Does Girma Seifu have an axe to
grind, or is he making a mountain out of a mole hill?
The Hon. Girma
Seifu has written a sensationally couched letter to H.E. Prime Minister Haile
Mariam Desalgn asking him “to make history by dismantling this mafia group” http://aigaforum.com/articles/Letter-to-Hailemariam.pdf.
There is nothing new or strange
about an opposition Member of Parliament making a representation to a Prime
Minister on his own behalf or on that of his constituents. What makes Girma’s
letter to HMD suspicious, cynical and crafty, however, are not its contents,
but the fact that the letter, not to say, the ultimatum, was delivered to media
outlets rather than “The Office of The Prime Minister of FDRE.” This has given
rise to accusation – rightly or wrongly – of the letter being designed, contrived,
planned and executed in order to divert public attention from the chagrin,
vexation, irritation and mortification Medrek had suffered following the below-
expectation- attendance of its supporters at last Sunday’s street march.
Funnily enough a German diplomat, having seen with his own eyes that bystanders
had out numbered demonstrators is reported as having quipped “it seems Medrek’s
café latte has more froth than coffee.”
The Hon Girma Seifu is no
stranger to parliamentary procedures. He is fully cognizant of the fact that Members
of Parliament are perfectly entitled to write directly to Prime Minister Haile
Mariam Desalgn or to any Federal Agency official on any matter which they deem
warrant their respective intervention. Not only is Girma guilty then of
bypassing this established convention by circulating copies of his letter to
media outlets without ensuring a properly addressed letter had been received by
the Office of the Prime Minister, but worse of all Girma stands accused of
using an isolated alleged incident to take a snipe at the laudable work
Ethiopia’s intelligence and security forces are doing in order to protect and
preserve the peace of the people. We are used to, are we not, of Medrek’s propensity
to exaggerate, and to take delight in making a drama out of a crisis, but
Girma’s latest act takes the biscuit.
Don’t get me wrong, for here I am
not arguing that the issue at hand deserves to be ignored, nor am I against
Girma laying the matter before Prime Minister Haile Mariam Desalgn. There is no
doubt in my mind that the issue Girma has brought to light is of public concern
and therefore should be treated accordingly rather than being treated as
Medrek’s bespoke advertorial against the government of Prime Minister Haile
The polite, polished, cultured
and refined way for Girma Seifu would have been to write directly to Prime Minister
Haile Mariam Desalgn seeking a prompt and thorough investigation into alleged
misdemeanor by plain clothed members of the security. Close on the heels of
Girma’s letter to HMD Medrek issues a Press Statement highlighting the fact
that its Member of Parliament has made a representation to the Prime Minister
over an incident with security forces which took place at Medrek’s
Anti-terrorism Law on Sunday 29th September 2013.
The letter itself lacks the
niceties of Parliamentary etiquette: the proper salutation is not used to
address Prime Minister Haile Mariam Desalgn, nor is there a signature of the
author. In order to ‘sex up’ his letter, Girma opted for words designed to
confuse, distort, involve and misinterpret. Imagine then what foreign missions
in Addis Ababa – Medrek’s favorite first port of call - will make of his eye
browser claim being delivered in a crazy, absurd, nonsensical and preposterous
manner. That is why I have concluded that Girma Seifu’s letter to Prime
Minister Haile Mariam Desalgn has all the hallmarks of a desperate party trying
to make its presence felt after a bad showing at the much publicized rally.
The public expects a degree of
decency from politicians from both the opposition parties and the ruling party.
It demands that they mind their Ps and Qs. To call our hard working and
dedicated police and security personnel who maintain our peace by vigilantly
watching the covert activities of terrorists “a mafia group” is an insult that
should not be allowed to pass unchallenged in a court of law, for what is at
stake is the very integrity of our most cherished law enforcement authorities.
A law maker Girma Seifu may be, but he certainly is not above the law. Incidentally,
can I now kindly ask that you take time out, sit back and attentively watch
what the man who has the brazen temerity of calling our security forces “a
mafia group” has been up to by clicking on the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2aB6g0ElP7w
Now ask yourself who is the
Mafioso: Girma Seifu or our law enforcement officers?