Yonas Biru, PhD
Yesterday, I published a piece titled “Unprecedented Economic Data Fabrication Threatens the Survival of Ethiopia.” One of the issues I flagged was the dismissal of professionals at the Central Statistical Agency (CSA) who refused to publish fabricated data. One of the disagreements between the Prime Minister and CSA officials was the so-called bumper wheat harvest data that was produced by the Ministry of Agriculture. The Prime Minister wanted the CSA to publish the data as part of its publications. Professional directors at CSA refused to do so because proper sampling and verification steps were not taken.
The question is: Why would the Ministry of Agriculture want CSA to publish its data when it can publish it itself? The answer is simple. They want a third party to publish their cooked-up data to legitimize it so it can gain credibility in international circles.
Truth be told the CSA has not been fully independent in the past. It was influenced by and often served the political class at its behest. For example, during the TPLF regime, CSA was publishing 11% growth, when independent estimates ranged from 6% to 8%.
The reality today is significantly different. The Prime Minister is not asking them to shave the edges of unfavorable data and exaggerate favorable ones. He wants them to turn a declining economy into a booming one through institutional lies. He wants them to lie about easily verifiable facts such as the volume of Ethiopia’s wheat export. This is professionally embarrassing because the data can be crosschecked with the import data of nations who imported wheat from Ethiopia.
The purpose of yesterday’s article was to alert Ethiopians that economic collapse is dangerous in a country such as ours where the political situation is polarized along tribal lines. As the article noted, it is one thing to liberally lie about the number of trees planted. It is another to cover up a collapsing economy with fabricated data.
The aim of this follow up is twofold. First is to show how far the Prime Minister is going to institutionalize the culture of lies and deceit by replacing top professionals with political cadres who are predisposed and incentivized to trumpet the Prime Minister’s economic lies. The second is to expose the Prime Minister’s stealthing strategy to christen Ethiopia as the land of Oromummaa. Stealthing is “the non-consensual condom removal” before or during sexual intercourse.
Let us first look at the gutting down of the Central Statistical Agency. Four of its top-level professional directors including Ato Biratu and Ato Amare have been dismissed. The boss is replaced by a new Oromo boss – an unknown quantity in the statistical world with no experience in or exposure to national statistics. The professional directors are replaced by inexperienced souls from Awasa and Woliata universities.
There is one issue that goes far beyond seducing, fabricating, and blemishing the nation’s economic data. That is the Prime Minister’s stealthing policy to change the population demography of the nation.
The nation is preparing for a new population census. The Oromummaa clows want to change the nation’s demography make Oromo’s demographic representation 42 percent of the total population. In percentage distribution terms, one tribe’s gain is another tribe’s loss. And the losing party that the Oromummaa clowns target is Amhara. Let us look at the history.
The 1994 Ethiopian national census estimates for the four most populous tribal homelands were as follows: Oromo (32.1%), Amhara (30.2%), Tigray (6.2%), and Somali (5.9%).
The demographic distribution of the 2007 census was significantly different. Oromo’s representation jumped to 34.5 %, while Amhara’s dropped precipitously to 26.9 percent. Somali’s and Tigray’s remained basically the same, with Somali (6.2) and Tigray (5.9) changing places. The representation for other tribal homelands remained more or less the same between the 1994 and 2007 censuses.
In 2008, when the TPLF published a comparison of 1994 and 2007 data, it revised the 1994 census retroactively. This was a futile effort to cover up the intentional reduction of the Amhara population in the 2007 census. The retroactively revised figure for Amhara for 1994 was 25.9% down from 30.2%. The revised data for Oromo for 1994 was 35% up from the original 32.1 percent. The intention was to make the 1994 and 2007 census results consistent and hide the political engineering that reduced the population of Amhara in the 2007 census.
If past is a prologue to the future and if the Oromummaa clowns remain hell bent on getting 42% of the population pie, their addition comes at the subtraction of someone else’s share. You got it right! It will come from Amhara.
If I were to bet, I would say the percentage of Orthodox Christians and Muslims will decreased and the representation of Waaqeffanna will shoot up. It will not be outside of the realm of possibility if they keep the percentage of Muslims the same or even increase it to provide a sense of impartiality while alienating and undermining Orthodox Christians.
They say two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity. Albert Einstein may take issue with the universe being infinite. No one can argue against the limitless human stupidity. Oromummaa epitomizes it with flashing neon lights.