OPEN LETTER TO THE ETHIOPIAN PRIME MINISTER By Imru Zelleke

July 17th, 2013 Print Print Email Email

A year has almost passed since you took the helm of government. I believe that you are an intelligent man, because you would not have reached the position you have now by being the contrary, in a rather challenging milieu. Therefore, I hope that you will consider the few suggestions I make hereunder with an open mind and genuine concern.

H.E. Ato Haile Mariam Dessalegn

Prime Minister of Ethiopia
Addis Ababa

July 11, 2013

Your Excellency,

A year has almost passed since you took the helm of government. I believe that you are an intelligent man, because you would not have reached the position you have now by being the contrary, in a rather challenging milieu. Therefore, I hope that you will consider the few suggestions I make hereunder with an open mind and genuine concern.

As you may have observed yourself the age of “ruling by the barrel of a gun” and “manipulated” elections is in its twilight. No matter how many guns are pointed, no matter how many are killed, no matter how many are imprisoned and their freedom denied, people have arisen. There is a new wind of freedom and a cry for justice that is storming around the world. Admittedly some economic and social progress has been made during the regime that you are leading; education, health, infrastructures, industrial and agricultural production has increased, transportation and other sector have been expanded thanks to an enormous amount of foreign aid and investments.

However, all this development has benefited only a small segment of the country and the population. It has created an unacceptable disparity of income, leaving the large majority of the population to exist below one dollar a day. A predatory cancerous corruption permeates at all levels of public and private life. Extensive unemployment in urban areas particularly amongst the young, abject povertry, prostitution and mischief prevail social conduct and behavior. Insidious religious and ethnic discords impeach peaceful existence amongst people. Breakup of the judicial system and bad inefficient governance reduce people to despair and deep frustration, causing a bitter resentment against the regime. I am not talking here about statistically produced progress and welfare, but of real life conditions that you know very well.

Regarding foreign support and aid the US, European governments have been the main political support of the regime for reasons they deem to be of their national interests; with little consideration for the people of Ethiopia, whom they consider as subject of charity deserving no better. A false premise, if we consider the mass popular protests that are occurring in the Middle East, Latin America, Asia and other continents. It seems also that these benefactor have started realizing the brittleness of the policies of expediency they have pursued so far for Ethiopia and Africa. At last changing their policies towards genuine democracy in favor of the people, instead of corrupt authoritarian regimes seems also to take place. The geopolitical strategic position of Ethiopia and the potential dynamism of its ninety million people is certainly not lost on foreign powers, who foresee eventual political changes in the country.

Your Excellency,

When you assumed your functions as Prime Minister you stated that it was going be a collegial governance, even tough by virtue of your position you would still have the responsibilities that your title gives you. Observing the many personality and function changes that have occurred since your Premiership, I cannot but conclude that you hold a key and deciding function in the direction of the state; anyway, history will consider you as the Prime Minister with all its prerogatives; and also accountable for whatever develops during your tenure. Therefore, it is up you and your team to face realistically the imminent revolt that will be occurring in Ethiopia. This is a matter of bringing normality and peace to the country, but also of securing your own survival in an untenable situation.

I suggest:

a.Free all political prisoners, journalists, activists for Human Rights and democratic rule.

b.Re-establish freedom of expression and assembly

c.Establish a Conciliation Committee and negotiate with all political parties for a fair and open election with full participation in 2015 election. This will give your party two years to clean up the mess they have created.

d.Give all members in the Diaspora the right to Dual citizenship. The Diaspora is over three million people and increasing in numbers. The Diaspora is a large Human and Economic resource that cannot be ignored due its close and active ties with the community at home and it’s political activity around the world.

e.You guarantee the Military their statutes and privileges as long as they remain neutral from politics and are concerned only with National Defense.

f.Declare private ownership of land to the present tiller and compensations for displaced people for land used development projects.

g.Revise election laws and establish an independent Election Commission composed of personalities free of any political membership and commitment.

There are many more reforms to be made, but the above could be the first steps to ensure stability and a healthy environment for the future democratic development of the country.

I am not sure that these measures will be agreeable to some of the deeply entrenched and involved members of the present governance who must realize that the game is up, and that sooner later they must relinquish power peacefully or by other means. I am sure that the people of Tigray are grateful for the benefits that the TPLF has gained for them, but are also anxious not to lose them by confronting as enemies the vast majority of the Ethiopia people. If you succeed to introduce such reforms you can be sure to gain the full support of the nation and its gratitude. Rochefoucauld a French philosopher said “to govern is to foresee”, a good dictum to learn from

With best regards.

Imru Zelleke

  1. Hell is other people
    | #1

    You cannot squeeze blood out of a turnip or kale-gomen. The fake prime minister has NO POWER. The only reason why TPLF trusted HMD and how HMD become close confidant of the late dictator and the top leaders of TPLF is — HIS COMMON DEEP ROOTED HATE OF AMHARAS. HMD is fake as a three dollar bill.

    “People who are powerless make an open theater of violence”.
    Don DeLillo

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