Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Parliamentary Kinijit in disarray

MPs of the surrogate Kinijit which was formed with the help of the American embassy in Addis are in disarray. Some members of the party are leading a coup against the TPLF-backed leadership of Temesgen Zewde and Mohammed. Yesterday these members distributed leaflets which stated that the Teletafi kinijit was acting against the true leaders of the party who are in prison. They claimed that they supported the creation of a new Kinijit because it was promised by the coordinators that the aim of the organization would be fighting for the release of the legitimate leaders and handing over power to them when it accomplished that aim. "Now the leaflet, " asserted, "these coordinators are acting in a way that betrays the leaders."
Both Temesgen Zewde and Mohammed had been in negotiation with government about parliamentary procedures. It was also reported that Temesgen Zewde asked the government to give the leaders of the surrogate Kinijit protection against attacks by the supporters of the real Kinijit.


Anonymous said...

Trouble in Vicki Chamisso's party?
What else was expected?????????

We will get our leaders freed, not
all the hodams and Judas who joined
the kangaroo parlama in the first place.

Anonymous said...

That is a good news. No one can kill the vision of Kinijit, which has become the vision of millions.

Anonymous said...

A coup? What is a coup in this context, when little can happen that the TPLF doesn't allow?

What is the evidence that Temesgen and Mohammed are 'TPLF-backed' (as opposed to the others)?

Doesn't Mohammed have a last name?

What, in terms of concrete actions, does 'acting in a way that betrays the leaders' mean?

Where is the evidence that Temesgen asked for protection? What does the statement imply about 'supporters of the real Kinijit'?

Zagol, I know this is just a blog and not a newspaper, but I still think maintaining certain journalistic standards would not only increase your credibility, but would help our struggle for democracy.

Practicing these standards will help us deal with each other in a more open, honest, and rational manner, which is essential for our success.

ethio-Zagol said...

Nice try Dessalegn. Sorry for forgeting Mohammed's second name. If it is so important to you and the struggle, it is Ali.
About the nature of the leadership of Temesgen and Mohammed? Why I think that they are backed by TPLF? In January, Alemayehu Areda, Aklu Grgre and Dr. Admassu Gebeyehu were given a mandate to form and register Kinijit by leaders in Kaliti. They fulfilled the necessary requirements but the election board rejected their application. Two months later, the same "mircha board" facilitated the registration of Kinijit by the Temsgen group. If you know TPLF politics and how the board acts then you can easily figure out why the first group is rejected and the second accepted.
Temesgen and Mohammed created Kinijit and told other Kinijitians that the would call the general assembly in a month time. The didn't.
Temesgen and Mohammed both acted against the express will of 38 of the 60 kinijit council members(the true kinijit) to form a new kinijit.
Temesgen and Mohammed's Kinijit tried to take over Addis Ababa city admin despite the expressed will of kinijit leaders and the misgiving of many Addis residents.
For me, what they did when they created Kinijit and tried to take over addis admin was a complete betrayal of the leadership in Kaliti.
Moreover, There are a lot of things that Temesgen and Mohammed do and did to abort the Kinijit movement in Ethiopia. I can't say a lot here.
About Temsgen's seeking of protection?
He didn't do it secretly. He did it openly, in front of observers after the signature of the agreement between Teltafi kinigit and EPRDF.
Journalisitic standards?
Do you think I should call and interview temsgen or Mohammed to balance the story? Or may be I should ask Bereket whether TPLF is backing Temesgen? poll kinijitians whether they think Temsgen is genuine or not?
Sorry Desalegn practicing "these standards" gets me killed.
There are a few honorable ways to get killed by TPLF. Getting killed trying to be "fair" to the pathetic Temsgen and Mohammed isn't one of them. In case you have visted this blog since march, you should have known I don't give these two the benefit of doubt.
If you want to know their views, they will go to london in july for a parliamentary visit and you can get hold of them then. Poor me! I will stick to kaliti.

Anonymous said...

Excellent response to a reasonable-looking but narrow comment right there!

Anonymous said...


Damn, you are good! Ene Negn dess
yalegn. Lol...... the poor woyane
did not know what hit him!

All power to you, bro!

Anonymous said...

Ethio Zagol thank you for the measured tone of your explanation unlike some of the responses set out here which seek to demonise any views that are slightly different from theirs. We need more people like you.

My problem is this, we can shout and protest as much as we like unless we have a clear vision and a sense of purpose of where we are heading, then our effort which is commendable would be in vain.

If we believe that the US is the only government that can bring pressure to bear on the Meles government then we must identify what is the US interest. Once we identify their interest look if it chimes with our interest (i.e oppostion) and then we should seek to persuade them that Ethiopia without EPRDF will not be an anathema to their interests. We should know that no state will act in altruistic manner. we should stop deluding ourselves and stop being spectators.

Although i agree that we should bring pressure to bear on the government i am yet to hear clear and practical suggestions as to how a lay man like me can contribute to that, apart from the usual cry for monetary support and attendance at demonstrations. I think we have to be clear about our aims apart from toppling the EPRDF. I come back to my earlier point that we should learn from other african countries and see what lessons we can take from their experiences, we could look at Ghana, Senegal, Gabon to name a few. why not send a delegation and eapk to the opposition then, we should stop being insular. We may dimiss these countries but by any internatioinally accepted standard they have democratic institions and a democratially elected government. It does not mean they do not have problems, democracy on its own will not solve all the problems ( most notably corruption) but they have sonmething they can be proud of.

As for the South African model i am impressed how the ANC leadership has managed to calm and positively channel the real anger and quash the understandable thirst for vengance felt by the oppressed people of South Africa because the national interest demands it so i ask would the leadership of KINIJIT leadership raise to that challenge. What i felt looking at all ethiopian politicians is their inability to differentiate between what is in the national interest and their party interests, as the two are definitely not the same.
When i hear people calling for the death or killing of this EPRDF poltician or that politician i fear that if these people who are in oppostion today are in power tomorrow they are unlikely to be democratic as they do not seem to respect the rule of law,as respect for the rule of law mean affording rights to people who harmed you. I think we should use temperate language I beleive that we should think about a form of reconciliation commission which means if Meles et al vacate office we should NOT pursue any of them but seeks to heal the gaping nationl wounds that scarred our country fo so long. i know this idea is not popular but that is the only way to break the cycle of violence otherwise what you end up with, is the Woyane et al going to the bushes to take arms, we had enough of that. People may say that would mean all these people killed by EPRDF died in vain i say to that if we can prevent the death of future generation i think it will be worthwile. I hasten to add that i think more people have been killed by EPRDF between MAy 1991 and MAy 2005 but KINJIT still agreed to participate in the elections and i commend it for it to bring a lasting peace to Ethiopia. In my book if you take part in the elections there is a possibility that you may not win and hence willing to serve as a loyal opposition otherwise it is not a democratic election.

i think we should all try to use temperate language, two wrongs do not make a right. I read a lot of well written polemic from learned gentlemen in US and Europe and among the acres of writing i yet to see practical suggestions how we get round this problem of two different and conflicting narratives, that is what troubles me as a lay person with limited education but desperately sad for the thousands of poor men and womnen who die every day of poverty and lack of democratic culture. Unless we can persuade the people who sustain EPRDF that they are better off with EPRDF then we will have problems on our hands with the devastating consequences for our fellow citizens

I desperately hope that people are not suffering from oppositionism because it is easy and comfortable to criticise without offering practical suggestions to change the situation.
I wonder again thinking loudly if the opposition should skip a generation and bring into its leadership some youth as one very striking feature of meetings i attend in the US and Europe is the dearth of young people and women in the audience and even then the men ( mostly men ) they are over 40's, i see young people sometimes but as helpers and not on the podium ,we seem to talk to ourselves as teh segment of the audience is from a very limited urban addis based populace. The leaders are still resolving issues in the Marxist tradition of intrasigent positioning and making inflexible public demands.

I ask why does KINJIT international not have a youth or women wing, in order that their views feed into the policy decsion making, we should be more than a single issue pressure group. We should break down this cult of personality culture and concentration of power in one or two people otherwise we are doomed. To those who say the only solution is gun i say YOU are from a bygone era. One idea i had was that we should form strong civic society in the diaspor and have a good strong links with the corresponding group in Ethiopia. For example i understand many ethiopians in Europe and USA work as taxi drivers why not form taxi associations and support the taxi drivers and other transport providers in addis in their struggle to paralyse the ruling regime, because i remember how EPRD panicked when the taxi drivcers stopped working in addis. I don't think there is a siliver bullet it is a combination of things that would bring this ruling regime to an end, but i pray to god that i will never reminisce about the EPRDF because the next regime will be worst than EPRDF ayasayengne.
Long Live agere ethiopia.

Anonymous said...


You've quite clearly answered the questions I listed.

That's what I meant by 'journalistic standards'. If those answers were in your article to begin with, I think things would have been a lot clearer for the reader.

Shouldn't the reader already know, you may ask. Well, I think many, dare I say most, are unfamiliar with the details of what is happening with Kinijit, teletafi Kinijit, ONC, etc., because, as you implied, there is no free press in Ethiopia. Trying to learn about these things could get you killed. So the question many readers have is whether some or all of those who are sitting in Parliament, or even those who are not been arrested, are forced to do what they are doing or are in collusion with the EPRDF.

Of course, the answer is different for every individual, but I will let you answer that question.

What I can tell you is that from the point of view of the pro-democracy advocacy groups in the diaspora, it is better from PR perspective to portray those MP's and others as being forced to do what they are doing, rather than betraying their cause. This shows the extent to which dissent has been criminalized and how Ethiopia is almost a police state. However, if we say that they have simply betrayed the pro-democracy movement, then people start to wonder about the shallowness of the movement. Maybe Kinijit and the other opposition does not have as much strong support as they thought. If Ethiopians are so fickle, maybe Ethiopia is not ready for democracy after all when even the most noble movements are full of traitors and potential traitors. I think you see what I mean.

Needless to say, I firmly believe that all the MP's and others who are now working against the Kaliti leadership are doing so because they have been forced to.

But, you're the one close to the situation. What do you think?

Anonymous said...


snap out it man! you are the epitome of the side street diaspora

Leave Z alone! he ain't got time
to waste on your nonsense filsefina.

Anonymous said...

Desalegn i hear what you say. I am just puzzled by the assertion that just because some MP's decided to join the Parliament it can be said that ethiopians are not ready for democracy. I think the ethiopian populace has shown its readiness when they voted in the May elections. I don't think it is anything new that some within the opposition have joined the EPRDFled illegitimate parliament, after all there were many black south Africans who used to actively work and support the Apartheid regime. i think what ethioZagol is doing is great in exposing those individuals in order that they account for their actions to their constituents as i am sure they were not voted to serve this government and it cannot be said it is a matter of conscience. it is this lack of accountability that depress so many of my fellow citizens. I think had the constituents known that these MPs instead of standing firm they would buckle and would join the parliament by stealth i do not believe they would have been voted in. so let them have the courage of their convictions and call for a by-election if this mechanism exist, i doubt it , so that they can obtain a fresh mandate to serve the EPRDF led parliament.

I do not believe it is right to suggest that it is a PR excercise to suggest that some of the MPs were forced to join thanks to ethio zagol et al we know this. ALthough i accept the situation is different depending on each indivdiual MP i can't help feeling a combination of greed, hodamenet,fear and harrassment played a role in these people joining the parliament.
I want to ask ethio zagol as you are well informed do you think there are some in this group who we can approach to get some inside track, intelligence to our advantange or are they simply at the periphery of decision making that it is not worth it, what do you think?
As for journalistic standards desalegn as a well known tennis player use to say you cannot be serious. Be real.

While i accept that those who report news need to make sure their stories have basis in truth, however with this regime record vis a vis journalists to expect western style journalistic standards is with respect slightly naive so ethio zagol i say continue the fab work you so bravely do everyday.
Long Live agere ethiopia

Anonymous said...

last anonymous,

Thanks for your thoughful comments.

What I'm saying is that if there is the perception that large sections of the opposition have 'betrayed' the cause or even just split away, then people will deduce that the opposition is weak and fractured, and further deduce that this is a reflection of the society in general, and then conclude that the EPRDF has been right all along and that they are the only ones capable of maintaining power and stability.

We have heard such arguments for years among government officials, NGO's and other stakeholders here in the West, and we continue to hear them. Is the opposition united and strong? Have the people reached the level of being able to work collectively for a common goal beyond simply casting ballots?

Nearly all the CUD (and I include EDP) MP's are sitting in the House. If even half of them have done so out of greed or betrayal, what does this say about the opposition and people as a whole? How can the people freely elect people of such low moral character? If so many of the representatives so easily 'betray' the movement at the smallest sign of trouble, imagine how they would have behaved had they had real power as part of a CUD goverment. Would you want people like this governing you?

In a democracy, and these MP's were democratically nominated and elected, representatives are, to a large extent, a reflection of the people. Were the opposition parties and the people so incompetent and gullible in voting for such weak-minded people?

The South African example you give is a good one. The existence of Inkatha was a major obstacle to achieving democracy. The argument was often made that if there was democracy, the Zulus and the rest would slaughter each other. Look, they can't even cooperate to end apartheid! The clearer the extent of government support for Inkatha became and the weaker Inkatha got as a result of a gradual loss of grassroots support due to the maturing of the populace, the more seriously the pro-democracy forces (ANC, etc.) were taken.

So, last anon, while you are right that accountability is important, I ask that you keep in mind that whatever we say or think about these MP's and others, it reflects upon the voters!

I agree with what you say, I'm sure each individual case is different. But I would maintain that for the vast, vast majority, fear and harassment is the explanation. I simply refuse to believe that the people of Ethiopia were so blind as to vote for people of such low character who would betray the movement for a little money or at the slightest sign of trouble.

Now, of course, this does not mean that the fake Kinijit should be supported. No, we should make it clear that it is a party established by force and coercion in a police state environment and therefore has no legitimacy.

As for 'journalistic standards', like I said before, I was just expecting some supporting evidence for assertions Zagol was making, not 'Western-style' reporting, which, by the way, is often farcical. Zagol provided the supporting evidence, and I'm happy with that.

Anonymous said...

Desalegn i read your comment with interest. As ever you put them eloquently. However i think there is something missing in your analysis. You should look at the systemic failure of the political architecture of the country rather than the indivuduals concerned.

When Mandela was released he went and shook hand with his jailer and said it was the system that jailed him and not the individual jailer. So i think the issue goes beyond the individual MPs who under coercion, duress or other tactics joined the EPRDF led goverment. I think we should have a national conversation in our country about resolving the conflicting narrative that pervade the national consciouness.

It is not to excuse the MPs who joined the Parliament but it is just to put things in perspective. Given that i am firm beleiver that one has put forward pratcial concrete suggestions (because i am really depressed by the endless articles that i read posted on so many websites that offer no practical recommendations) so i suggest that either the KINJIT leadership international in consultation with our brave unjuslty cajed leaders publicly state that these MP's do not represent it and therefore withdraw the Whip and invite the MPs to seek re election via a byelection. I know this is not an easy undertaking giving KINJIT is itself a coalition but a firm stand need to be taken in order not to confuse the populace.
what do you think?

One other idea i have is that I think we in the diaspora have to create the mechanism to support the struggle in our country by creating a strong vehicle to support those who are paying a heavy price in the struggle financially. I was so impressed how during the Aprtheid regime Churches were used as a means of financially supporting the families of those incarcerated by the Apartheid regime so there is no reason why we cannot use some remaining civic society groups to do that.

This has to be a long-term investment and not a knee jerk reaction whenever we attend fund raising rallies. I say the time has come to consider seriously the system where every ethipian committs 1 or 2 per cent of his/her income per month to send and sponsor one or two families directly affected. I understand the eritreans have something like this in respect of helping families affected by the war.

i am sure very eloquently put objections will be put to this proposal but i say this ,come up with some alternatives ideas to ensure that our fellow country men and women are not driven into silence and inaction because they have a family to support. lets debate alternative concrete ideas rather than pontificating from our ivory tower.
long live agere ethiopia

Desalegn i am not too sure how can it be "a reflection on the voters" to be voting for candidates that stood ( presumably cleared by Shawl et al) under the platform of KINJIT and then being betrayed by these candidates once elected. Normally when this happen in mature democracies the person involved seeks re election or is dimissed from the party.

Anonymous said...

Dessalegn, Ethiozagol, and anonymous,

I think Dessalegn's analysis why many of the MPs joined the parliament holds water. I think many of the MPs joined the parliament for fear of reprisal and harassment with the exception of the Temesegn,Mohammed, and the likes who officially sided with the EPRDF.

So, disapora CUDP should refrain from leveling members of the CUD as Teletafi and so on. This is neither politically sound nor a true decscription of the people who are paying a lot of sacrifice. I like very much Dessalegn's argument on this point.

The main talking point should be how we can force the government to release our leaders. We should not also demonstrate political naivity which suit very well the EPRDF.

Go one Zagol. We love u.

Anonymous said...

Last anon,

Why can't we label these turncoats Teletafi? Hailu Shawel et al went to Kaliti because they did not want
to betray the people who voted for
them and pleaded with them to respect the mandate that the Ethiopian people entrusted to them. They kept their promise to their people. That is what distinguishes the men from the boys, so to speak.

It should tell you that it was really only those Leaders in Kaliti who believed in Kinijit and everything it stood for. True believers never cut loose and run. They fight to the bitter end.

Agazzi will have been no match for the mighty force of the people, if only they had truly believed in the cause. Didn't we see 12 year olds ferociously fighting Meles' SS troops? Where was everybody else when their little bodies was being tortured mercilessly?

Enough excuses!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

At Desalegna,

In the people's langauge, Teletafi is always teletafi

Anonymous said...

Ethio Zagol!
Are you ok We have not heard from you for few days now. I hope they have not touched you.
With concern

Anonymous said...

Dear Ethio Zagol,
I hope and pray that you are doing well. I belong to those, who respect and care about your safety. It is also important news just to know you are safe.
God bless and protect you.

Anonymous said...

Me too I am a bit worried about you, Zagol. Hope you are safe. Please, be careful when you write not to be traced by this Yeken Giboch.

Anonymous said...

Zagol, I hope all is well. Becareful bro. If you are ok, please let us know.

Anonymous said...

E Zagol,
Drop us a note and just say Hi even if there are no news. We are worried, you are the talk of the here in the US

Anonymous said...

please please please please.... let us know you are ok. We are worried about you. Wish you the best.

Anonymous said...

knock, knock, anbody there?

Anonymous said...

Oh my Lord,
What has happened to Anonymous

Ethio-Zagol ???

We wanna know!

Anonymous said...

I have a great fear this great man/woman Zagol is trouble ?

Anonymous said...

I have a great fear this great man/woman Zagol is in trouble ?

Anonymous said...

Don't worry falks, I am ok.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the above "Zagol" is the real one. Zagol always uses blue color for his nickname.

I hope I'm wrong.

Anonymous said...

I woke up about six time this past night worred about YOU Ethio Zagol. All I can do was pray that the Lord protect you. A word of encouragment and here is what David said "Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch forth Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, And Your right hand will save me." PS 138:7
I live you in the hand of God who has saved Daniel from the mouth of a lion.

Anonymous said...

The above person is not Zagol, he is zagoI.