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It is Six of one and Half a Dozen of the other

By: Dawit Fanta

After a turtle-like journey of three months, the ruling party in Ethiopia EPRDF/TPLF nominated Hailemariam Desalegn and Demeke Mekonnen as Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister respectively. And on its statement it said that the process was part of its succession plan.
Both of them are not from TPLF; Hailemariam is from South Ethiopia and Demeke is from Amhara. From surface value it seems a smooth transition of power; however, when we dig down into the very nature of TPLF, we will find that it is a TPLF tactic of trading space for time.
As TPLF came to power in 1991 its source of power was founded mainly on three critical pillars which are interdependent one on another. Namely:
1. Controlling the Security and Military Apparatus: Throughout EPRDF era these institutions have been tenured to TPLF; and their primary mission is to defend TPLF whenever it confronts a challenge by all means including using excessive force on civilians. That is why until August 2012, 59 out of 61 high rank in the army was secured for Tigrians. To add insult to the injury, on September 2012 the current regime has exalted 20 Colonels to Brigadier General and 3 Brigadier Generals to the rank of Major General whereas 23 out of 37 newly promoted are Tigrians which is asymmetric to their demography that they comprise of 5% of the total population.

2. Controlling the Economy: They control every facet of the economy through two main ways:
a. By Establishing a Gigantic Trade Empire: EFFORT /Endowment Fund for the Rehabilitation of Tigray/ is a well-known multi-billionaire trade empire which is exclusively privileged to get loan from state owned Banks and it is infamous in defaulting. This extractive institution involves in from procurement of Baby foods to heavy track assembly complex, from merchandise business to financial institutions, from real estate business to main stream media. It is a causative factor in the creation of Abuse of Dominance as a result of the insurmountable barriers that was put by the TPLF regime for new entrants. Procurement of fertilizer is a case in point.
b. Through Racketeering Tactics of Tigrian Cliques: To put it in a nut-shell, these Tigrian cliques use the following three methods to take advantage over the rest society:
i. Insider Trading: In Ethiopia, all key governmental positions are occupied by the Tigrian; which means any policy or information particularly related to business reaches to those Tigrian racketeers before the crowd gets it so they adjust everything in advance to suit to the new condition. For example, two years ago when the government devaluated the currency the racketeers had a prior knowledge then they netted millions from such insider trading.
In every government auction they have foreknowledge as against the rest who gets it on newspaper which is too late.
After all, inside information is a great power in the hands of people who are the most cohesive and organized criminal group like the Tigrian racketeers.
ii. Dual Set of Ethics: The TPLF cliques explicitly exercise a dual set of ethics:
1. An Altruistic Set of Ethics for themselves and;
2. A Predatory one for the rest of Ethiopian People.
For example, they do not compete with one another to exploit the rest Ethiopian people. They don’t interfere with monopolies controlled by other Tigrian racketeer and barred themselves from underbidding fellow Tigrian racketeer. They are always to cooperate with one another so as “not to lose the money of Tigray”.
iii. Team Strategy: Before we go to how they act in team, let’s see the psychological set up of the Tigrian racketeers and the non-Tigrian.
The non-Tigrian have been conditioned to think that everyone must be judged on his/her merits and that it would be immoral to be biased for his own race.
The Tigrian racketeers, on the other hand, have been conditioned from early time of TPLF to think in terms of the good of their group.
Keeping this fact in mind, what they are doing is “Insolvency and then takeover” tactic. For example, if they need to monopolize certain business sector they allocate a calculated sum of money to under bid the price of item which certainly makes the Non-Tigrian competitor unable to fight with the irrational low price. So they put the competitor company into insolvency and finally buy the company itself with a giveaway price.
3. Controlling the Political Realm: Even if the TPLF regime adopted a constitution and set up institutions (Election board, the judiciary body, parliament ….etc) which are literally the elements of democracy; both the constitution and the institutions in Ethiopia have no value else than serving TPLF. For example the constitution gives the Prime Minister unlimited power for unlimited period. So the phony constitution was a means for TPLF to stay and control on the political realm.
However, the accidental death of the dictator Meles Zenawi has disrupted the status quo. And this was the main reason for failure to fill the power vacuum for three months unlike Ghana where it did it within hours.
Any ways we mustn’t expect any change from the newly appointed servile puppets Hailemariam and Demeke. They were not elected because they have a special quality in leadership rather it was:
1. Because these servile puppets are highly obsequious in expediting the mission of TPLF. And they are a squarely fit to receive order from TPLF megalomaniacs behind the scene.
2. To slacken the internal tension in that power is shifted to other ethnic class.
3. Due to Western influence: including Barack Obama and Susan Rice, major external governments and officials clearly showed their interest towards the deputy prime minister takeover the position of the prime minister office.
Finally, for the time being TPLF will continue to lead the country as a de facto. But sooner or later, they will come from their retreat as the dust get settle.
With the exception of color, TPLF and its ideology is a copy-cat of apartheid. TPLF must be denounced and its rule must be abolished. TPLF and its Revolutionary Democracy must be ostracized from Ethiopian politics.
Let’s stand together and uproot the racist regime from Ethiopia!!!!

By: Dawit Fanta
September 17, 2012

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