What will be my Dividend? By Tarekegn Muchie
I wonder how the so called Millennium Dam, a seemingly farcical play composed by Ato Meles Zenawi who is a well known playwright of various politically motivated deceptive plays ever since he appeared in the political scene of Ethiopia, could be fanned to the extent of this much; the extent which almost all money and attention is desired by the government to be diverted towards the construction of it. I sometimes worry as how we Ethiopians, at least those who are making fanfare on this issue day in and day out, are easily trapped in such futile and good for nothing schemes whose sole purpose is to fool the international community and some easily duped citizens so that what the ruling system is doing to kill democracy before it is properly born in the country remains unheeded especially by its patrons. Here I would like to stress the fact that not only in principle but also in reality, no citizen is and should be either against the development of their country. As a citizen, I am extremely happy when I see my country prospering. But those of us who know the current Ethiopian regime, it is not a matter of being skeptic if one suspects the realization of some dreamy plans of EPRDF, for we have been witnessing such unsuccessful action plans. For example, once upon a time Ato Meles Zenawi said that Ethiopians would eat thrice a day after ten years of his tenure, but now after 20 years, an alarmingly great number of the population is obligated to search leftover food in the garbage of the rich people, most of whom become millionaires just overnight due to their affiliation to the ruling junta and their selfless run for wealth accumulation based on “the end justifies the means” motto of hodamoch, ( people with tummies made of rubber fibers of optimal elasticity).
Well, it is quite obvious that many of dictatorial regimes try to find any means to stay in power. They devise various way outs especially when they feel they are in danger zone. But what is pity around this corner is that they don’t hesitate to use even the harshest alternative if they feel threatened. Lying is the most harmless one in this regard; they could even kill tens of thousands of their own people so long as they suspect that the power they seized by force and treachery is slipping out of their hand. We can mentions dozens of examples. Nevertheless, the case of the ‘ex-president’ of Libya, Muammar Ghadafi, can serve as fresh instance to understand what they do in the time of their misfortune. They leave no stone unturned to save their power; though once it is decided by Mr. History it is unlikely that they maintain their throne as longer as they wish. Ghadafi’s tree was uprooted six months after it was shaken by the gallant oppressed children of Libya. God bless them and their country.
The intrigue of Meles Zenawi is beyond our imagination. Almost everyone who knows him prettily understands that he is talented to cheat, if at all cheating could be reckoned as talent. He is highly ‘expert’ in attention diverting, nationally and globally; He is born for it. We can simply say that he is extremely acrobatic in his political personality. If people tell him he has to sell, say, 10 or 20 million people to be guillotined for the purpose of pleasing the ego of certain supernatural being following certain SRA procedures, believe me, he would not hesitate to do so, sorry for my cruelty of using such hyperbole against him to get my words unto your mind vividly, though what I say is an absolute fact. We Ethiopians at home are living examples to witness this reality. We remember how his rebel group orchestrated so many a Howzen incidents of massacre just to incriminate and ostracize the foolish Dergue regime by the people. He is super technocrat in political game, whatever the expense could be as long as he is benefited. There is no negotiation with Meles when it comes to his power. No, not at all!
As an extension to the deceptions he fabricates whenever he feels he needs political fulcrum to sluff off certain ominous cloud of peril, these days he has been busy of producing some attention gripping psalms in the name of transformation first, and now after nearly a year this so called Millennium Dam. Most of us beautifully know that whatever means he uses in an attempt to dupe the populace is very much childish and always substandard. But he inexhaustibly tries to do so, for there are some who intentionally or out of innocence do become preys of his bamboozling, and yet, surprisingly good luck seems to be with him as well.
As the closure of my letter approaches, I would like to say few words with regard to the would be advantages or benefits I and my descendants will be earning when the construction of the oft-reiterated dam is over and starts functioning as scheduled after 48 months. Let us bear in mind that when the dam begins giving its full service, it will provide us with 5250 Gigawatt. Excuse me for my being illiterate with respect to mathematics in general and in electricity in particular. I asked many people as what would be my dividend of this electric power when the dam begins working. But no body could give me sufficient answer. I suppose, I shall keep on asking until I get an answer. Logically, if something is propagated to the extent of blowing our eardrums every now and then, and as long as the construction is demanding the flesh and soul of all able citizens to contribute 80 billion Birr, including my meager salary of one month, I hope the outcome should be very much paying and we should be hoping that we will have to be like at least the Sudanese or at most the Kuwaitis or somehow in between some five or ten years after the dam is built and its buttons are switched on for service, the service might be sold to outside or consumed inside, or both.
I am impatiently waiting for additional explanation(s) anyhow as to what my individual benefit will have been in the near future. Should I expect my life to improve by then or will go like that of now? What will be the dividend to each of us? How are we all the shareholders going to be benefited? If it is in terms of money, how much will we earn? How often? I need a clear answer, please. The preaching, the discussions, the propaganda, etc have made me and so many others to anticipate lots of things. Even there are people who consider diamonds and gold to rain from the skies. And to your surprise, many poor people like me are eagerly waiting that moment to burn their overused old clothes, sewn here and there.
As to me, I can imagine that my share in kind would be the following.
5250GW¬¬¬¬¬ = 0.0000525GW
100,000,000 people –( minimum estimation of the Ethiopian population by then.)
1GW is, I think, 1000MW
1MW is, I think, 1000KW
1KW is, I think, 1000W
0.0000525GW divided by 1000MW= 0.0525MW
0.0525MW divided by 1000KW = 0.0000525KW
0.0000525 divided by 1000W = 0.0525W
If my calculations do not make me wrong, my share from this great dam will be a half of one watt, not even one watt. This is meant nearly a light of a candle, just one half of the size of a standard candle. Not even the power of one full candle will my dividend be!!
Therefore, please help me to know the reality soon before I die of over-ambitiousness.