Jawar Mohammed is losing ground, says General Kemal Gelchu

General Kemal Gelchu criticized Jawar Mohammed and Oromo Media Network (OMN). He sees the inevitability of OMN’s march to irrelevance if it fails to liberate itself from the influence of Jawar Mohammed

Jawar Mohammed _ Kemal Gelchu
Brig. General Kemal Gelchu. Photo : SM /file

June 5, 2020 

Oromo National Party chairman, Brig. General Kemal Gelchu, had an interview with Andafta Media. He remarked on the extension of General election, what his party thinks to address the existing “constitution crisis” (he does not seem to accept how the government is going about getting a constitutional interpretation to legitimize extension of the election), and about Jawar Mohamed and his media Oromia Media Network (OMN). 

He also seized the opportunity to explain what could be described as “rivalries”  among the bigger ethnic-Oromo nationalist parties (namely Oromo Liberation  Front, Oromo Federalist Congress, and Oromo National Party) on the issue of “leading the struggle of the Oromo people” which rather sounds more like a power struggle.  

Regarding the postponed election, “Whatever the reason is,” he said, “not having an election is a gap and it means that the government will not have the power once the term is completed in September.” 

Then again, he said that his party is not claiming an election must take place under the existing circumstances. There has been an election for the past 27 years but has not solved the country’s problem, he said. He qualified his remark to make the point that the elections held during the stated time were neither free nor fair except for the 2005 election. 

He discussed his party’s Oromo National Party proposal to resolve the existing crisis. He said the formation of the opposition party council composed of the major parties in the country and provide direction to the government until the next election.  He elaborated on his position. “It could be implemented without the need to dissolve the parliament, House of Federation or council of the executive,” he said. 

He also warned about the move to grasp power exploiting the existing situation in the country. Along that line, he talked about Jawar Mohammed whom he described as a figure whose influence is waning.  He insinuated that Jawar Mohammed is moving after his ego forgetting about the circumstances of people and the country.  However, he also recognized him for “his contribution in the struggle so far.”  Oromia Media Network (OMN), whose founder and owner is Jawar Mohammed, is also criticized. General Kemal Gelchu is of the view that the OMN will lose unless it frees itself from Jawar. While not denying that Jawar has become an influential figure out of nowhere, General Kemal implied that the former has lost sight of the extent of his influence and power. 

The video below, embedded from Andafta Media, has part I of the interview with General Kemal Gelchu.  Part II is not yet uploaded on Youtube.

Cover photo : screenshot from the video

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