By Raswork Mengesha
Let us face the fact that Ethiopia as a country being destroyed by a cancer of the brain since 1991, a cancer called tribalism. Most Woyanes today not only talk tribal, but what is worse, they actually think tribal. They are so concerned about their tribe that they have no time to think about Ethiopia.
In order to give Ethiopia a chance to prosper as a nation we must destroy the cancer of tribalism. To achieve this we must change our concept of why people go into politics. Why does a person want to become members of parliament, a minister or a president? There are only two possible answers to this question. Either I go into politics in order to benefit myself materially and those closest to me – mostly my tribe – or I go into politics because I have a vision of what Ethiopia should and can be, and I feel that I can contribute towards the realization of that vision.
We need leaders who, like Martin Luther King, have a dream and are consumed by the urge to make that dream come true. Any leader who talks of “his tribe” does not have a vision of the Ethiopia to be. Such people should be rejected as people who are out simply to benefit themselves and their tribe. Given a chance, such leaders will destroy Ethiopia as a nation.
Ethiopians have seen enough to know what politics based on tribe brings. If you talk to the person in the street, he/she will tell you that when the Woyane came to power they decided that now it is their turn as a tribe to do for themselves what the Amhara (give name the Derg and the king as Amhara) before them had been doing for themselves. Bur wrong thought.
The result of this attitude of mind is there for all to see. Politically and economically, Ethiopia became far worse off than in 1974 when Derg took over.
And let us not try to deceive ourselves. Our plight as a country is not due to “the international situation” or “forces beyond our control”. Our plight is due, first and foremost, to one factor: politics based on the premise: now it is the turn of a tribe to benefit.”If one more tribe coming in to, have their turn “to eat” and Ethiopia will be completely destroyed politically and economically. So much so that while those in government were bent on retaining their tribal hold on power, those outside the government would go to any length to help their tribe wrench political leadership from the tribe in power. Polarization on tribal lines had firmly set in. Worship keep the tribal flames burning with no conscience. Sad!
If any fuel was required to help keep the tribal flames burning, this was found ready-made in another new factor which started to rear its ugly head around this time, namely official corruption. It is an intriguing, if academic question, to ask whether tribal feelings were generated more by those in power than by those outside the government. The cry longing for the end of tribalism, despotism, racial segregation, and fascism that reigns in the country; and this cry is not merely out of their mouth but flaming out from their gut out of desperation
No, the question is not what those before us have done. The question is and always has been what leadership Ethiopia needs and has always needed. The answer is clear: we need national leadership which is committed to build Ethiopia, not to benefit myself or “my tribe”. We need leaders with a vision.
Worshipers are the reason why our country is where it is and facing the challenges at hand, for worshipers have no sense of responsibility except contributing to the problem by always pointing fingers at what others are doing wrong but you have no solution. Tribalism policy which can only results in the destruction of Ethiopia as a nation. The outcome of such a policy is not difficult to see. It is a policy which comes from a mind completely bankrupt of political leadership. Yet it does not require much thinking to see that there is no future for any tribe, yours or mine, if Ethiopia is destroyed. Think! Think!
To be continued
By Raswork Mengesha