Amen Teferi 10-06-17
The 10th congressional meeting of the EPRDF was a grand event that can reflect its promises and weakness. As we may well remember the motto of the 10th congressional meeting was “Crown peoples’ trust with a supreme growth and transformation.” The motto reveals the fact that the ruling party has fully realized the enormity of the responsibility conferred on it by the Ethiopian people and had engaged itself in soul-searching self-scrutiny to prepare itself for the daunting task.
The Ethiopian Peoples' Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) conducted the 10th congressional meeting right after it was reelected for yet another term of office and concluded the congressional meeting by passing highly important decisions that could radically transform itself and the country at large.
Where it would itself now?
The EPRDF was fully aware of the overwhelming tasks it is entrusted with. Giving leadership to effect all round transformation is a difficult task. Taking seriously the responsibility bestowed upon it, the Front had taken uncompromising stance to deal with the identified deficiencies of the organization, such as chauvinism, narrow nationalism and anti-democratic dispositions.
Thus, we remember, the conclusion of the EPRDF’s congress was crowned with renewed resolution and hope that motivates members and participants of the convention. The party has determined to adopt a more radical approach to the problems of good governance and economic transformation
The organizational convention was a grand occasion attended by over a thousand voting and non-voting members of the party and other invited guests. The convention was also an occasion that displays the solidarity of EPRDF and other likeminded political parties who had sent their representatives to the congress.
Accredited agents of the political parties that are invited from different African countries and China have delivered humble addresses, and in their speech, they have congratulated the EPRDF for the commendable job it has performed in creating notable growth and transformation.
At that grand event there were around twelve foreign political parties that have ideological kinship with the EPRDF. Amongst these political parties, we have the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the African National Congress (ANC of the South Africa), the National Congress Party (NCP) of Sudan. Besides, the ruling parties from Uganda (NRM), Namibia (SWAPO), South Sudan (SPLM), Rwanda (RPF), Sudan, (NCP), Angola (MPLA), Mozambique (FRELIMO), Djibouti (RPP), and Tanzania (CCM), were also present.
In their solidarity address, they have declared their commitment to consolidate the existing political and economic ties between their respective countries and Ethiopia. Some of them have even expressed their knee interest to emulate the ideological and organizational stance of the EPRDF and promised to consolidate the existing bonds between the people of Ethiopia and those who sent their representatives to the congress.
In his address to the meeting, the chairperson of the Front Hailemariam Desalegn had spoken of problems that the ruling party and the nation are facing. The leaders of the regional parties have reiterated similar problems that require undivided attention of the party and the people.
The ruling party has evaluated the implementation of the first GTP and had found its performance to be satisfactory, but not good enough in delivering what it promised to accomplish.
In sum, the ruling party had prudently and honestly assessed its performance, far from being exaggerating its accomplishments and downplaying its shortcomings. Then the ruling party has rightly appraised its performances, and once again proved itself that it is not washed-up.
However, EPRDF had then realized that difficult situations it is facing require tough and resolute organization to deal with it and thus was hard in scrutinizing its performances. It also shows willingness to give due attention to the stumbling-blocks that have compromised the implementation of the tasks that are outlined in first GTP.
In fact, the 10thcongressional meeting was a remarkable event shown the changed attitudes of the ruling party in dealing with its shortcomings and weakness, as acknowledged during the congressional meeting. EPRDF had truly acknowledged the suffering of the people that arise from lack of good governance, corruption and the deprivation of justice by the perpetration of authorities who wish to advance their selfish interests.
To reverse bad trends and to rectify ideological deformities that has led the corrupted officials astray. Hence, the party has vowed to work hard to weed-out the bad apples found in the highest echelon of the leadership strata. This kind of radical move should begin by candidly acknowledging the problems that tend to incarcerate the vision of the leadership.
Evidences suggest that officials are making use of their political influence and deceitful media reports to paint a rosy picture that does not reflect the true state of things in areas falling under their jurisdiction. The Front then seems to have realized the gravity of that problem and thus made pledge to root out the bad apples.
Now, are all the promises EPRDF made happen to be hollow words or fulfilled? Now, in the lead up to the 11th congressional meeting of the front we need to raise questions like these.
As we remember the EPRDF has identified and vowed to eradicate its main deficiencies them after conducting brutal self-assessment. One of the things that could be considered as an outstanding gift from the EPRDF’s 10th organizational congress is that its leadership commits itself to combating bad governance with resolve. The problems identified by the congress were serious; and if the party fails to address them in time, then it will lacerate the hard-won victories and diminish praiseworthy accomplishments of the organization.
To put the resolution of the congress into action, the Front need to thoroughly vet everyone of its member and take action to purge bands of charlatan cadres who try to shroud themselves with high-sounding catch phrases and slogans of the party. In these regard, EPRDF has done commendable jobs that fail to greatly satisfy the public and requires further actions.
The party must always be on the alert to understand the devious character of rent-seeking cadres who wish to lurk in the organization to advance their selfish interests. It is high time for EPRDF to reassess itself and reclaim public confidence.
Based on developmental state paradigm, the ruling party has been able to design a pragmatic development strategy, which is tailored and adjusted to the country's unique socioeconomic structure. The experiment has resulted in the unprecedented mobilization of resources and outstanding economic performance in the country's history. However, the staggering double-digit economic growth success story is accompanied with another shadow story of endemic rent seeking practices, which becomes the greatest threat to the nation's steadfast economic growth and national security. EPRDF needs to work hard to dispel this threat and take strong action to dismantle the network rent-seekers and corrupt officials.