A Pledge not to be silenced by the loud Silencers and intimidators!
David S. Sep 3, 2012- It has been one day since the burial of the late Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi. Since the day that the world heard of his passing, the fateful Monday August the 21st, Ethiopians across the world, especially the ones at home has been in a deep and inconsolable sorrow. The guilt feeling of ifs and the overall understanding that we have not given him the credit he was long due seems to overwhelm many. No one in his right mind, including his closest friends and allies, did not expect such an outpouring up on his death. His family’s grief has become a countries mourning. A region’s hope is broken and Africa seems to scream in one voice. What an unfinished business. In such a tender age, with so much to give, without deliberation and planning, the one of a kind leader of the emerging country passed the button to the next generation.
The Eulogy of this great man was given by presidents and high level dignitaries from all across the world. One by one, from President Yuri Museveni of Uganda to Omar Al Bashir of Sudan, Paul Kagami of Rwanda to Jacob Zuma of South Africa, Susan Rice of USA to European Commission delegate, reaffirm what has been the constant team since his death: This was a Prime Minister with purpose, uncanny brain and a gift to negotiate. With a central team of lifting Ethiopia from Poverty and changing the fate of Africa at the same time, he fought an uphill battle and made a difference. For Ethiopian’s, this was an affirmation of our status in Africa. A source of pride to all of us. Alas, he is gone! If he could just come back for a day and saw the outpouring of Ethiopians, the respect he generated and the collected shame we felt for not recognizing his did when he was alive, I guess he would have said “I have done and people have seen it” and would have rested in peace. Well, he will not come back and we will be left with the heavy burden of knowing this.
For many Ethiopians who are mourning inconsolably, it did not mean that he was a person without fault. Not at all. He is human and he might have stumbled during the course. There are many issues that I always wonder why he decided this way versus the other, that if I had a chance yearn to ask him to hear his side of the story. I am sure many have such burning issues to pose. But, all his “failures” were in attempting to tackle the abject poverty and destitute life of his people. He has one simple but also complex task: to lift millions of Ethiopian from the misery that they have been entrenched for Melina!! Not a small task by any measure. To do this against the tide of near doers, who neither know hard work or attempt it but were full of excuses and sharp tongue to lash out against all that is good, who have a broad dirty brush that smear everything that has been done with one stroke. The sad thing is the majority was silent: those who support his ideology and path, those who are neutral and want to hear and see more to make their own informed decision were all silenced by the loud mouth of the few opposition. They claim that they are opposition, but I call them loud silencers; intimidators who do not want to hear anything except their echo! Can you imagine how much good he could have delivered to Ethiopia if we the Diaspora were with him in one page? Every time we see him in a meeting, if we were civil and discuss with him our admiration, his limitations and what we thought is wrong? If we gave him the chance, opportunity and time to be judged favorably by foreign countries and organizations who have the capacity to humanize or dehumanize a person/a country?
After his death, now we know that they actually had much better way of studying him than what we tried to portray him to be. Alas, for fear of the backlash, all except few never openly admired him nor allowed him to represent us in the corridors of the higher offices in much more way than he had already done till his death. What a shame to us; to a country who never had a president as visionary as him, as intellect as him and respected worldwide and to not recognize all this before his death is something that will hunt us forever.
Alas, that never happened and we missed the opportunity, he missed to see our love before his death and our beloved country might be the big looser in all this. What we gained because of him is without limit but what we could have gained with our support to his ideals is what we will never know but could easily imagine.
What is going to come remains to be seen but a unity that has been an illusion to Ethiopia and Ethiopians seem to visit us up on his death. May we have the blessing, the wisdom and fortitude to keep it like this! we should not make a mistake again. Let us give the benefit of the doubt to the next leaders and help them succeed. Their success should mean Ethiopia’s prosperity. Opposition without reasoning, intimidation to those who does not share opposition’s view must stop. One thing that we have to promise to ourselves is that we shall never be intimidated by those loud mouth hallow opposition forces who does not give a room to a different view. Difference is great and always a source of growth. What we need is this difference to flow in a media of civility, individual respect and mutual interest. If we do this in our future political discourse, Prime Minister Meles did not pass in vein. Let us sign a pledge of alliance to do so. Let us start a new and bright Ethiopia now!