On Dr. Birhanu Nega’s subterfuge: he who pays the piper calls the tune


Dilwenberu Nega

24th July 2013


In a desperate attempt at damage limitation – following Awramba Times’ exposure of a telephone conversation between Birhanu Nega and his London agent, during which Birhanu revealed that ESAT is to get 50% from the USD 500.000 G7 is believed to have received from E&E Partnership (Egypt and Eritrea Partnership) - Birhanu used his speech at ESAT’s 3rd Anniversary on 4th July at the Double Tree by Hilton Silver Spring to calm growing public nerves amidst allegations of insensitivity and treason.

However, by the looks of it, the ferocity of public anger doesn’t seem to have subsided. As one ESAT devotee put it: “the Ethiopian Diaspora has now reached the end of the thither with Birhanu’s ticks and stratagems.”

The public’s anger is fully justified. True, we are not at war with either of the Es, despite overwhelming facts that the two Es are hell bent on destabilising Ethiopia. We, nonetheless, are in the midst of a life and death struggle with poverty. The least that is, therefore, expected from flag-waving ‘super-patriots’ would be for them to forgo their political differences and unite for the sake of the common good. The GERD is an eternal symbol of that common good. That is why all home-based opposition parties see eye-to-eye over the indispensability of the GERD not only with the ruling EPRDF, but with all Ethiopians who have today vowed “GERD or Nothing!” It is only G7 and ESAT which to this day have shown their antipathies and distastes, antagonism and opposition to the GERD.

To the best of my knowledge, Ginbot 7’s alibis for accepting cash for destabilising Ethiopia are two: the first, which came in the form of an editorial in Ginboat 7’s own website, after lambasting EPRDFites for “washing their eyes with salt” when accusing G7 for receiving grants from Ethiopia’s adversaries” and concludes on a poignant note: “we have not forgotten the fact that present-day leaders of Ethiopia were using Somalian Passports while Ethiopia was at war with Somalia.”

 However, nothing can be more of a patent example of a pathetic alibi than this one. It’s neither here nor there. In the first instance, acquiring a Somalian Passport in order to facilitate the peoples’ struggle against a brutal military dictatorship is not the same as fighting a proxy war for Somalia. I am reminded here of a patriotic stand taken by TPLF’s leadership during the Ethiopia-Somalia war of 1978: out of its own volition, it declared a cease-fire for the duration of the war. Had the TPLF been greedy for power as G7 now is, it would have gone ahead and attack the Derg from the back, and by so doing would have translated into deeds Somalia’s irredentist ambition.

The second alibi flowed from Dr. Birhanu Nega, whose mouth has of late become an abode of lies and fabrications. At his ESAT’s 3rd Anniversary impromptu speech, he tried hard to convince us that there exists no direct link between funder and editorial board and editorial policy. I don’t know about you, but to me, I have never come across a university lecturer who churns out such irrational, unreasonable and nonsensical line of argument as Birhanu. He has, indeed, proved that he is a televisionary- as opposed to a visionary –leader of G7-ESAT. I am even tempted to be brazen enough and tell him – to use that American idiom – “to tell it to the marines!” Let Birhanu say that to the editors of both British tabloids and broadsheets that are mostly owned by the Australian American media mogul, Rupert Murdoch. Is Birhanu trying to tell us that Murdoch’s invests his money on the media for the sake of profit? Was it not Rupert Murdock who ordered the then editor of Britain’s largest daily, The Sun, to dump support for the Conservatives and to back Labour at the 1997 General Election? Of course not, and I know that he knows that I know that to be absolutely true, but he is so obsessed with leading us by the nose that he refuses to stop lying to Ethiopians. Even, now if any member of a Murdoch-owned newspaper fails to follow the ritual “Amen” to Rupert Murdoch’s orders, they are given their marching orders. By the same token, now we know that ESAT has been bought by E&E Partnership, we know what to expect  from a G7-ESAT editorial board: use whatever means at your disposal to misinform and to cut a wedge between the public and EPRDF. Isn’t it high time then for Birhanu Nega to understand that he who pays the piper calls the tune?




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