood and flesh of those killed by Meles Zenawi and his cronies? The blood and flesh of the 193 people killed in board day light during the 2005 election or the suffering of those youth generation that was particularly targeted during the 2005 election,   the Gambella massacre, those who lost their life in vain during the so called Bademe war, or is it the immense suffering of individual and collective Ethiopian heroes, such as selfless journalist Eskender Nega, Reyot Alemu, Zerihun Gebre- Egziabher , political figures, activists….. that the  Mausoleum  would intend to preserve?  Surely, this is the truth of the matter – and that is sacred, above and beyond the realm of the late Zenawi and his vestiges.

Mr Hailemaraim and Mrs Zenawi appears to be blind of events before their eyes, the demise of Gadafi’s regime, Sadam’s regime  of Iraq to mention a few of them. Their memories, if competent, should be able to keep not only of present gruesome crisis stated above but of the distant past, including the rise and fall of all those dubbed historical dictators such as Mussolini, Nazi, who had always thought with their blood, racial and ethnic fervour, but who failed to see and grasp the unintended consequence of their futile and rotten, misguided policies.

It is hard to contemplate how our Mrs Zenawi and Hailemariam failed to see these present and historical phenomenal events that should and could have  shaped , appealed to their minds, surely if not insane, which we don’t doubt,  or blindfolded for reasons of power.   It is hard to imagine someone with any flicker of thought would contemplate to build   Mausoleum for late Mr Zenawi. It is quite possible to ignore history, particularly for those in power, to live and think oddly, but would be suicidal to ignore the impact of time, what the future holds as the future manifest itself independent of ones will and desire.

We need change, real and democratic change not the construction of mausoleum, the myth of late Zenawi; if at all there would be a construction of mausoleum, it should and must be for the victims of Zenawi and his cronies.

We need and demand the release of all political prisoners and not the construction of myth – mausoleums; the east has already learnt a lot from the rubbles of mausoleums; Ethiopia shouldn’t be the last to learn from wreckage of mausoleums.

The writer Adisie Tesfu could be contacted at: ([email protected])