Besides mere elitist attraction of the name “the economist”, no substantive information offered. The article tends to celebrate the achievements of Meles than shedding a light on the confusion regarding whereabouts of Meles. It does not have an insight or anything like that either. One of the comments on the article nailed it: “ This must be an advance eulogy from Economist.” No wonder consumption of the article on facebook, twitter, linkedin and Google in the form of “shares” and “likes” is much less than 200.
To my surprise, one of the people who shared the article on twitter could have given us a much better speculation and information than the elitist opinion. And who would think Seeye Abraha would share an article from “The Economist” on matters that he could speak about much better and more authoritatively? Seeye’s only opinion in the whole article reads- “ he [Meles] will be leaving very big boots that cannot be filled by anyone else” – that is it? Seeye was referring to the personality cult and the one man rule of Zenawi, which is virtually a public knowledge and needs no expertise or insider information.
Seeye’s recent contribution to VOA news Africa is of no significance either in terms of providing information relating to rumors of power struggle within the ruling party. The difference between the rumor and Seeye’s comment is negligible. His statement to VOA news is not better than what he has given on “the Economist” : “This is a crisis situation and the dust has not settled.” The status updates and discussion on facebook among Ethiopians seems to have a lot more clue to give than Seeye’s reiteration of public knowledge. However, Seeye has a potential to dig out more information by virtue of his connection to the ruling party – specifically to TPLF a party that has wielded more power and is presiding over the government. More, while Seeye concluded his remark “…We are approaching the end of the one-party system,” he did not tell why people should be optimistic about the end of this regime nor he specified how the opposition could benefit from it, how people could contribute in the effort to hasten the collapse of the regime. Had Seeye not been considered as “opinion leader” by virtue of his history and connection with TPLF, I would not even bother to question his comments on “The Economist” and “VOA Africa.”
I think we learned something different about Seeye though. It seems the case that Seeye would not hesitate to travel the road travelled by Meles as far as foreign relation is concerned.
The “Bonapartist” and critic of “temberkakinet” seem to have developed an elitist taste. Whether this is the outcome of the elitist institution he attended in the past couple of years in Boston or the social influence of the connections he happened to have in extra-curricular activity or outside of his school life, or a lesson from bitter defeat from the leadership of a party for which he fought real fight for 17 years or an outcome of assumption about reading taste of emerging young activists(yes sadly, there is a worship of opinion from elitist media and institutions) is something I cannot speculate. What I can imagine is that he is not the same person and understandably so. How else can I explain when Seeye shares a useless and uninformative article from the economist while he could share something very relevant (or is he doing it to some offline?). In the past, I have celebrated Seeye’s declaration of his hostility with TPLF following his fallout out of the conviction that his rejection of TPLF has a symbolic significance for the failure of ethnic ideology. I have e-mailed him my appreciation of his new stand a couple of years ago and I was feeling a bit uncomfortable to vent out what I felt regarding his comments in the recent articles mentioned above. And I am doing this in good faith. I believe that we should not teach activists to be consumers of exotic elitist views. I don’t see desirability in it for the political situation at home.
On a different note, we spent so much time discussing the situation of Meles Zenawi while TPLF exploited the situation to buy time, harness cracks from within without feeling meaningful political pressure from the opposition quarter. If Meles is still breathing by any chance, TPLF leadership has positioned itself for a potentially profitable propaganda campaign by way of demonstrating how not trust worthy the media – and by implication opposition voice- is. It is not the propaganda itself that matters – if it happens. But what TPLF –and the cliques in TPLF political umbrella –can do with the propaganda is not good. It means more moral legitimacy for silencing opposition voice in the country. Yet, it should be emphasized that TPLF culture of secrecy has contributed more in this saga and no one could take the lion’s share other than TPLF if they happen to indulge in blame game.