Tedros Adhanom’s $20 million lie suffers fatal blow By Abebe Gellaw

March 9th, 2015 Print Print Email Email

The scandal escalates as the minister blames it all on the teenager

Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom’s scandalous bedtime fairy tale that he told to the people of Ethiopia on TV, radio and social media about an award-winning 14-year old schoolgirl that came all the way from Australia with 20 million dollars in her pocket to partner with the regime has suffered a final blow.

Julie Mason, the principal of the Melbourne-based Baden Powell College, denied any involvement in the bizarre affair. It also emerged that the teenager, Beritu Jaleta Ahmed, was actually coached to lie on camera by the Minister, his PR team and advisers hours before her televised joint press conference with him, reliable ministry insiders told Addis Voice.

The scandal-hit minister had declared on Facebook, radio and TV that Beritu won an “international prize” worth 20 million Australian dollars in school competitions for 8th grade students only to return home to partner with the regime to build a school in Gara Muleta, Eastern Ethiopia, a region well-known for its resistance against the oppressive rule of the TPLF. After the story was exposed as a blatant lie, the minister posted a Facebook message last Saturday that practically blamed the whole saga on the teenager despite the fact that there is ample evidence to show that she and her father were transported from Australia to Ethiopia at the expense of taxpayers to do the puzzling propaganda. The minister, his PR team led by Tewolde Mulugeta, the Ethiopian embassy in Australia as well as OPDO officials including the vice president of Oromia, Abdulaziz Mohammed, were involved in the ill-fated scheme, it emerged.

School principal Ms. Mason told this reporter that she was as confused and mystified about the claims as everyone else. “We are quite mystified about it. So I have no more information. I have read what has been said in the media. I am just like everyone else. I am just grappling with it, just wondering,” she said.

The principal confirmed that there was neither a competition of that nature nor such a prize to anyone. “I understand that is what she [the girl] said. But it has nothing to do with the school. They are on private family business. They are on family holiday in my understanding,” the principal said.

“She [Beritu] said the Australian Government and Rotary gave her money. So I suggest you contact the Australian Government and Rotary Australia,” she added.

Nonetheless, the Government of Australia and the Rotary Foundation have already denied knowing her or giving her any amount of money. Manager of Rotary International in Australia, Bruce Allen, pointed out that 1300 Rotary Clubs raised only $A 5.6 million dollars for the Rotary Foundation and its humanitarian projects last year let alone giving “an outrageous amount of money” to a 14-year old school girl. “It is totally out of question. There was no application or grant to this person,” he said.There is no way any Rotary Club in Australia could afford to pay that amount of money, according to the manager.

The Government of Australia dismissed the claims on its part saying it does not even directly give funding for education to the Ethiopian government. “The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has not given 10 million Australian dollars to fund a school in Gara Muleta, Ethiopia. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade supports education in Ethiopia by providing core funding to the Global Partnership for Education. Ethiopia is a recipient of Global Partnership for Education funding,” said Jenna Hand, a media liaison officer at the department in a written statement sent to Addis Voice. The Embassy of Australia in Ethiopia also reiterated the same position and distanced Australia from the school project in Gara Muleta.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Minister is taking hits on social media after he unabashedly blamed the teenager for the scandal and failed to take full responsibility for his questionable, wreckless and irresponsible behavior. “As you know, Beritu is a 14-year old teen. I think you would agree with me that kids have no malice. So I prefer believing what kids tell me. If trusting kids is a mistake, I prefer to err,” he wrote on Facebook and expressed hope that her dreams will come true despite the fact that there was already an agreement between TPLF and OPDO to build a school in the area. Some speculate that Bertu was brought in as a bait to divert the attention of Oromo youths and fleece the Ethiopian Diaspora.

Numerous Facebookers criticized the Foreign Minister for failing to take full responsibility for dragging the teenager into disrepute for the sake of cheap and twisted propaganda. Some have said that his poor judgment, recklessness and lack of regret makes him unfit for his position as a foreign minister.”

“I am 14 years old and I have been awarded $40 million. I want to donate it. I hope you believe me Dr. Can we have a picture with you and post it on FB?” a commenter mocked the minister. Many commenters vented their anger on the foreign minister and the TPLF-led regime, which they accused of being addicted to lies including jailing and torturing innocent citizens on trumped-up charges of terrorism. Many has pointed out that the teenager is a victim of the TPLF-led regime. Corruption the morals of a child is considered a criminal offense in Australia

Baden Powell College, which was said to have organized the A$20 million 8th grade student competition, is a government school with A$ 12 million annual budget. It has around 1800 students, 180 staff and 50 volunteers, it was learned.

  1. Abegaz
    | #1

    God bless you, Abebe.

    Looking back to government statistics of growth, this lie tells it all how numbers are cooked up. They try to tell us how the country progressed by showing buildings. We know these buildings are being built by printing money and borrowing and not by creating wealth by true growth. The end result of printing money is inflation which in turn led our people to eat once a day instead of three times a day. Is that progress?? The Israelis built the pyramids, the wonders of the world. Sure it is good for Egyptians but it was slavery for Israelis.

  2. Senait
    | #2

    “If believing them is a mistake,I still want to be wrong”,Well mannered Foreign minister

  3. visumambaye
    | #3

    All men in the mafia TPLF organization are predators. Tedros Adhanom has risen explosively to the ranks of child cheaters.

  4. Bekele Gora
    | #4

    For Jaleta Ahmed everything is for sale in his household to the highest bidder. He is not even ashamed of pimping his 14-year old Australian born daughter to TPLF, by all accounts one of the most hated thugs throughout Ethiopia. One can not imagine Azib Mesfin doing this kind of things to parade the daughter of the late Meles Zenawi for Issays Afewrki, the way Imam Jaleta Ahmed did to his daughter. He is a criminal that the Australian Gove. should take the physical custody of Beritu and stripped his citizenship once and for all.

  5. dawaguleya
    | #5

    Parents both back home and abroad must keep an eye on the predator and keep Tedros Adhanom off schoolgirls. It is not over yet! What we want is Tedros Adhanom shall stand trial where the law is respected and applicable; for now it is impossible and unthinkable the disgraced, child cheater, Tedros Adhanom shall be taken to police station, and then to people’s court in Ethiopia until the criminal regime is demolished, this will happen, if and only if criminals in the genocidal fascist and terrorist TPLF IS COMPLETELY GOT RIDDEN OF.

    Right from the beginning, Ethiopians never have trusted Tedros Adhanom with public money, with their country, and children. Somehow Tedros Adhanom managed to lure the minor who is still in school into the grandest scandal involving lying and fabrication of nothing but a scum. For sure, the government of Australia, Child protection agencies, and Victoria police will make a joint move and collaboration leading to the arrest of the perpetrator Tedros Adhanom.

  6. Dawi
    | #6

    Abebe said:

    [[..the Foreign Minister is taking hits on social media.....failed to take full responsibility for his questionable, wreckless and irresponsible behavior..]]

    Dr. Tedros & his staff are most likely duped with this child. It is embarrassing to be in such a position for any one.

    At this point he choosing a low profile response to a minor that duped him helps preserve the dignity of the child as he tried to portray to us and gives her the space to correct her own behavior. Chances are the whole thing is her own making.

    All governments lie but it is silly to believe the Dr. will do such idiotic thing on purpose.

    I say he deserves credit and respect for what he is trying to do. Low profile non verbal responses is a technic used by those who are in teaching profession in general. When the child utilizes such gesture more intrusive responses will not be necessary. I wish her the best.

  7. joffuqa
    | #7

    The main perpetrator in scam episode is Tedros Adhanom. Endless shame on him!!!

    For one thing, this man is untrustworthy mainly because he had been the mere product of years of lies and deceives that he had been subjected to such distractive and disruptive environment when he lies, regardless of the person he lies to, he thinks and believes it is normal. This is why after being scrutinized thoroughly and was challenged up-front, he ducked out and went into hiding momentarily, and then he reappeared on media with a new theory which he did not proved himself wrong.

    In addition to lies Tedros Adhanom spread across social media, he had set up news deliberately planned to mislead the public and the global community; although, he never thought investigative team had been conducting a deep, wide,into the scam Tedros Adhanom carrying out, the investigation had gathered and accumulated evidence after another evidence and in the end, Tedros Adhanom realized that he could no longer play hide and seek, and forced to walk a walk on to the road to reality to face the global community and to feel the heat from above and below he stood on. By now, he must have been clear about deceiving and manipulating a childe for the purpose of dissipating faulty propaganda mired with lies and deceives into the minds of other innocent schoolgirls and schoolboys is another crucial matter where Tedros Adhanom subject to Interpol investigation.

  8. kaldii
    | #8

    What is most embarrassing for the disgraced Tedros Adhanom is, he is the father of a much younger girl (eight years-old) than the schoolgirl. What does this loser feel, if someone of his age fools his daughter into something bad and damaging the future of his child? in seeing the situation in juxtaposition, what would he himself feel, if he was somebody else and do such unnatural thing to his own little girl. Would this heartless man, Tedros Adhanom walk free from the justice that is awaiting him, or would he serve times in the prison for his cruelty against this schoolgirl.

    No doubts in the mind of parents that Tedros Adhanom will appear before the court, of course in Australia. As we might have anticipated right from the beginning, we knew that Tedros Adhanom would trap the minor into a lengthy unhealthy situation and would use her for sinister and immoral activity that might be negatively affecting millions of boys and girls of all age both in Ethiopia, Australia, and the rest of the world.

    Our lengthy prayers is with the little girl, our trust in the Australian Government justice system is solid and positive that no matter how long the case might take and how much money it would cost the public, how deep and wide patience the public bear in their mind and heart, how many ups and downs the justice might endure, in the end, the little girl and the justice shall prevail; so shall parents come out victorious in the rest of the world.

  9. goiue
    | #9

    It has been quite a while since Tedros Adhanom fell from grace and spiralled himself into deep and wide hideout, spinning round, round. When this rascal come to rest, Will this vagabond willingly show up at the foot of a police station or will he remain at large?

    Justice is wise and patient and always is on the lookout for the outlaws. Just like his partners in crime have been sought for years and years for assortments of crimes, Tedros Adhanom so has wanted for similar crimes.

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