Split turns Birhanu Nega’s Ginboat 7 into a zombie
Dr Birhanu’s “Ginbot 7 Movement for Freedom, Justice and Democracy” has imploded after a prolonged war of attrition between on the one hand those who demand a root and branch change of G7, and on the other hand, those who wish to cling on to the ineffectual, nepotism and cronyism riddled rotten status quo.
The splinter group, which Dr Birhanu had the discourtesy of calling it “Koshashoch” (Dirt), succeeded in breaking away from Birhanu’s Ginbot 7 to form “Ginbot7 Democratic 7.” Reliable sources claim that Ginbot 7’s crème de la crème have also defected in droves, thereby relegating Birhanu’s faction into the politically living dead. In a Press Statement, Ginbot 7 Democratic accused Birhanu’s leadership of hoodwinking the Ethiopian abroad with bogus claims of political and military advances. The statement was equally scathing of Ginbot 7’s subservient role to the State of Eritrea. It’s no surprise, then, that the implosion of Ginbot 7 would send shock waves across Eritrea.
The implosion couldn’t have come at a worse time for Dr Birhanu Nega. He and his power hungry henchmen had been salivating for a while for a binge of street violence to follow the death of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and for his party to use the ensuing hubbub and confusion to present Ginbot 7 to the people of Ethiopia as a viable alternative government. When Birhanu saw on ETV millions of Ethiopians taking to the streets to express their grief and sorrow over the loss of Meles Zenawi, and when he realised the people’s will is nothing less than realising the vision of the Great Leader, Birhanu started perspiring. Birhanu’s close associates claim that he’s now turned into a soliloquist.
In a related development, Birhanu Nega’s ESAT, too, is passing through a difficult patch as former funders start asking hitherto unthinkable questions and, therefore, were ill-disposed to dip into their pockets. On Sunday September 30th, the great majority of Ethiopians in the United Kingdom snubbed ESAT’s much publicised Fund Raising function as a protest to its link with a political organization and with the State of Eritrea. Even the one hundred or so who attended the fund-raising evening garnered the courage to confront the organizers with embarrassing questions: Who owns ESAT? Why is ESAT not an independent media? Why has ESAT turned into a flibbertigibbet (tera alubaltegna)? What have you done with the thousands of dollars you claimed to have raised from Ethiopians in Australia?
Unconfirmed reports put the amount of fund raised at the London event at under £1000.00. The fact that ESAT had decided not to report the result of its much vaunted fund-raising campaign in London, lends weight to the claim that the event had turned out to be a fiasco.
While to breakaway from a suffocating G7 and form a rival G7 Democratic is truly a great feat of success, the splinter group would be erring on the side of sheer naivety if it were to conclude that the path ahead would be plain sailing. For a start, political apathy has now set in among Ethiopians abroad. They have come to acknowledge the futility of life under perpetual tension and antagonism, and have, by and large, depoliticized themselves from active politicking. Secondly, they seem to have reached the end of their tethers, with political forecasts of an Ethiopia on the brink of total collapse. Ginbot 7 Democratic, therefore, needs to tread carefully among the Ethiopian Diaspora. It needs to be able to articulate its alternative policies and eschew altogether ad hominem attacks and vitriol against EPRDF, if it wants Ethiopians abroad to regard it as a responsible party worth listening to. The world of Ethiopian political opponents is already dirty and no sane person would, in his rightful mind, wish to witness its further deterioration.
This surely must be music to the ears of EPRDF; the camel that keeps on galloping while the dogs keep on barking!