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Healing the Wounds and Bridging the Rift


Healing the Wounds and Bridging the Rift

Samuel Estefanous 11March 2020


I will have to note this from the very outset. Breaking a Nation hardly requires any effort. You have only to quit exerting the regular or extra regular effort to keep it. And it would be vain to expect this would come about without zeal and patience draining challenges. The point is to persevere in the fight against the odds.

The other day I was watching a documentary on NHK; a cancer survivor who was running an endurance marathon of 400km long was asked if the race wasn’t very tough for him and he replied demurring‘it would have been boring, had it not been challenging.’ 

1-Cry Beloved Country!

Recently we-the wretched of the earth – were herded in to a hall and discourse after discourse was delivered and pumped in to our heads and hearts by strings of pitifully smiling dignitaries. At least that was the idea, though hardly anybody took it seriously.

The hall was that same very old one. According to some insider stories, beginning from the Dergue era, it has witnessed a lot; and potential Academy Award winning dramas have been played out on that humble looking stage.

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After we had settled in our respective quarters, another batch of starry eyed and impatient looking ‘workers’ from a sister organization filed in to the hall. We were like - this is no ordinary meeting, the stage is sure set for the Honorable Excellencies to address us.We were right, familiar gumtu EPRDFites were conducted to take their places with as much pomp and ceremony as possible under the circumstances. I noticed just one difference- these Honorable Excellecies didn’t appear threatening as they invariably used to - you know spraying us indiscriminately with explosive party endorsed catch phrases.

Hitherto the Honorable Excellencies were known to act like merciless drill officers. They would be like - ‘we know this organization harbors the worst kind of anti-establishment country wreckers and we mean to weed them out one by one.We know every single one of you, where you take your walks, where you take your beer, whom you are talking to on the phone, who your family are and how they are employed…everything…it takes us dropping just one line of letter and you would be out there languishing on the streets of Addis. ’

The strangest thing that would remain to baffle us for years to come is the fact that they had known all along that most of us were a bunch of intimidated ‘sharecropper tenants eternally indentured’ to the mighty Land Lord called EPRDF.All the same they loved to torture and intimidate us. They know if one dare so much as piss off any gumtu, his only chance of survival would be fleeing the country and perhaps end up in the merciless dirty bowls of the Red Sea.

However this time around they looked anything but menacing; they were trying to crack all sorts of lame jokes which couldn’t evoke any warm response.

After much beating about the bush the purpose of the meeting was disclosed to us-laying bare the accumulated sins and cold crimes of the Butcher otherwise known as EPRDF.We were too bewildered and too embarrassed that we looked like we were stoned or something. Someone seated close by muttered…’poor Ethiopia, there is no end to your macabre troubles’.

2-Trusting an Undertaker to Deliver a New born?

You see these EPRDFites were in fact trained like the Spanish Conquistadors. They know how to break a Nation, render it incapable of liberty and sustain it reasonably well so much so that at the end of the day the Nation would be under the illusion that it can’t survive without the Conquistador. In other words with knowledge or otherwise, EPRDF has been advancing and implementing the political Dependency Theory.

As indicated by the reigning Premier, the only lucidly comprehensible creed of Revolutionary Democracy is its unequivocal contention that the country’s salvation is balanced only on the hands of EPRDF and its ‘superlative’ ideology. Systematically it has incapacitated other political groups and like all authoritarian regimes do, it has inevitably and predictably organized efficient organs of state security machineries and networks that feed them regularly. It makes me cringe with shame when some senior officials who had been in the Services try to defend the said organization time and again all the along repeating that political dependency theory. They are incurably brainwashed. 

In the process the system has created a new filthy class of the rich and the glam who are hardly accountable to the law as long as their loyalty is not contested.In the process a few conscientious politicians and entrepreneurs were summarily rounded up and subjected to all sorts of humiliations. In the process the overwhelming majority of the Ethiopian public was slowly but most certainly transformed from proud citizens to servile subjects of EPRDF. In the process a bitter, angry, impoverished and rage blinded army of youth reached for that African instrument of brutal protest-the machete.

And sadly for the first time in Ethiopian history, gross incidents of lynching were reported.

Having said that, do we have any other viable alternative but trust the Undertaker to Deliver the Newborn? Actually, no, for one those are the very factors that forced the Reformists to bend the rules and liquidate EPRDF before its tenure ended.

I can understand the kind of legal gaping loopholes the measure has created. I mean in a way it is funny, too.  It was like the Baptism of the Wollo Oromos by the Priest Emperor Yohanes IV. Instead of bothering to take the time to proselyte, he decreed ‘henceforth let it be known that you are baptized Christians… ’.I know how awkward the members of the august body of the House of People’s Representatives might have felt when it was blatantly decreed that they were no more EPRDFites but fresh converts to Bilistigina.

You see, if the Reformists went to this extent to extricate themselves from EPRDF (by burying it alive as the Front is still kept alive by technical legal ventilator) and chose to bear the consequences, we should trust them to deliver the New Ethiopia. In a way they are saying-whatever the consequences we have chosen to break the law than stay astride on your broken backs…so help us stay the course 

3-Ke-Dembecha eske NefasMewucha? A pun in bad taste!

In case you are following news outlets originating from  some quarters, you wouldn’t miss thinly veiled cheap shots the ‘activists’ and ‘scholars’ have begun leveling ata section of their own compatriots…egna keDembecha eske NefasMewucha bilen mud yemnyzew…they would say and you would be embarrassed. I bet any self-respecting Ethiopian would certainly be. The irony of it all is these impostors playing the presumed mockery are fellow peasant folks hailing from isolated villages.

At any rate, more than three quarter of Ethiopia is composed of hardworking, honest and God fearing peasant folks and it would be a shame to try to mock them. On the contrary, it is an honor to be counted one among them if you really want to know the truth.Question is could anything worthy of the Nation’s good come from the merchants of chaos and their cheap toxic ideas inspired by momentary disaffection?

This Nation is bigger than the sum of its parts. We should be careful not to recklessly put it on altar of retributive justice to service our private grievances.

Retributive justice- real or imagined- is for the uncultured uncouth brutes. It is the law of the jungle. Remember President George Walker Bush’s State of the Union speech? He had said-We are Republicans not because we try to adhere to a value system we up hold but because we believe there is a divine calling beyond us we submit to…or something on that line.

4-By way of Postscript…dear Nestanet Asfaw Rest in Peace, gentle soul.God Bless.

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