Ethiopia : Corruption is structural ; party renewal from within impossible , says former president of Oromia Junedin Saddo

Anti-Corruption commission itself is corrupted.

September 23,2016

Junedin Saddo
Junedin Saddo

Junedin Saaddo served the regime in Ethiopia in different capacities for over a decade. Just to mention high ranking positions at the regional and federal levels, he served as president of Oromia regional state between 2001 and 2005.Recently, the region has been cited by international mainstream media as the largest region in Ethiopia. To give geographical context on its size, the whole of Ethiopia is less than the province of Ontario in Canada.

At the Federal level, he served as cabinet minister with Transport & Communication, Science &Technology and Civil service ministerial portfolios.

Having fallout with the regime, he fled to Kenya in 2013 after a decade of service to the very regime he is now vehemently criticizing. Although stories about it was blurry at the time, it was apparent that his fallout with the regime had something to do with the arrest of his wife on alleged grounds of facilitating finance from Saudi Embassy for purposes of religious activity, the regime labelled it terrorism, which was rather, for Junedin, a political attack on him.

He has been silent about his experience within the regime for a long time now. He broke his silence a week or so ago when he published an article, reflected on the ongoing protest in Ethiopia, on African Arguments website.

Once an insider with an equivalent of home negro status, most of what he had to say about the workings of the regime is selling fairly well in the opposition quarter.

Although he already plead for apology for working with and for the Tigray People’s Liberation Front,his testimonial about his purity in matters related to corruption, among others, didn’t resonate well with Ethiopians. In a way, the fact that many Ethiopians gave him an ear insinuates,possibly, that he is somewhat forgiven.

In an interview with Tsion Girma of Voice of America Amharic Service, was transmitted on live video on facebook, he was explicit that the regime in power can not renew itself from within. There have been brutal internal party evaluations numerous times and the party has proved itself to be intransigent to embrace change.

The ruling coalition is, in his words, “fake.” He told Tsion that the ruling coalition is dominated by Tigray People’s Liberation Front ; the rest of coalition members are simply surrogates and stooges of it. In recent media media campaign like appearances, Senior TPLF elites, like former foreign Affairs minister Seyoum Mesfin, tried hard to paint an image to disprove claim about TPLF dominance in the coalition. The institutions he used as an example to make his points are the Defense force and security and intelligence apparatus – the very institutions that Ethiopians in the opposition use to show TPLF domination.

Junedin Saddo didn’t go around the bush on the issue of corruption either. “Corruption is”, he said, “Structural.” He went so far as stating that the Anti-Corruption Commission itself is corrupt. Full Amharic interview is available here

Written by Dimetros Birku. Can be reached on twitter : @dimetros

Cover Photo : Junedin Sado. Resized Screenshot of VOA Amharic video.

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