By Samuel Estefanous
Reading the captioned title, I can image, the flame raging in the eyes of the hard core detractors of the incumbent. They want the failure of Prosperity Party to go on record as a self-evident truth. You know what a self-evident truth is, of course- in the study of epistemology you aren’t supposed to argue it; you begin by assuming it as a given fact. In the study of jurisprudence you aren’t required to prove it. It is verum per se notum!
Blind categorical demonization of the government always helps it to stay afloat without any effort on its part. All it has to do is point finger at the said detractors as some kind of blood thirsty vamps and the bulk of Ethiopian society would swallow hard and take all the humiliation, disenfranchisement, displacement and abject poverty forced on it most stoically.
Opposition parties and groups badly want to forget that it is imperative for Prosperity Party to forge ahead employing the only ‘system, knowledge and method’ at its disposal-the teachings of Revolutionary Democracy. Revolutionary Democracy distinguishes only two colors. You’re either with the government or against the government. If you are against the government, you are out right declared persona non gratia in your own country and your fate is worse than East African refugees idling around Bole and Arat kilo.
To date almost all officials of Prosperity Party are proud graduates of the Ethiopian Civil Service College. This College has produced some distinguished professionals; I don’t want to deny that. But that doesn’t make them any less innocent. As a matter of fact they take the major chunk of the blame for they are placed at the forefront of the ruthless army of cadres that had irreparably damaged and poisoned the Ethiopian civil service, corporate governance and every other aspect of public and private life in the country.
You see, individually taken, they aren’t bad people. It isn’t like they are singled out from the rest of the Ethiopian public and cursed to become the black sheep of the herd. It is their training and cultivation that has twisted their outlook. Some say they are beyond redemption but I beg to differ.
Again some contend that nepotism, corruption, favoritism and all sorts of public service vices and decadence went legit beginning from the time the first batch of EPRDF’s Cadre-scholars were let loose on the unsuspecting public whom they hated with vengeance for spewing them out. Here, too, I beg to differ. I personally know some conscientious graduates of the college who are horrified at the naked avarice of the opportunistic shameless latter day EPRDFites and non EPRDFites who had graduated from conventional regular institutes of higher education.
In my humble opinion the failure of EPRDF cum Prosperity Party is more institutional than personal. EPRDFites move like a solid military formation. They actually conduct training on the basics of how to fall in formation and lose any individual choice or trait. They call it ye’serawit ginbata siltena. Every Ethiopian on the government’s pay roll is required to master it. If you fail that course, you are a goner at the snap of the finger. You will be marked with a political scarlet letter and will be mercilessly hounded for the rest of your miserable life.
EPRDF’s serawit is intact and yet in solid formation, except that it has refashioned its coat of arms, hence the continued unending plight of the bulk of the Ethiopian public.
I strongly believe that Prosperity Party can yet redeem itself though time is running out fast…
1-Quit exploiting ‘ye’basse atamitan’ for all it is worth
Can you imagine the number of households who couldn’t afford a rooster for Easter dinner and broke a two month long fast with a scrawny hen? I mean a few years back they could afford a ram-on top of the rooster- but now they have settled for a hen though the salary of the family’s breadwinner has advanced in numeric figure. Out of undying pride, for the first time in his family’s life, they wouldn’t share Easter dinner with the neighbors and they exchanged warm congratulatory texts instead.
How do you think that humiliated head of an impoverished family feels when he hears his idol prime minister joke off the cuff like-
“These days you can’t reserve a place in all eateries in Ethiopia which serve raw meat ‘cos the public can afford raw meat all week long, back to back.”
I am not saying the raw meat serving butchers’ quarters aren’t crowded. It is the composition of the same regular crowd year in and year out that unsettles the wretched of Addis and the rest of the country.
They are the same old EPRDFites and their parasitic up start cadre investors, with the exception of some established well to dos in the country. If Prosperity Party keeps propping up the 1% prosperous segment of the society whose name it has borrowed, its fate is doomed.
For the present the impoverished families have concluded their thanks giving prayer with ‘yebasse atamita’ but PP is dead wrong if it counts on their kids to repeat this age old prayer. The younger generation wouldn’t just murmur ‘ye’ zendro Tinsea le’bilitsigna mequanintoch ena sofanitoch bicha yemeta new’. Remember the wise words of Obbo Merera Gudina, TPLF has paid dearly for not heeding the wise man’s advice.
2-Cut down on the endless Bulletins of Threat
Law enforcement is the uncontested prerogative of the government and it exclusively holds the monopoly of violence. No doubt about that.
But what the government does is intimidate and threaten all citizens with the scourge of its full power indiscriminately. A government cannot serve its purpose by issuing torrents of threatening bulletins. This method didn’t defer the inevitable end of both TPLF and the Dergue. Every single bulletin is a bonanza for corrupt law enforcement agents and agencies to seek extortion and harass simple law abiding citizens.
Remember how the state of emergency was abused and used to settle private and personal old scores not to mention how it has enriched a bunch cut throat high way robbers in uniform. I was extremely pleased when the Premier owned up to this fact without any reservation.
3-The Curse of the ‘friendly media’
If you ask me PP’s grave is being dug by the so called friendly media and not so much by the fringe opposition media ‘foaming at the corner of its mouth’. I can understand journalism in this country is going through some wild, funny, creepy and incomprehensible phase. But for a pro government media to practically order law enforcement agencies not trust anybody ‘not even those who are voluntarily enlisting to join the army’ is a little unsettling.
Ato Bereket Simon was a fierce advocate of a brand of hawkish, indoctrinated and loyal journalism that blindly serves and jealously guards the party line; actually his honesty was commendable. Question is has Prosperity Party changed anything except the composition of the board members of the public media outlets?
Public media is kept busy building a personality cult that makes Ato Meles appear modest. This kinda reminds mean anecdote Chairman Khrushchev liked to tell.
After Lenin had passed on Stalin emerged as the most powerful Bolshevik in the Soviet Union and eventually succeeded the first leader of the first Proletariat State to the post. But the slogans remained ‘long live Marxism and Long live Leninism’. So one day Kaganovich (I believe he was Secretary of the Central Committee, a position corresponding to head of EPRDF’s office in our country) indignantly declared “I am sick and tired of the slogan Long live Leninism and I propose we should substitute it with the rightful slogan ‘Long live Stalinism’ “
Stalin was officially ‘offended ‘ at the suggestion and argued with Kaganovich contending that compared to Lenin he was just a little finger…but eventually ‘reason’ prevailed and Stalinism was allowed to live long.
Lackey journalism will get us nowhere.
To be continued.
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