The embarrassing Interview of Deputy PM Haile Mariam Desalegn by Ephrem Madebo

December 27th, 2010 Print Print Email Email

There is a grand colorful flag hanging in my living room right above my TV set, a flag that united our fathers to the only African victory over white supremacists and a flag that transcended the tumultuous history of Ethiopian politics. (more…)

There is a grand colorful flag hanging in my living room right above my TV set, a flag that united our fathers to the only African victory over white supremacists and a flag that transcended the tumultuous history of Ethiopian politics. A flag that is not artificially decorated and a flag that my dad told me- “Son this is your real dad, not me”. So where ever I go, this flag follows me because I always want to be with my dad. I don’t believe in reincarnation, but if it is true, each time I am reincarnated, I want to appear as an Ethiopian behind the Green, Yellow, and Red . . . Nothing else!

As I always do during Christmas, I took days off from work and here I was all decked out in my worn out jeans, long-sleeve T-shirt, and flip-flops. My 12 years old son who just started his Christmas break was still sleeping so the television was all mine. I turned on my TV and glanced through my favorite channels- ESPN, CNN, EuroNews, France 24 News, Aljazeera and the home town stations. Once I got my daily dose of the news, I grabbed my laptop and checked my e-mail box. My incoming box was full, but the subject of one particular email from Ethiopia took my attention and made me forget the rest. Here is how the exact thread of the email read: “Shaka please read aigaforum” yours as usual . Shaka was my nick name among my close friends in Ethiopia.

There were two new posts on aigaforum. The first was the usual lamentation from MoFA on the recent BBC story of Land Grab in Ethiopia. The other was Deputy PM Haile Mariam Desalgen’s interview with Bahl Vickram of ITMN. I listened to the interview over and over again with utter disbelief, and when I was done, I took a deep breath and said – Oh Ethiopia not again!
Ethiopia’s top diplomat starts the interview by clearly contradicting himself. He starts by saying “we do not agree with the word “land grab” because that has no impediment for our small holder agriculture peasants”. Then he quickly negates the above statement by saying “This is how the economic process goes so it means that the number of small holder farmers will diminish and the large scale farming process will continue”

I am not sure where he got the information, but Mr. Haile Mariam starts his interview by praising India as the oldest democracy on earth. As the top diplomat of the nation and as an individual who visited India for a number of times, I do believe Mr. Haile Mariam should know that India is the largest democracy, not the oldest. This silly slip of the tongue didn’t bother me at all because days before he got elected as the 43rd president of the United States; President George Bush didn’t know who the leader of Pakistan was. What bothered me and what got me sick to my stomach is Mr. Haile Mariam’s lackluster handling of the interview and his insensitivity to the most sensitive and discordant issue in Ethiopia today. In fact, Mr. Vickram’s knowledge and understanding of the land grab problem in Ethiopia and the related public displeasure and resentment duped me that he was the Deputy Prime Minister of Ethiopia than the man he was interviewing.

One of the lowest point of Ethiopia’s top diplomatic gun came when he answered questions related to the current “land grab” in Ethiopia. Verbatim, this is what he said: “You know Ethiopia is a very huge country and it is a very big country and we have ample land at this moment…” I started laughing hesitantly, but the more I tuned to Haile Mariam’s despicable words, my hasty laughter quickly changed into a lingering hysteria. I sat back on the couch and asked myself – Is absurdity contagious?
With a total land area of 3,287,263 sq km, India is almost three times larger than Ethiopia. Yes, India is fifteen times as populace as Ethiopia, but it has as much capital and educated people. India feeds its people, Ethiopia doesn’t. Indian farmers own land, Ethiopian farmers don’t. Besides, India’s agricultural GDP is 10 times larger than the entire GDP of Ethiopia. So Mr. Haile Mariam – do you still think Ethiopia is big enough to sell land to India, China, or Saudi? Look Mr. Haile Mariam, we all love to see green revolution transform Ethiopia’s agricultural sector and grant food security in Ethiopia- something that India did half a century ago. But, during its green revolution, India did not distribute its land to foreigners; it distributed land to its own farmers and opened its door to research, development, and technology transfer initiatives.

In the beginning of the 1960s, rice yield in India was about two tons per hectare; the price of rice was $550 a ton, and India was on the doorstep of mass famine. Today, the price of rice is much less than it was in the 60s and India is among the major rice exporting countries of the world. Mr. Haile Mariam, this is the success story we Ethiopians want to emulate. If you are a wise person eager to learn from India, this is the best lesson from India. Instead of selling their land, please empower your own farmers by providing them the same opportunities India provided to its farmers.

According to Mr. Haile Mariam’s analysis of economic development, I think a new agro-industrial development theory is in the making. Thank you and good job Mr. Deputy Prime Minister! The ‘ABC’ of Haile Mariam’s new theory starts by stating: “I think the notion is that people do not understand how the economic process going on [verbatim]. It seems that Mr. Haile Mariam’s new development theory is based on Arthur Lewis’ classical two-sector model. However, unlike Arthur Lewis’ model that assumes unlimited supply of labor from the subsistence economy, Haile Mariam’s model assumes unlimited supply of land. The Lewis model argues that the injection of capital and technology transforms the agricultural sector and forces the agricultural sector to release labor to Industry.

Haile Mariam’s new model argues that large scale land sale diminishes the number of small holder farmers, triggers industrialization, and the growing industry creates demand for labor. Mr. Haile Mariam, you are absolutely right that your large scale land sale diminishes small scale farmers by uprooting them and destroying their livelihood, but how in the hell does this process trigger industrialization? Besides, with a large number of farmers uprooted – who will produce raw materials for your growing industry, and most importantly; with a large number of poor uprooted farmers floating in the economy, who will buy your industrial output? I think one of the most bizarre moments of Halie Mariam’s interview came when he answered the following question: You are looking at a fifty years winnow, so if someone is investing on land for fifty years [the italicized part is modified by me], how will you give him a guarantee that for the next fifty years there will be no backlash and there will be no cancellation of policy or reversal of policy where foreign investors in land will be asked to leave perhaps because of domestic sentiment being heard that land has been given to foreigners.

[His Answer] I think this is not domestic; first of all, you have to correct the statement that it is a domestic…domestic statement, is not domestic, it is usually…usually it’s a push form the Diaspora which has little knowledge about …. about the Ethiopian situation and some NGOs which are foreign based. It is not a domestic issue; in any way it is not because this…our development processes are transparent and everybody knows what is happening and all the farmers know what is happening even though that land is not occupied by anybody else. By the way, this is because our policy of land policy is totally different that it is owned by the people and government there is no private ownership of land, so we are giving them in the lease term.
By the way, anyone who tuned to his interview can easily sense Halie Mariam’s naivety and at times his lack of understanding of the questions. The interviewer asks him about “domestic sentiment”, but Haile Mariam who has only the Diaspora in his mind misuses the word “statement” for “sentiment” not once, but twice. I noticed that there were questions that the interviewer has to ask him over and over again.

Mr. Haile Mariam, I know you are an engineer with little knowledge of history and sociology, but how dare you forget the sentiment that Ethiopians have for land? Look Mr. Haile Mariam, land in Ethiopia is not just an economic resource. It has cultural, sentimental, and political meanings, and land represented one of the strongest symbols of dispossession during the Italian occupation of Ethiopia. The origin of the Ethiopian Diaspora is every tiny locality in Ethiopia including beautiful Wolayita [your place of birth]. So why would you think the Diaspora knows less about Ethiopia and have a totally different feeling, sentiment, or attitude that does not have its root in Ethiopia? Besides, even the Indian interviewer knew about the sentiments and political problems of the land grab in Ethiopia; in fact, that is precisely why he asked you about government guarantees for his native Indian investors. You are the highest diplomat of the nation- how can you not know a national reality that a foreign TV anchor knows? Mr. Hiale Mariam, before you point your finger on the Diaspora, do your homework first and please know the difference between “sentiment” and “statement”.

The Ethiopian Diaspora knows unequivocally that the land grab has sparked fear and anxiety in Ethiopia and the Diaspora is worried that there are many troubling questions raised by the land acquisitions, particularly in terms of impacts on small farmers, their land, and their livelihoods. The Diaspora also knows that there is a lopsided power relation in Ethiopia that small farm holders have no political voice, making them vulnerable to exploitation. They lack organization, bargaining power, credits, access to markets, and wealth. So this being the case, when the government dispossesses and sells the only property they own; this will definitely lead to a loss of national identity. Mr. Haile Mariam, as you shamelessly said during the interview, you may argue that Ethiopia has a transparent political system and an informed peasantry. Well, my advice to you is – please read about the political conflict and violence as exemplified by the public outcry in Madagascar over its proposed 99 years land deal with South Korea. If you listen to me and read the story of the people of Madagascar, you will get a life time lesson that you will never get from Civil Service College or “Dingay Mamrecha”. As to where to get the reading material, don’t worry, you’re the big-dog now –let the little guy suffer, send him/her to the Korean or Madagascar embassy.

Mr. Haile Mariam, you also said that “Ethiopians will not remain as farmers forever”. Well, not a totally true statement Mr. good wisher. All Ethiopians have never been farmers and some Ethiopians will always be farmers. Otherwise, who will feed Ethiopians unless you’re planning perpetual mercy flights from India? Look Mr. Deputy PM, the Ethiopian people and the entire Diaspora understand that large-scale operation of mechanized farming is necessary for internalizing gains from investment in infrastructure needed for opening vast tracts of unused lands. However, this operation must not be embarked-on at the expense of millions of small farmers. Empirical studies around the world show that communities of family farms are equally or more efficient producers of export crops using low costs family labor. In fact, this advantage of family farms rose as population density increased and rural infrastructure improved. The naked eyes of the author of this article have seen a much higher per hectare yield of wheat among the Chilalo [Arsi] small farmers than large scale wheat producing mechanized farms in the same area. So if you want to see a transformed agriculture in today’s Ethiopia, instead of supporting the post colonial latifundia initiatives, please give land to the tiller. As a policy maker, I’m sure your best alternative will be to support the initiative of large-scale farms and at the same time support small farmers, and make sure small farmers get credit extension, marketing services, fertilizer, and price information. If you do this, both large scale farming and small farmers will flourish. You don’t have to kill one to nurture the other.

Look Mr. Haile Mariam, the rotten ethno-dictatorial policy of your regime has left my country between rock and a hard place, and on top of this, your recent interview with ITMN has caused another damage leaving the nation chilled to the bone for a long time. In spite of your uncalled attack on the Diaspora, I am a member of the Diaspora who really misses Ethiopia when something is troubling me because Ethiopia understands my troubles so well. I miss Ethiopia when I laugh or cry because only Ethiopia can make my laughter grow and my tears fade away. I love and I miss Ethiopia when something really good happens to me, because I feel indebted and I want to share my good with Ethiopia. I miss Ethiopia always, but I miss her the most when I lay awake at night and think of the miseries she is going through- the killing, the mass arrest, the beating, and the despicable torture perpetrated by the regime you and your boss supposedly lead.

Mr. Haile Mariam, cheating the nation and yourself out of love or respect for a dictator is the most terrible deception; it is also an eternal loss, a loss for which there is no restitution. Sorry to say, but you are a true hypocrite who ceases to perceive his own deception. I am not second guessing you; I’m just letting you know your own implausible attitude, i.e. the love you have for dictators. I hope the Deputy PM understands that betrayal of a nation can only happen when one is in love with enemies of the nation. Let me say good bye to you by quoting Aung San Suu Kyi- “It is his capacity for self-improvement and self-redemption which most distinguishes man from the mere brute”. Mr. Deputy PM, if you want to redeem yourself, I think it is good enough if you understand and convince your TPLF masters that the immediate remedy to Ethiopia’s economic problems is not selling land; the effective remedy is the psychiatric treatment of you and the entire EPRDF leaders.

May God Bless Ethiopia!
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  1. Yoo
    | #1

    Are you journalist?
    Give me the real interview first.I dont need your interpretation.Let me hear it with out any bias.

    God have mercy on us.

  2. Anonymous
    | #2

    I think the writer of this article is sick himself.He himself needs psychiatric treatment.

  3. Kebedom
    | #3

    Madebo please cool down.Had it been your turn to be a deputy pm you would have wagged your tail more quickly than Haile Mariam.

  4. Amare
    | #4


    Whether it is intentionally or unintentionally, you just told us that Haile Mariam is wagging his tail and that is exactly what Efrem told us. Efrem wrote a story that you and me know but can’t pass it to others the way Efrem did it elegantly. What Efrem does when he becomes PM [if at all he becomes PM] is to be seen, we judge people by what they do, not by what we think they would do. The above two comments came from junkies- The writer has told you that he listened to the interview on aigafoum- it is your duty to go and listen. Don’t blame people for your own stupidity!

  5. Drama
    | #5


  6. Anonymous
    | #6

    Why is it that often good writers are bad thinkers?

  7. wow
    | #7

    @yoo, kebedom and Amare….what you are doing here go to Aigaforum dont write your stupidity here, we know at this time weyane is everywhere to divide us dont try we are united and fight for our freedom ….I agree with the writer 100% Mr Hailmariam is an Engineer and he doesnt have a capacity to be a foreign Minister ..he is Moron like his boss Devil Meles…they are anti-Ethiopia …..Devils! Death for weyanes!
    God Bless Ethiopia!!

  8. Zeygerim
    | #8

    Thumbs up for comrade Ephrem Madeba!! He knows how to seal the final nail on the coffin of of TPLFite footsoldiers. It is people who do not distingush between “sentiment” and “statement” that are conducting the “economic diplomacy” of one of the most proud nations on earth.

    Ephrem you made my day!!

  9. Zeygerim
    | #9


    one more point. when you write articles avoid technical jargons like Lewis two setcor model etc. one of our objective is to inform the masses and the most effective way is to present your views in simple and concise manner so that the man in the street can understand. You can convey the same message elegantly without lumping esoteric terminologies. You can use all jargons of this world when you write for academic journals, even in that case appealing to common audience more effective. After all, as they say, common sense is the most equally divided but the least underemployed talent in the world.

  10. Observer
    | #10

    Without listening the interview, I can immediately qualify this article as biased to personal views only. Very conspicuous in the article is arrogance, and disrespect for others opinion. I think it is the writer has more of personal than political issue with the guy.

  11. tameru
    | #11


  12. WTF
    | #12

    This writer is crazy! Where is the Ethiopian flag on Hail’s shoulder?

  13. Letyibelu
    | #13

    I am noticing that Woyane cadres putting comment immediately to discredit an idea that they think exposes their bosses.

  14. Fano
    | #14

    these are the people like anonymous,kebedom, hailemarime they trying to tell us about everything,hey damnass wake up even u don’t know what the anchor asks you. Before responding. This adminstration got confused so they trying thier last chance.Anonymous and kebedeom right ur opinion for ur PM. and D.PM they will give u land in wollayita sodo.

  15. kembuar
    | #15

    One more to woyane imposters coming to this forum you know you would not face reality and certainly not face us the repressed majority. you are trying to hide through verbal jammery. Your support to the fascist machinery is souless to say the least. Tell me you friend and i will tell you who you are. i know hailemariam and now i know meles more through hailemariam. Meles is a big factory of evil. Hailemariam has a hugh inferiority complex and is driven by the insanity of having to prove something to others, but he shows more of his silly attitudes. But much more dangerous, Hailemariam ,the hypocrite and dummy-ass sell-out, will sell Ethiopia and its people as a package given the opportunity like meles did innumerable time.

  16. Yinegal Belachew
    | #16

    “Is absurdity contagious?” This the question posed by Ephrem, the writer of the above smart and to the point piece. I primarily would like to appreciate the contributor.
    As to his question, yes,idiocy is highly contagious, don’t you observe how the Woyanne people are as,even at times more, stupid and arrogant as their wolfherd Meles Zenawi? Look what they instinctively scribble here above, for example.They utter everything and anything to please their devilish master and as a result of that fill their hyenaic belly that never gets replete. We are terribly unlucky to have such ignoramuses.
    God bless you Ephrem.

  17. Tedla Asfaw
    | #17

    I did my part earlier on Mr. Hailemariam Desalegne interview and shared it with all. “Yes indeed it is Land Grab and illegal too” go to,,,

    I sent it to the host of the program expecting reply before the year ends. While I had small talk with my Korean friend/South he informed me why China is not helping North Korea to develop like them rather than blackmailing their brothers in the South ?

    China got North Korean ports by long lease, 50 years up and that is a primary interest of China. China is not sure if such long term lease will be guaranteed by free North Korea and it is to their advantage their is a real state called North Korea that fits their interest.

    A country that is proud of giving its land for foreigners in a long lease is a country without visionaries or outright criminals who care only for their pockets. That is where we should focus on our debate.

    Abugida has refuse to post any thing by me which is its right and those who want to share their views have to use all avenues available to them to share their opinion.I hope this opinion will be posted if not I am not surprised. Long Live Freedom of Writing !!! I commend the writer for his wonderful piece which is educational good for the common person or for policy makers.

  18. Babu
    | #18

    The deputy PM and FM has not lived upto his portfolio. The way he answered the questions did not reflect the reality of our country nor the prevailing attitude. The answers lacked sincerity and seemed from the talking points. He stressed the the “developmental government” of ethiopia. Land grab is an issue for many ethiopians inside and outside the country. We need to have concessus on the issue, otherwise, no one can guarrante the investors for 50 years or more……

  19. አባባ
    | #19

    ንግግሩን ስማሁት :-ብሁ የተባለለተ ሰዉ ይህ ነዉ?outside noisy,inside empty-Chinese proverb

    | #20

    Great job Ephrem!
    You have stripped naked the Nr.1 “Weyane” dog at this moment.
    Ignor those beneficieris of blood money who talk nonsence against you in different web sits!I can witnes about your strong patriotism and hard work in the strugle you have been waging for the betterment of our common mothr land.I took this judgement from our high school good old times where we have been thought good manners at EEC school in Debre Zeit! Wishing you all the best,keep up with the hard work till we all together free our country from this deep misery!

  21. Anonymous
    | #21

    There is true rule of law, no trusted democratic infrastructure in current Ethiopia. The current land sale is taking from southerners, buy Northerners Militias, sold to unsuspecting foreigners. Back lashes? Yes. there would be real ugly kinds of back lashes on the table for both the foregners and toward infiltrators who came from tigray, to sale the land in south. Yes! baby! expect all forms of pay backs, Ethiopian “TYRANTS” MEMORY-SPANS are very short. So short that, they would sale their mothers fast, if they could get away with enough cash to join diasporas.

  22. Tazabiew
    | #22

    I like the way he wrote; magical that takes one out of his way of thinking thus indulges into bias. But the substances he raised partly make sense partly not. He tries to be an agro economist but in fact misses some basic principles in that line. Hence I say his analysis simply came out of the love he has to his country with blind hate toward the incumbent government. He has the right to hate the government however, with such marvelous way of expressions I would love to see his deep and matured discourse, as particularly the land issue in Ethiopia needs much more professional ground than seen in the writer. In general as to me, as agro economist, Land and Labor are realatively Ethiopia’s abundant major potential resources that the country should efficiently exploit in diversified ways so that may embark on economic Take off. I said it purely based on my profession than being biased to the current government to which I never have any special love or hate.

  23. atuba dolla
    | #23

    Many,many Ethiopians are tortured in Kaliti prision for several hours;many,many babies have been sold to international buyers for twenty years;many,many women have been forced out of their country to the middle east for a slavery,and millions of farmers are losing their only bread-earning farmlands to foreigners.

    Gentle readers,honestly speaking,we all have gone through a life transition;from childhood to adulthood,from learning in schools to earning at work,from being dependent to being interdependent;therefore,if we had had not gone through transition,our life would have been meaningless.

    For more than thirty years Zinawianrobbers dug trunches,bought weapons and guns and bullets.When they came into Ethiopia,they were barefoot,but had a lot of guns and bullets to loot and murder Ethiopians.Time favoured them and invaded Ethiopia.They then quickly dispatched and scattered allover and accross Ethiopia and moved into villages,towns,cities,and neighbourhoods and broke into homes and vandalized the lives of families.

    As the interviewer and the interviewee spoke and you picked up,who deeply was concerned and worried about land grabbing and the consequences of its negative impact on the lives of the farmers in Ethiopia now and in the future? The interviewer or the dupity PM,Halemariam?

    The deputy PM,Hailemariam Desalegn is too damn a lier.Didn’t he go through a life transition from being a teacher to being a politician? Isn’t this a life transition? The dispotic agnets of Meles Zinare are well known for murdering,looting,and lieing about anything and everything.Foreign land grabbers are coming to Ethiopian because they get huge vergin farmlands for fifty and more years for too cheap a price at the dearest cost of the livelyhood millions of farmers,in Ethiopia.

    Today,everything and anything that is available above and below the lands,in Ethiopia are owned, controlled and run by Zinawianrobbers.The lives of Ethiopians,in the system,the deputy PM is a policy maker,is sprinkled with misery.Homeless girls and boys are daily fighting off the dogs,the cats,the bugs,and the rats for food in the municipal garbage bin and landfills to survive.the homeless boys and girls are sick and weak,and are dying.

    Now,Ethiopians know how and by whom the lives of millions of farmers and thousands of little boys and girls have been determined by.In a matter of monthes Hailemariam Desalgne became addicted to telling a lie because he was hand-picked by Meles Zinawi was transformed into crude robot a policy maker.

  24. wolde
    | #24

    it is ok he could run the post

  25. Wurjibign Matu
    | #25

    Tazabiew, #22,Said, “I said it purely based on my profession than being biased to the current government to which I never have any special love or hate.” Wushetam! Aren’t a typical Woyanne who are writing to systematically defame this best writer? Alesalseh kerbeh yewahochin lematalele, ende Petros aynet kihdet, yewushetna lezedeh sitil bemitadergew kihdet, ‘woyane aydelehum, gin kemuyaye akuaya new’ bemalet nech wushetihn tanafaleh? maferia neh, lenegeru woyanewochina yewoyanewoch yehonachihu hulu maferiawoch nachihu,edmeyachihun yahya fes yadrgilachihu andye ebotaw kalle! woradoch. arfachihu eziaw aigaforumna reporterachihu lay yegim tiftifachihun at’tefet’fum? yetarik atela endenante yelem.

  26. Wurjibign Matu
    | #26

    Tazabiew, #22,Said, “I said it purely based on my profession than being biased to the current government to which I never have any special love or hate.” Wushetam! Aren’t you a typical Woyanne who are writing to systematically defame this best writer and convey your stupid message of saving your dogs and dog masters? Alesalseh kerbeh yewahochin lematalel, ende Petros aynet kihdet, yewushetna lezedeh sitil bemitadergew kihdet, ‘woyane aydelehum, gin kemuyaye akuaya new’ bemalet nech wushetihn tanafaleh? maferia neh, lenegeru woyanewochina yewoyanewoch yehonachihu hulachihum maferiawoch nachihu,edmeyachihun yahya fes yadrgilachihu andye ebotaw kalle! woradoch. arfachihu eziaw aigaforumna reporterachihu lay yegim tiftifachihun at’tefet’fum? yetarik atelana zikach endenante yelem. balgachihu sew yemitabaligu wof zerashoch.

  27. aha!
    | #27

    The focus for the silent majority of Ethiopians are political and economic freedom and liberty with perssonal responsibity attached to as owner of land as a means of production anywhere in Ethiopia. It is not what His excellency misplaced sentiment for statement, his argument for the land grab, nor his concept of the prevailing economic model.

    What the author of this article should have done is to test the deputy prime ministers statements against the multi-layer, hierachcal political model of TPLF/eprdf regime. To my understanding, the statement that he made in the first paragraph may not pass the test until the teletafi parties opt out of TPLF/eprdf regime. With respect to economic model the mantra is economic developement before democracy in the East Asian Style and that economic developement is run by TPLF and TPLF affiliated enterprises. What the deputy may have said about the effects leasing lands to Indians may be or may not be a policy statement of TPLF/eprdf regime. Even if it is the counter statement does not amount to rallying for political and economic freedom and liberty of the individual with personal responsibilty attached to private ownwership of land along with the sentiment for land need to be the major focus, not condemning his intellect.

  28. Abera
    | #28

    Hailemariam would not take an honor in just becoming a politician. But his honor of becoming a foreign minister lies squarely on becoming the extended arm of Meles Zenawi. His appointment and promotion is a result of his submission and loyalty to Meles’s Bantustan design on the southern people. Eskinder Nega’s assessment of dismal failure of Hailemariam is accurate and is there in the open sun for every one to see. Hailemariam is an opportunist who was willing to sell his soul, religion, his people and every thing for what ever illusive gain he might think he will get. He has changed his religion from catholic to Hawaria religion for the sake of marrying his wife who initially shunned him a lot. He has sold his own people of Wolayita and has delivered them to fascist’s bullet in the dark day of the history of that people. He is single handedly responsible for the massacre at Loke, Sidama for which he only paid in the form of a disgraceful exit from Hawassa city after nagging Meles Zenawi to be unseated from the presidential post and after the Sidama politicians decided to withdraw from the south coalition unless Hailemariam is removed from president of the south. Hailemariam is an opportunist aspirant who digs around the ground on which people stand to snatch their position. Hailemariam who initially hid in Hawaria religion had opportunism got the better of him when he met the former secretary of the south Tefera Maskale, who is also a Wolayita. Tefera promised him he will get every thing he wants by becoming a Woyane agent like himself. Tefera Maskale, a war prisoner who was captured without firing a single bullet by Woyane, was a thief who was stealing money like his Woyane masters in the open sun and Hailemariam sensed there is a free ride for money apart from post. Hailemariam immediately joined the EPRDF and was also given a dean post at water institute in Arbaminch as well as a seat in the southern EPRDF political establishment. Sad to say his transition from a water engineering teacher to politician did not bode well. He has become quickly discomforting to the eye. He was bossing and posturing around and was trying to impose himself as a political quick fix. He quickly came at loggerheads with the people of Wolyita with his dictatorial attitude. Hailemariam is also quick to substitute Amhara, and Tigre as Neftegnas. This term became a buzz word to him and any one who dare confront him, he was quick to label them as Neftegnas, which was a very childish yet dangerous behavior. Digging around Tefera Maskale, Hailemariam facilitated his disgraceful exit from the secretary post. Hailemariam quickly assumed this post after Tefera was deposed. Tefera was more liked by the Wolayita people but the TPLF kings in Hawassa did not like him as he refuses to submit to them. The TPLF masters in the south (headed by Bitew Belay – the notorious cruel and cantankerous Woyane king maker of the south) was looking for a willing actor, and Hailemariam , the opportunist , presented himself as an information giver, witness and evaluator to get rid of Tefera. Then after Hailemariam felt that he is now a well established boss and started doing funny things. One and the funniest of all was his attempt to merge the language of four ethnic groups together (Wolayita, Gamo, Gofa and Dawro). He named this new language WoGaGoDa language, taking the first letter from each ethnic group. He also had the intention of declaring the region a Wogagoda region. This was vehemently opposed particularly by his own people of Wolayita. They took it as insult to their culture and language that a single person decides to amalgamate four languages together and comes up with a new manufactured language. Hailemariam was incensed and he called a meeting in Wolayita to tell people of this new language! In that meeting one of the participants stood up and asked Hailemariam: “we heard that you are a water engineer. But who has made you to become a language engineer?” This was to the laughter of people in the hall. Hailemariam became more incensed and emotional. He told them banging the table again and again “whether you like it or not it will be implemented “ (wodedachum telachhum tegbarawi yihonal). Meanwhile other EPRDF politicians like Simon Mechale, Petros Olango, Woldemichael Chamo, all from Wolayita, retreated back saying this language experiment will create a public backlash and withdrew leaving Hailemariam alone. The matter went to Meles Zenawi. Representative of the people of Wolayita brought a petition to Meles asking him to halt the advance of (the “devil “as they call it ) WEoGaGoDa. Meles told them that their demand was right and asked them to push on with their demonstration. On the other hand he told Hailemariam to “crash them with full force” when they go out for demonstration. The people of Wolayita new very well Meles’s double standard and they decided to take a public protest. One of the organizers of the protest said “we know Meles’s double standard and Negaso Gidada , the president, chose silence on the matter. We will preserve our language and culture with our blood and not through petition and begging”. The day of protest arrived; every body went out for protest singing:” the people of Wolyita this is your day of death, cry, cry”. The protestors marched to a building where text books prepared with the new Wogagoda language were stored . They smashed the door and burnt all the text books that costed a cool 40 million birr to prepare. The fascist Woyane forces marched with their shoot to kill style and murdered scores of people there by repeating the Soweto incident. In fact the blood of the murdered people of Wolyita halted the advance of the devil language called Wogagoda. Crazy as the idea itself appears Hailemariam was stunned by the peoples’ boldness and soon became a high blood pressure patient. From then on Hailemariam realized the Wolyita people are untouchable. In fact Wolyita has been allowed to establish its own independent zone within the southern Bantustan region.
    Hailemariam then switched to the Sidama people for his next diabolical and adventurous move. Now intimidated by the reaction of the Wolaiyta people he started trying to woo them by being an over night convert of the greater Wolyita ideology. He dug around the ground of Abate Kisho and, coincident with the TPLF split, Abate was sent together with his master Bitew Belay to a prison. In the old times in the south when a slave master dies, his slaves were also buried together to give service to their master while dead. Likewise when Bitew Belay was imprisoned, Abate Kisho was also sent there to give service to Bitew while in prison so that also he will not feel lonely. Hailemariam took command of the south, a reward for his submissiveness and for being the extended arm of Meles Zenawi for his evil Bantustan design on the south. Now professing the greater Wolyita ideology, Hailemariam started installing people from Wolyita to various posts in the south and came to confrontation with the Sidama people. The Sidamas were no less coward than Wolayitas. They resisted Hailemariam’s adventure and evil design of “reducing Sidmas to fit his size” Hailemariam instructed Sidamas to pack up and take their capital elsewhere and evacuate Hawassa immediately. The sidama’s resisted and similarly peacefully protested. Once again the woyane fascist forces marched in that same style of shoot to kill and murdered scores of people. The backlash resulted in the assassination of Fotola Otole who was a Sidama and Education Bureau head who happen to have sided with Hailemariam and as a result paid with his life. Hailemariam after witnessing Otola’s death panicked and wrote a letter of resignation to Meles in the middle of the backlash. Meles got incensed and telephoned Hailemariam and had some harsh words for him. Meles said to Haiemariam: “ you are a coward that succumbs to Sidama pressure”. After that Hailemariam was momentarily pushed out of office and was given a good dose of intimidation by Woyane to refrain from trouble making. Hailemariam once again got stunned and realized that Sidamas are untouchable. He developed further illness and lost the appetite to stay in the south and began nagging Meles Zenawi to be transferred to Addis Ababa. Meanwhile the Sothern region politics turned pathological under the command of the crazy Hailemariam. Sidama and Wolyita people began clashing with each other over land, water and political post. Woliyita and Ocholo people clashed in a reciprocal ethnic cleansing campaign resulting in the death of several people. The south indeed turned chaotic. Same ethnic clashes also occurred elsewhere including Mezenger in Kaffa region. After the bloody election of 2005 the Sidama EPRDF politicians decided that they want to establish their own region and will secede from the south. Meles got worried and he travelled to Hawassa and talked with the people. They told him if Sidama has to remain with the south, this devil called Hailemariam should be removed and the unfortunate Abate Kisho be released from prison. Meles succumbed to their demand and Hailemariam was transferred to Addis and was allowed to sit in an empty office. When the transfer was announced, the whole of Hawassa city was in jubilant mode. Cars were sirening and blinking lights in delight.

  29. Merkato!
    | #29

    Shame on the person who named by his boss as DPM & PM of Ethiopia.

  30. aha!
    | #30

    To add to my previous coment, invetment in lands taken away from farmers serves as an extension to economic stranglehold of TPLF and TPLF affiliated enterprises, only this time is by foreign investors. The fund raised from the lease serves as a source for foreign currency, and the commodity produced by investors is shiped back home to augument food supply, but not in Ethiopia. The project may provide some labor force at lower level on a seasonal basis, but it should not be considered as transformation in sense of mechanized farming in in the USA, where few could produce for nation and more. Ethiopia is not an industrialized nation to absorb the labor force displaced from their land. All that is needed is to empower them with private ownership of land and provide them assistance to develop their land in terms of finance and extension service, not foreign investors to provide them with jobs.

    The author has the nail on the head when in his last paragraph has the labeled the current regime as “ethno-dictatorial ploicy”, ie a government with ethno-cratic policies, that of ethnic and secessionist policies and policies imbede in the constitution. to me that is where the central focus that distinguishes Ethiopian politics from other countries. Apart from that there is the densive response about the DPM’s assertion about Diaspora being ignorant about the situation in Ethiopia. To me that is partly lack of information, and partly due to the way they align themselves in terms of the prevalent political models: as those who are implicated with the current regime and those that are supporters of the current regime tend to side with the lesser with two evils, those that put their self interest ahead of the national interest, those that use the notion “Egzer yametawin, igzer iskimelsew dires min madreg yichalal” and those that are oblivous, indifferent, and uninformed of both sides of the issues between the positive forces of integration and the negative forces of disintegration.

  31. gab
    | #31

    it looks like mr d.p has not right to experess in any media as some of people saying ,whether right or wrong he is entitled to say.I don’t think ethiopian has personal plroblem but poltical problem. we need to focus to bring all oposition to work as the team . this is only way to replace democratic force other wise we building the same problem, abugida looks like one side and preaching against other parties the good example is the comment he put on hailu shawel read it ,needs to see about the country future rather than focusing one party. the same problem we have with supporters of eprdf,olf .oglf, and now I THINK ABUGIDAS ANDDNET PARTY HEADING TOWARDS THAT

  32. Aba Biya Abba Gobbu
    | #32

    Hellow Friends,

    I wish you all a happy, healthy New Year.

    We should not forget that the banda tplf leader had said when entered and occupied Ethiopia, that he needs only those who obey him and loyal to him, i.e. he did not care abou experience or education.
    He does not care about Ethiopia as a nation. Adolf Hitler did not care about Germany. He said after me, Germany can go to hell.

    Ethiopians both att home and abroad should know the background of zenawi and his attitidues towards Ethiopia.

  33. Wegonoche
    | #33

    I want to comment on the comments.

    Couple of you commented on his ability to communicate in English and some of you on his ethnic backgrounds as if you are not black African.

    Please think twice on negative impacts of commenting based on ethnic backgrounds of individuals and ability to speak in English.

    Please also focus on the issue of ‘selling land to investors’, ‘Land Grab’ or whatever.

    Please also read article in Awramba re teaching English at the expense of Amharic.

    I expected that you understand long term impacts of what you say.

  34. Wegonoche
    | #34

    Why are you giving space to such racist remarks by Abera:

    ”…It is said that Hailemariam belongs to the lowest of the 8 ethnic cast groups in Wolayita named IZZA (spell Z as zigurgur). He has therefore deep seated inferiority complex against his own people.

    His attitude born out of inferiority complex made matters even worse where people started hating him more in his own region..”

    How can you equate above comments with Ethiopian-ism?

    ”…Hailemariam is an opportunist who was willing to sell his soul, religion, his people and every thing for what ever illusive gain he might think he will get. He has changed his religion from catholic to Hawaria religion for the sake of marrying his wife who initially shunned him a lot..”

    is intermarriage between religious groups something to be celebrated or should be condemned?

  35. Wegonoche
    | #35

    Abugida Ethiopian American Television Network
    P.O.Box 390300
    Cambridge, MA 02139
    PHONE: (617) 741 4060
    FAX: (617) 741 4060

    Dear Abugida
    I am a frequent visitor to your web site as I am always looking for news about Ethiopia. I was very disappointed and questioning as to why your web site was not stoping or challenging the racist statements which were made as comments in reference to Deptuty P. Interview.
    Comments which disturbed me:
    .”… It is said that Hailemariam belongs to the lowest of the 8 ethnic cast groups in Wolayita named IZZA (spell Z as zigurgur). He has therefore deep seated inferiority complex against his own people.
    His attitude born out of inferiority complex made matters even worse where people started hating him more in his own region….”
    It is your website and you allowed these comments to be read as facts or reliable information without being challenged.
    I am asking to take responsibility for giving forum for such racists remarks, which are against mission and goals of the website in enhancing Ethiopian identity, analysing the issues of selling land to foreing investors or providing reliable information,
    I do not think it contributes to the peaceful struggle which mentioned as one of your goals.
    I am asking again can you make clear to your readers your position on the racist comments by Abera?

    Happy new year!!!
    Clean yourself from racist remarks or attitudes !!!

  36. Fikre
    | #36

    Wegoneche: Abera is right on the money. It is not abera who is racist, it is hailemariam himself who tried to play racism upside down when given power and stick by dirty woyane. Because someone talked about the existence of a cultural ill does not make him a racist. You can refer to the work of Alula Pankrust and many other sociologists if you want information about this despicable cast system in wolayita, sidama and other cultures. Hailemariam played this cast racism upside down in stead of fighting this age old cultural ill and was in confrontation with the wolayita people. He was installing people of his cast alone to position. Is this the racism of Abera or hailemariam? This cast system is an age lone reminiscence of the past culture also prevalent in sidama and other ethnic groups. It is a decadent old culture. But who gave it a new lease now. It is non-other than the infamous woyane. Woyane bent on the system of divide and rule is happy to pit one group over another based on whatever sort of tribalism separates them. You know in the south every year in many cultures this old caste system has been resurrected by woyane and is celebrated every year. I give you an example in one yearly celebration in the south , a master and slave in a decdent cast system are traditionally forbidden to be buried in one church. This and many attributes of such cultures have been resurrected and are being annually celebrated with sponsorships from the government and where many tourists are envited to attend. The local politician derive a lot of money through per-diem and extra work hour of collaboration. It is plain despicable. Go and see the south every region for yourself if you are not aware how the different tribalists pit against each other, there is an endless tug of war and fight for money and power between the different groups. Where did the ethnic cleansing campaign come from, where did the inter-tribal conflict come from? It is woyane the master in charge. Now go and see for yourself in hawassa how a traffic police from wolayita is treated by sidama drivers. It is normal to to refer to him as “ante Wolayita traffic you have no right to take a sidama’s license”. I used ‘wolayita’ in place of what they actually say (an ethnic slur) for the sake of decency. How can a decent wolayita traffic police operate and implement a law in this situtation. Thanks to bloody woyane. These racists are not amharas, these are southerners. This is a typical south on south racism now actively unleashed by woyane and executed by the trojan horse hailemariam. . See for your self how wolayita and sidama now treat each other. When shiferaw shigute was appointed, the first step he took was get rid of the wolayitas officials , that hailemariam installed in a style of political ethnic cleansing. What do you call this. TPLF tribalism or what. It is bloody woyane ethnic apratheid politics. Hailemariam was the commander in charge who brought all this tribalism with the blessing of woyane. And Abera is right on religion, a person who changes his religion just to be a bed fellow to some body, just to sleep with some meat is a kind of soul sellout not trust worthy, can as well sell his country to the next bidder.

  37. Melaku
    | #37

    Mr. Editor,

    Please limit the size of comments to a meaningful size. Some of the comments are larger than the article they are commenting on

  38. Wegonoche
    | #38

    Fiyel Izih Kizmim wedia honena
    Shegaw ye ager lij Mugitun tito sidib geba!!!

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