By Ephrem Madebo
In the last two years, Ethiopia has produced a plethora of pathological liars; in fact, it produced more public liars than honest judges. Historically, Ethiopia is a country where the supply of the truth has always been in excess of the demand. Paradoxically, in TPLF’s Ethiopia, the truth is a scarce commodity. In the past nine months, TPLF and its associates have been busy getting ready for the millennium extravaganza. As the ruling party of the last 16 years, TPLF has little to show for its relative “Pax Romana”, yet it plans to spend $25 million to tell more lies to the Ethiopian people and to the rest of the world. The lies that will be told on the week long celebration of the millennium shall be articulated by writers of the next millennium. For the millennium that we’re saying good bye, here are some lies by the TPLF officials:
-“Ethiopia’s history is no more than 100 years” TPLF members
-“Many who know Ethiopia will tell you that our party is firmly entrenched in the rural areas where 85% of the population lives. Fortunately or unfortunately the elections were never tight. Under these circumstances, the primary objective of our party was not necessarily to win seats, but to have absolutely credible and democratic elections in Ethiopia. Credible in the eyes of the Ethiopian people and secondly, credible in the eyes of the international community”
-“Ethiopia has gradually moved through various stages of democracy in the last 16 years, culminating in the first real competitive multi-party elections in 2005”
-“Well, I definitely believe that it [the violence] will tarnish the image of the country. But, what was the alternative? Let's look at it. The alternative was strife between the different nationalities of Ethiopia which might have made the Rwandan genocide look like Child’s play” Bereket Simon
-“Ethiopia has a clear-cut policy on land ownership and administration”
-“Ethiopia could jump to the ranks of middle-income nations in two decades”
-“It was proved that the CUDP leaders were in the process of forming an armed wing to throw out the constitutional government of Ethiopia” Assefa Kesito (recent interview with Ande Ethiopia radio)
Today, every cadre in the TPLF power echelon makes his/her living by duplicating, re-fining, or re-generating the lies fabricated by the upper level bosses. Should this surprise us? No! As contagious as lying is, if a government is a liar; all it does is breed lies among citizens. Naturally, it is very difficult to get the TPLF rank and file agents to understand the lies of their masters when their salary depends on not understanding the truth. I really don’t blame people like Addisu Legesse, Sufian Ahemed, and Assefa Kesito, whose lively hood depends on the quality and quantity of lies they produce. The Holy Bible says:
“You are of your father the devil: and the desires of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning: and he stood not in the truth, because truth is not in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father thereof:” John 8:44
In the United States, politicians lie because the public wants to hear what it wants to hear, and what it wants to hear may not necessarily be the truth. In 1988, Michael Dukakis said he would hike taxes to reverse the Reagan deficit [the truth], but the public trusted G.H. Bush’s lie- “Read my lip no new taxes”. Politicians in Ethiopia do not have the burden of proving to be the right candidate, and unlike the US public, the Ethiopian public wants to hear nothing, but the truth. So why do politicians lie in Ethiopia? The answer is simple. The TPLF officials lie because they can’t live without it. The TPLF regime would never make the truth part of its principle; if it does, there would be no TPLF. Therefore, for them lying is a normal way of life.
The higher magnitude TPLF lies are fabricated in the politburo, interpreted as the truth by the judicial system, and disseminated by the government press. As we all know, the Ethiopian press is a great keyboard on which only Meles Zenawi plays, and he is good at it. He makes louder sounds, keeps the notes simple, and repeatedly plays the same chord until the whole room is in the same rhythm with him. Once Adolf Hitler said: “Make the lie big, make it simple, and keep saying it, eventually they will believe it” What a “good” man to learn from.
One of the most boisterous whimper of the TPLF elites is that Ethiopia is doomed to disintegrate in the absence of their “divine” rule. What a wild cry! Wasn’t TPLF created to destabilize Ethiopia? Isn’t TPLF the one that started the disintegration? Their other fooling scheme is that these barefaced part-time leaders and full time entrepreneurs tell us to sit back and watch them do things for us. In a nutshell, they want to spoon feed us. We need to say no, and we need to make our own food. If we are always spoon fed, we learn nothing, but the shape of the spoon. And this is what exactly the TPLF gangs want us to be – Dependent!
As early as last week, the father of all lies was trying to teach the “ABC” of lies to the “Kaliti” heroes through his Western tutors. During the short lived June and July 2005 negotiation, it was Meles who took advantage of the negotiation to cool off the wrath of the Ethiopian people. Let’s not fall victims to Meles Zenawi’s swindling devices again. His primary objective is to blame the crimes he committed on the victims. The plea deal is crafted to wash his hard to clean face. Meles Zenawi, the Ethiopian people, and the rest of the world know why the CUDP leaders are in jail. The arrangement to free the CUDP leaders should not be viewed as a good will gesture of Meles Zenawi. It is not the exclusive outcome of western pressure either, if it was, it should have come two years ago. The pressure to release our heroes is initiated primarily by Ethiopians inside and outside. Our enemies belittled the candle night vigils in front of the Whitehouse, and ridiculed the demonstrations in Downing Street. Regardless of what happens in Kaliti, today, we have a good reason to laugh at those who dismissed our cry for democracy as a mystified Diaspora attempt to bring back the old. Today, they are the old!
Today, the opposition has learned from its naïve mistakes. I don’t think the heroes who stood firm for the last two years will agree to a plea deal that grants them physical freedom, but takes away their moral freedom and leaves a blemish on their otherwise crystal clean pro-democracy dossier. Our dignified heroes in “Kaliti” deserve a wholehearted apology, not impunity. They are not criminals; they are law abiding advocates of democracy. It is the truth that set Nelson Mandela free, not a deal with the apartheid regime. The Ethiopian people are behind you; stand for the truth, the truth shall set you free. Evidently, it is hard to fight the TPLF elites, because they have a fetish faith that spins around a single ethnic group. We all know it is more difficult to fight against faith than against knowledge, but it is also difficult to win over faith without knowledge. Knowledge is in our side!
To Meles and his associates, here is my creed that I always go over with morally bankrupted people: Ethically, I am reserved from saying shame on you, for shame arises from a sense of personal failure; however, you should feel guilty of yourself, for guilt arises out of concern for others. The Ethiopian people are not upset that you lied to them; they are upset that they have a leader they don’t trust and a party in power that they didn’t elect. Trust is the Foundation of leadership. You can’t buy trust, or declare your trustworthiness. You should earn it like Professor Mesfin, Dr. Yacob, Dr. Berhanu, and the young Eyoel Muluneh!