Berhanu Nega and Lidetu Ayalew’s controversy- By Eskinder Nega

November 26th, 2010 Print Print Email Email

DATELINE: November 2010—Washington, D.C.( Berhanu Nega)

Somber faced Ethiopians stared in rapt attention as Dr Berhanu Nega’s voice resonated with pronounced intensity. As he dramatically details a 2005 discussion between CUD leaders, his face is noticeably flashed with emotion.

“What (are the findings of the) Committee (tasked with exploring the political options available to the CUD as the post election
controversy heats up)?” we (the CUD leadership) asked him (Lidetu Ayalew, spokesperson of CUD and member of the committee.)

“ It (the committee’s work) is not necessary. You are making a mountain out of a molehill,” (responds a dismissive Lidetu.*)

“What then are we (the CUD) exactly supposed to do?” ( we inquire curiously.*)

“We will call for a rally(protesting against the doctored election results) ,”(answers Lidetu authoritatively.*)

“What then happens,” (we ask eagerly.*)

“Weyane (EPRDF, the ruling party) kills (the protesters)” (responds Lidetu coolly.*)

“What then happens,” (we ask incredulously.*)

“(We get the perfect pretext to join Parliament.) We will maintain that we had opted for peaceful protest but that the government had responded with killings. (We could then go on to insist that) the only recourse left is to join Parliament and continue with the struggle from there. There will then be no grounds for anyone to accuse us of cowardice,” ( says Lidetu mapping the strategy to be pursued by CUD as public pressure mounts for a showdown with the EPRDF, which had lost
the election but reversed the results.)

Berhanu ends his narrative here. But he goes on.

“What I just told you is what actually came to pass in a (CUD) meeting. The person who back then calculated in terms of thirty, forty people’s lives (to get the pretext to join Parliament) is now the same person who (questions the integrity of others.). The extent of some people’s moral bankruptcy is really startling.”

( * What are in brackets marked with asterisk* are my interpretation of Berhanu’s tone.)

DATELINE: November 2010—Washington D.C.( Lidetu Ayalew)

Lidetu’s response came courtesy of D.C’s Ande-Ethiopia radio, a preserve of Diaspora fringe narrow- nationalists.

“If this was true, certainly Dr Berhanu et al would not have waited for five years to reveal this to the public,” said Lidetu. “It’s an absolute lie.”

Smelling blood, Ande-Ethiopia could not resist provoking him.

“But why would Dr Berhanu lie?” Ande-Ethiopia asks mischievously.

Lidetu is flabbergasted. He literally rumbles. (“I am sorry for my emotional response,” he says at one point.) “He would lie for four reasons,” begins Lidetu. First: the EPRP (an opposition party, which Berhanu had joined in his teens) is attacked. (There lies the origin of his malice, asserts Lidetu.) Second: Berhanu is declared an atheist. Third: a brother’s ( Berhanu’s) divorce is brought up. And fourth: a bit of psychoanalysis to cap it all. (The death sentence is getting to Berhanu, reasons Lidetu.)

On and on and on goes Lidetu, and then, finally, in what looks like an act of ultimate self-defeat, shoots himself in the foot by denying that Berhanu was ever the mayor-elect of Addis Ababa. “I was disheartened to see him (during the commemorative event) being addressed as mayor. No person was elected (by the voters) to be mayor.” Only the city council could have elected the mayor, he insists. “He was merely slated for the position by the party.” (CUD had won 137 of 138 city council seats. Berahnu was elected mayor-elect by the 137 in the presence of the media.)

DATELINE: June 2005—Addis Ababa. ( Five years ago)

A member of CUD’s leadership (a Central Committee member) reached in to his pocket with a sigh. The avalanche of calls was on the verge of overwhelming him. Glancing at the incoming number though, he couldn’t help but be intriguingly surprised.

It was Berhanu Nega calling.

“ (Name withheld upon request), I need to speak with you urgently,” said an anxious sounding Berhanu, following a brief exchange of pleasantries.

“ Sure, Doc,” shoots back the CC member, wondering why Berhanu would be seeking a private meeting with him.

When they met, Berhanu was quick to get to the point.

“Have you been following the press releases (attributed to the CUD) issued by Lidetu ?” asks Berhanu.

“ Sort of,” responds the CC member circumspectly, but instantly cognizant of where the conversation was heading. The press releases have raised eyebrows within the leadership.

“ I am worried about some of them,” continues Berhanu earnestly. “Could the EPRDF use them as evidence for incitement? I suggest that you assess them from a legal point of view.”

A graduate of AAU’s reputable law school, the CC member carefully reviews the press releases. He settles on urging caution and approaches Lidetu.

“ Perhaps we should be more circumspect about the wordings of the press releases,” he tells Lidetu at a private meeting.

Lidteu almost jumps up with fury.

“Why do you say that?” he asks him visibly angered.

“It’s my professional opinion as a lawyer. There could be room for twisting them. They could charge us with incitement,” replies the CC member, taken aback by the ferocity of Lidetu’s reaction.

“I have been mandated to issue press releases by the Executive Committee. This is the party’s position. There is no need to alter tone or content. I know what I am doing,” barks an annoyed Lidetu , and waves away the issue.

In this immediate aftermath of the post-election crisis, Lidetu was a proponent of what he termed as a “political solution.” It envisioned a mounting (peaceful) mass action against the government. “Confronted with an ungovernable country, Weyane will eventually opt for a political settlement,” he argued. “The legal option will take us no where,” Lidetu intoned passionately. Neither the electoral board nor the courts were to be trusted. “The courts are tainted beyond redemption,” he liked to say.

Lidetu personified popular sentiment at this point. This was the peak of his power and influence. He was virtually unchallengeable. Knowing this, the CC member quietly relents. He parts with Lidetu defeated and shaken.

DATELINE: January 2006—Addis Ababa

The principal leaders of CUD, save Lidetu, appear before court accused of treason —a capital punishment offense— by the government. Affixed to the charges as “evidences” were many of the press releases unilaterally issued by Lidetu Ayalew.( Though they lack the strict criteria the law sets for incitement.)

And many of the defendants could not help but wonder if it was not all a deliberate set up from the very beginning.

DATELINE: The Present.

Berhanu has his fair share of critics, but not even the harshest amongst them, including the EPRDF, have questioned his personal integrity the way Lidetu has done. Few are apt to question his personal integrity simply on the strength of Lidetu’s rhetoric;however alluring and powerful it may be. Since Berhanu boldly asserts that the exchange took place in a meeting, a more convincing case would have been made by Lidetu had he demanded the names of those present in the meeting. His failure to do so begs an explanation.

Razor sharp as Lidetu is, the public is at a loss to assume an oversight on his part. Ever since his disastrous break with CUD, Lidetu has blamed everyone (including this writer) but himself for his troubles. Between his break with CUD and the 2010 elections, when he was tenaciously propped by the EPRDF and the CUD had recklessly self-imploded, his chances of
political redemption—albeit a limited version— had looked like a real possibility. What ever the shortcomings of the elections, as even Lidetu admits, that they at least accurately show those impressions were no more than a mirage.

The loss of Lidetu’s imagined world, where his vindication was always around the corner, has obviously turned him in to angry man. His caprice, pretension and obvious destructiveness are no more than coping mechanisms. .He should no more be hated. He should rather be pitied.

  1. zeru yakob
    | #1

    this is so silly.. it is not lidetu vs berhanu.. it is finding in ethiopia a way to build functioning democratic institutions.. that is the issue

  2. kush-kush
    | #2

    I am not affiliated to any political groups and I was against the so called “CUD” until it fractured and became useless. What do we need currently is very crucial than what went wrong with the cud leaderships in the past . I do not care what the cud did in the past and they are dead once and for all. Period . It is my understanding and belief that the writer’s main motive is to incite readers to go aginst the person he mentioned more than 30 times . In the end, some of the cud leaders were promoting ethinic politics like TPLF/EPLF and the good thing is that they didn’t come to power and, died with self inflicting wounds .

  3. kaw
    | #3

    Dear Lidetu there is no time to deal with you in such rabish issues , you know what was happened in London b/s of your presense guy, it is this much that Ethiopian peoples hate you.In your interview you tried to mentioned that you are supported by ethiopian , are u sure, think about the peoples hwho died during 2005 election for nothing , so it is you who did

  4. The mark of the beast
    | #4

    Why don’t you admit it? Oh, yes! It is obvious that you are affiliated with the evil political party called TPLF, that have massacred countless number of innocent Ethiopians, looted Ethiopians in every way possible and have given the land of our ancestors to foreigners. In the last twenty years, the only Ethiopian political party that have tortured, arrested, killed and abused hundreds of thousands Ethiopians in every province is your political party—TPLF. Period!

  5. washeraw
    | #5

    Kush Kush,

    What are you suggesting?

    Lidetu is a shameless liar. That Lidetu suggested calling a demo with a view to entering parliament after TPLF has killed a few, was mentioned in Berhanu’s book. So, his argument is false.

  6. ዐገር
    | #6

    ከጅንጀሮ ቆንጆ ምን ይመራርጡ ነው ነገሩ ሁለቱም ተጠያቂ ናቸው ጠያቂ ቢገኝ

  7. Wakyo
    | #7

    Kush Kush
    you are simply a lumpen who is now recurited to defend Ethiopianism killers,your blood starts boiling when ever you hear the word CUD as it has unmasked your illitracy in a tv discussion before the vote starts and let the Ethiopian peoples understand the true nature of the jungle hooligans.What you dont know is our motherland Ethiopia has millions of cuds who will let you know in the near future where you and your gangsters really belong stay tuned.

  8. Samson
    | #8

    What is new? All Ethiopians encluding the woyanes know that LIDET is:
    1. ambitious to individual power/ power monger
    2. garvage who can`t go with logic and learn from mistake
    3. he is who dismanteled CUDP

    Therefore we know him since he dig the barrial place of kinijit. So he is
    one and one woyanne

  9. ልደቱ
    | #9

    ልደቱ በመጀመሪያ እግዚአብኡሄር የእጂህን ይሰጥህ እላለሁ::
    አንተ ጸጸት የሚባል ነገር ያልፍጥረብህ እርኩሰ ስው ነህ ቢያንሰ እንካ ስለሞቱት ህጻናት ብለህ ህሊና ብትገዛ አሁንም አልመሽብህም ነበር::
    ታመሃልና ምህረቱን ይላከልህ

  10. Shame on bandas
    | #10

    Criminal lidetu ayelewu, You have been cheating the innocent ethiopia’s people for the last 20 years . You have never been against TPLF. You came to addis ababa as beket[ ameche bereket’s tail. Ypu worked in weyane’s immigaration as agent untill you joined AAPO. You know what have you done in AAPO? You are directly responsible for the death, imprisonment and disappreance of many Amharas youths. You have been washing your body with our brothers, sisters , mothers and fathers’ blood. You have hidden your background and act as if An amhara where as your are from agawu clan. Most agawes and aregobas became the trajon horses of TPLF against ethiopia and Amharas . You will pay very dear price in your life time.Untill that movement comes good dance with anti ethiopia elements. I am not talking here about your stealing food oli from red cross or about the breaking of church’s door and your stealing some thing from the church. You do not have any morale ground to talk about Dr Birhanu nega, you idiot ignorant banda. Dr Birhanu’s mistake was to decide to work with those idiots like you and other hodams . What your bosses told you, you came and shout every where like mad dog. actually dog is better than you. A dog is loyal to his boss where as you are not loyal to ethiopia and ethiopia’s people. We know you do not have peace day and night. You know what will happen if your bosses loss power at any time. You know for sure you do not have place to hidde your criminal body which is being washed by innocent ethiopians’ blood. We know what have you done when your were assigned as a publice relation for CUDP. Pilot daniel’s blood is in your hand. you will never escape. It is a matter of time. Your ignaorancy led you untill the level of madness and started to shout like meles’s dog. For your information, Dr Birhanu nega was in south africa and austerlia after Your criminal bosses passed death penality against Dr Birhanu. If I were you , I would hang my self like yihuda did.

  11. Abebe
    | #11

    ማዕበል እየቀመርን ባሮን እንዋኛለን:
    ጋምቤላ ስንደርስ እንዳይፈጁን ብለን:
    ላይሻን አይራሩ አይቆጥርዋት ሽብረን:
    ከጋራ ሱፊ አልፈዉ አድሳባ መተሩን:
    መሽቶ የጨለመዉ ይነጋል ሌሊቱ:
    ዝናብ የዘነበዉ ዘንድሮ የክረምንቱ:
    እንዳይሆንብን ብለን ወንዙን የደቻቱ:
    የቴጲን አበቦች ዘንጋታ ልጆች ነን:
    ከጤፉ ማሳችን ከብቶች እያገድን:
    ጠቆሩ እያሉ እንዳያነጣጥሩብን:
    አዋሳ ዘንባባ ቆርጠን እናነጥፋለን:
    ዋናተኛ ልጆች አብድን እንስቃለን:
    ሸታን እየዋኘን ጊቤን ሰናፍቀን:
    ጎጀብ የባምቢስን ጣናን እንዘልቃለን:
    አሻግረን ስናዬዉ የበዲዉን ተራራ:
    ይንተክተክ እያልን እሳተ ገሞራ:
    አርባ ጉጉ ሄደን አማክርን አሞራ:
    የገደሉን ነግሮን ምን እንደተወራ:
    ብለን ስናናዝዝ ሆነንበት ገሞራ:
    ከጋቸቡ ወንዝ ላይ መዕበል እየቀመርን:
    እንደ ስራኩስ ልጅ ጠጋ ጠጋ አያልን:
    የምን ሸሸት ሸሸት ለባንዳ አስረክበን:
    ለወስላታ ሰዎች ለሰላዪዋ ጥለን:
    በጉዋርዋ ዙርን ከእምብርትዋ እንገባለን:
    መፍስስ ይጀምራል የክሩቤል ዋሽንቱ:
    በወዝዋዛያቸዉ ሲያዜሙ መላዕክቱ:
    ከመንፈሱ ጉዋዳ ስያስገቡ ስለላ:
    እስክንድር ሁንልን መስክረን በመላ:
    ብርሃንን ይበላል የሰይጣኑ ጥላ:
    ሙታን እየጮሁ አላስተኛን አሉ:
    ድንበር አፈሮችዋን አታስሽጡ ይላሉ::

  12. siss
    | #12

    Its time that Ato Lidetu starts doing some other thing

  13. yichala
    | #13

    You gus are blinded by hatred! You consider any body coexistently working in ethiopian politics as enemy. Lidetu is a smart and a man of integrity and understands reality.In spite of wild lies painted against him, he still holds a solid ground. The ARADAS like Birhanu Nega and Eskindir Nega are the ones who desreve to be pitied.Losers like these two people have lost a direction and in a desperate and urgent need of salvation.Believe it or not we Ethiopians are in the right truck building nation.On a quick note: by gone are the days of one nation based on assimilation.Wake up! We are many and one.
    Proud WOYANE

  14. ታዛቢ
    | #14

    ልደቱ ወይስ ብርሃኑ ያለው ነው ትክክል? ከባድ ነገር አይደለም ለማረጋገጥ:: ታዳሚዎቹ በህይወት አሉና:: ነገር ግን የእስክንድር ልደቱ ክቅንጅት ከተባረረ በሁዋላ ለተደርጉት ነገሮች እንዴት ልደቱን ተጠያቂ እንደሚያደርግ ሊገባኝ አልቻለም:: ለማንኛውም ልደቱ እስከዛሬ ብዙ ወንጀሎች እንደሰራ ተደርጎ በእስክንድርም በሌሎችም ካለብዙም መረጃ ሲወነጀል ነበርና እስቲ እሱም መድረኩ ይሰጠውና መልሱን ይስጥበት:: ይህ ሁሉ ጫጫታ ለምን ልደቱ አንደበቱን ከፈተ ከሆነ እንዲደበቅና ሳይወጣ እንዲሞት የሚፈለግ ነገር አለ ማለት ነው::

  15. Ethiopiawiwu
    | #15

    Esikindir’s conclusion remarks about Lidetu”His caprice, pretension and obvious destructiveness are no more than coping mechanisms.He should no more be hated.He should rather be pitied.Is Eskinider aware of who really Lidetu is and have been for the last two decades?I have to leave that to him,what is known about Lidetu is what he did to Professor Asrat Woldeyes and many AAPO members and prior and in the aftermath of the 2005 election it was obviously infiltrating the CUDP and its leaders on behalf of the TPLF/EPRDF in-disguise of being a liberator where as he was a total sale out.So according to Eskinder the sacrifice of hundreds of Ethiopians should just be regarded as one of Lidetu’s coping mechanisms and he further advise us not to hate him rather to pity him,this is an insult to ETHIOPIA and all pro-democracy freedom loving ETHIOPIANS,to start with one should stop comparing an idiot sale out with one dedicated scholar and a pan-ETHIOPIAN freedom fighter who is committed to bring about a just UNITED,DEMOCRATIC and CONSTITUTIONAL ETHIOPIA where all can live in harmony with equal opportunity.It’s time that we begin to respect and stand by our leaders than comparing them with trash’s of the living Ethiopian History,because those trashes represent no body than their selfish interest in-disguise of the pain and the agony of the ETHIOPIAN PEOPLE.

  16. የዲሞክራቲ:ታዛቢው!!!!
    | #16

    All of them,they no nothing politics, & they want to return our country to Feudalism.

  17. Shame on bandas
    | #17

    weyane yichalal. The time will come that you will point your finger towards bandawu kidetu ayalewu. Do not forget you are tegere’s ameche and you are on the line to go back to tegeray. Both the tegere’s and eritrea’s amaches have been mis- using ethiopia as foreign country. the northren ameches are already in eritrea, tye next ameches are pon the line. Kidetu has alre4ady sold him self from day one and untill this time. He is one of moany slaves in ethiopia who are being bought by TPLF to destroy ethiopia. All ameches like meles, bereket, yosef helewo,the bad father of meles who gave TPLF’s leadership as gift with ourt any proper election Ameche sebhat[ sebaken]nega and other banda are attacking Dr Birhanu nega because he is becoming their nightmare . They know very will that qality will be their last arrival with in the short time. That is why every tegere’s ameche and ameches’ slaves are barking like dogs.

  18. ገረመዉ
    | #18

    አቡጊዳዎች የተለያዩ ሃሳቦችን ማስተናገድ መቻላቹህ እሰየው በረቱ የሚያስኝ ጉዳይ ነው ከአሁን በፊት የስጠሁት አስተያየት የት እንደገባ አላቀም
    ልደቱን ሆነ በርሃኑን በተመለከተ እውነቱ በራሱ እየጎላ ማን ትክክል እንደነበር የሚያስየን አጋጣሚ እሩቅ አይሆነም ወገንተኛ የሆነው የርዕሱ ጸሃፊ ግን ይህንን መቀየረ እንደማይችል ሊያውቀው ይገባል

  19. Ethio
    | #19

    already lidetu(kidetu) i s dead. i don’t waste time to talk a bout the dead fish. thanks Eskander Naga , you tell us the truth.

  20. Drama
    | #20


  21. Get a clue!
    | #21

    If you get out of your TPLF bubble once in a while, you could find out that how much Meles is hated. Over 78 million Ethiopians would rather live under the Emperor and even Mengestu, than tyrant Meles that has looted, killed and given our land and ports away. Only delusional, selfish, greedy, heartless,and looters think things are better now under dictator Meles then during Haile and Mengestu.

  22. Truth~
    | #22

    Dear all,

    The title chosen is deliberate as if both Birhanu and Lidetu animosity is individual quarrel and drugging both individuals in the mud of controversy.

    Lidetu is informant of TPLF all along his political carrier. He talks the opposition talk but acts in tandem with TPLF. Lidetu is more dangerous for the opposition that a big mouth Bereket Simeon.

    Abugida, please don’t copy and paste what is given to you.

  23. የዲሞክራቲ:ታዛቢው!!!!
    | #23

    EMPEROR & Mengestu also looters and Killers if you know the history….
    but MELESE 100% worst than Haile & Mengestu……..
    because we do not have DEMOCRACY …that is our PROBLEM…

  24. kehdetu
    | #24

    lidetu= kehdetu


  25. እንግዳ
    | #25

    እኛ ያሉን ተቃዋሚዎች አሳፋሪዎች ናቸው:: ልደቱ ራስወዳድ: ጠንቃቃና አለመስዋእትነት ድል ፈላጊ ነው:: ዶክተር ብርሀኑ ነጋ ከወጣትነቱ ጀምሮ ለስልጣን እጅግ የሚቁምጥ:ያልተስማሙትን ሁሉ “ውሸታም” እያለ በጅምላ አለእፍረት የሚፈርጅ ከእንግዲህም ለስልጣን የማይደርስ የማያደርስ: የማይገባም አኪያሂዱ እጅግ የምያስፈራ:እግዚአብሔርን የማይፈራ:(እንደውም እግዚአብሐእርን ማወቁንም እጠራጠራለሁ::) ጸረ-ዲሞክራሲያዊ ግለሰብ ነው:: ባጠቃላይ ብንወድም ባንወድም ተቃዋሚዎቻችን በፖለቲካ: በእውቀትም: በታማኝነትም: በብልጠትም ተበልጠዋል::
    ጥሩ ታማኝ መሪዎች እስክናገኝ ድረስ በኢሀዴግ ከመገዛት ሌላ አማራጭ የለንም::

  26. Zelalem Le Ethiopia
    | #26

    Lidetu has lost credibility among the general population in particular with the Amharas inside the country. Regardless of the confusion of Diaspora opposition supporters, the home crowed know very well that Lidetu has all along been tplf mole inside the opposition.Infact, true or false they regard him as a product of a Tigrian-amhara parentage, and believe he cast himself for a part to perpetuate hate filled ethnic politics. Anyways, something must have gone wrong then, in the screening process, where he managed to climb to the position of spokemanship.Perhaps, Cud was under pressure to
    Make rooms for young generation of Ethiopians and fail to check his assertive posture.
    Coming to the point his criticism of Renege is plane and simple personal. He claim that his party Eprp has been attacked.He seem to support the idea that tplf act against Eprp was justified. What about the other charges?They hardly stick.Dr.Brihanu is athist!Dr. Brihanu is terrified by the death sentence1Dr. Brihanu’s brother just got divorced.What is this dirty laundry list? Lidetu is to me what I call wegebe bis shallow!

    I wont give this man any space in this sits because it is unealthy to debate with some one who have no conscious.Lidetu if he has his way would like to be believed that he is a Christian.Yes,that is why he is closely working with his Marxist told operatives. It is obvious Lidetu’s trip to London was meant to allure opposition members against the regime through bribe .However,Lidetu saw confrontation by angry Ethiopians to his humiliation and learned through practical means that not every one is a sellout. He probably thought he will find opportunity to lecture his diatribe but no one has time for that.Instead, he was was given opportunity to know Ethiopian estimation of him. Simply said he is and remain to be Banda. Lidetu is good only for his own belly. The activities of the bandas such as him need to be closely monitored. I believe social ostracism will help deter future bandas from joining the league.

  27. One more thing
    | #27

    Better the devil you know, than the devil you don’t—this is so true when it comes to people like Lidetu that stubbed Ethiopian people in the back, and a man who has always been a strong supporter of a dictator that is responsible for the deaths and tortures of countless number of Ethiopians—a penniless tyrant who is now, one of the richest people in the world by looting poor Ethiopian people, while twelve to fifteen million Ethiopians expected to die of starvation—-a dictator that has given Ethiopians’ fertile land to foreign countries to grow food including flowers that destroys the soil after a few use. With all Meles’s faults and crimes, the close minded Lidetu put all the blames on Ethiopians not dictator Meles.

    Zelalem le Ethiopia, you are absolutely right, now we all know the real TRAITOR=Kidetu=BROWN NOSE is, let us move on. But if there are some Ethiopians out there who don’t know about Kidetu, they need to be informed who this man real is.

  28. Lucy
    | #28

    Yielma taddesse, Fool me one time. it is shame on you. fool twice it is shame on me. Kidetu ayalew fooled us one time. shame on him and he will pay for all his odds. We are not ready to be fooled by this hodam bandas who has been serving for the last 21 years from bugna untill now. He has never been anti TPLF because TPLF is boss and will stay as it’s boss. This idiot banda agawu has committed so many crimes against innocent ethiopians who foght the aparthiede sysetem in ethiopia. he is real meles’s bad dog. he betrayed ethiopia and ethiopia’s ppl to fill his big belly. look his face how it is fatty. he is eating like pig and became fat like pig. he is real pig with human pic. so if you have any relation with this banda , it is a right time to take distance from him, other wsie you will be resposnsible equally for his crimes which he has been committed from bugna untill now and in the future.

  29. Temesgen
    | #29

    I suggest that Ledetu is dishonest and berhanu Nega is furious.If They improve this weak points they can be successful.

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