Hailu Shawel offers no olive branch – By Selamwit Fikre, Washington DC

October 15th, 2007 Print Print Email Email

The high hopes of reconciliation between Engineer Hailu Shawel and his Kinijit comrade-in-arms were shattered once more at a meeting held Sunday at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington DC. (more…)

The high hopes of reconciliation between Engineer Hailu Shawel and his Kinijit comrade-in-arms were shattered once more at a meeting held Sunday at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington DC. To the dismay of Kinijit supporters and members around the world who have been praying for a peaceful resolution of the petty differences in the party, Ing. Hailu had offered no olive branch to the fifteen top officials of the CUD who have been branded and condemned as “renegades” and “dissenters” throughout the meeting.

Regrettably the belligerent leader of Kinijit conveyed contradictory messages at the meeting, which was being transmitted live via EPRP’s Assimba Paltalk room. On the one hand, he had made all those who seek the reconciliation of the leaders happy by declaring that Kinijit would never be divided. On the other hand, he broke his own promise with scathing attacks against those who exercised their liberty of voting against his orders. He suggested that the “renegades” would be replaced by others willing to do the job under his leadership. According to him the “departure” of the majority that he called “renegades”, will not seriously harm Kinijit.

Like a Kangaroo court, disgruntled Kinijit members Weizero Negist G. Hiwot and Bedru Adem, who had declared in court that he was no more a member of Kinijit, also took turns to blast their comrade-in-arms in their absence in a hotel meeting hall filled with well known EPRP operatives, supporters and admirers of the engineer. Both Weizero Negist and Bedru Adem flew from Addis Ababa for the meeting. On the occasion, a lot of money was collected and ardent supporters of Engineer Hailu Shawel even pledged to give two cars to Weizero Nigist.

The most serious sin of the “renegades”, according to the accusers, was to leave their leader back home to tour Europe and America. “How dare they!” they said. The chairman accused them of lacking what he called “human sensitivity,” as if he understood the magnitude of frustration and despair he brought upon millions of his supporters in and outside Ethiopia.

Engineer Hailu has also defended his long time friend Shaleka Yoseph Yazew publicly as incorruptible without conducting a proper investigation and audit. Engineer Hailu said that the allegations against Shaleka Yoseph were groundless because he knew him very well in spite of a well documented submission by the former auditor of Kinijit Ato Tesfai Asmamaw, who alleged that the Shaleqa and Engineer Moges Brook were involved in siphoning off public funds to their own pockets.

The meeting was facilitated by former ETA President Taye Woldesemayat who left the teachers union for Kinijit after a serious dispute with his colleagues in Addis over serious allegations.

One would be forgiven to conclude that the day marked a black Sunday in the struggle for democracy in Ethiopia. The unanswered question remains to be how such a dictatorial move by one man, who cannot reconcile with his comrade-in-arms would bring about freedom, justice and democracy in Ethiopia. The great Kinijit movement, which had once threatened to obliterate the tyranny of Meles Zenawi, seems to have been seriously ambushed and derailed by its own leader who has failed to lead the party properly at this critical time in Ethiopian history.

I respect the feelings of those who were in jubilant mood due to the leader’s empty bravados. But when I left the Renaissance Hotel, I felt totally betrayed by a leader that I had once adored and hoped that he would give us hope. “As soon as I get home,” I said to myself in anger, “I would pull down dictator Hailu Shawel’s huge picture that had been a permanent fixture in my little bedroom since November 2005.” Filled with anger, I got home and went straight to my bedroom and pulled down the picture as I promised. “How many times can Ethiopia be betrayed?” My hands shaking with frustration and despair, I wrote across the face of the picture in red marker and pushed it in the bin with utmost sadness. Don’t blame me!

“If our leaders fail to unite themselves and the whole nation, I will never turn my face back to Ethiopian politics,” I told myself. And yet, I switched off the light and knelt down by my bed to pray for our leaders to see the great pains of millions of Ethiopians who have suffered with them while they were in jails. With some sense of regret, I took out the leader’s picture from the bin. I carefully unfolded it and appealed to it, as if it was listening: “Please come back to your senses and unify your people.” After all, leaders must know how to make peace rather than bothering about their own glory. We need leaders who can mobilize and unify us for the last showdown with tyranny in Ethiopia. Emotion overwhelmed me…. I wiped off my tears as there was no one else around to comfort me. I hoped against hope….

Editor’s note: Addis Voice extends its thanks to the young journalism student Selamawit Fikre for the story. Engineer Hailu Shawel indeed shoulders the greater responsibility as a leader of Kinijit. As a leader, he should unify the party in a spirit of humility, reconciliation and the democratic principles that Kinijit has been preaching to win public trust. The majority of Ethiopians want one Kinijit. They want to see their leaders speak in one voice. It is the unity of our people and its leaders that can defeat dictatorship. Empty bravado of any sort by any leader can liberate no one and facilitate disastrous downfall.

  1. Engeda
    | #1

    He suggested that the “renegades” would be replaced by others willing to do the job under his leadership.

    Isnt Kinjiit all about solving their problems by comunicating peacfully as an educated person if not what makes you different from our former and present leaders? All you people care about is power not about your country nor the citizens of Ethiopia. damn it makes me cry!!!!!!!!!!!! the Beutiful Ethiopia Beautifull people, beutiful weather everything about ethiopia is so Beutifull but can somebody help Ethiopia!!!!!!!! it’s very shamfull that You people are fighting before you even …….

  2. totaw100_2
    | #2

    Hello everyone …its nice to know his stand. Now he is against Ethiopian struggle. We all Ethiopians we should stand together and continue our strugle to bring democracy and freedom to our country. So I know its sad day to listen from our leader instead of unifing the struggle he is trying to devide us. But we should know one thing..WE NEVER BACK AGAIN…now he acts like other previous leaders like Meles and Mengestu…enough is enough its time to say NO MORE HAILU SHAWEL!!!! and stand together to fight for our freedom.
    God Bless Ethiopia!!!

  3. Tigist
    | #3

    Ato Hailu Shawel was dead wrong on the meeting the other speakers complained about tiny personal things that are amount to nothing compare to the huge problem we face in our country. I just hope that Ato Hailu Shawel and his friends would figure out soon that most of the Kinijit supporters don’t like the path that they are following. If they just keep pushing the same path, well I just hope that the democratic system would push them to edge. After all Kinijit is only powerful because it has the majority of Ethiopians support. With out public support Kinijit is nothing. One more thing all the Kinijit leaders should find a way of finding out what their supporters are thinking. It is very important in a democratic system to know what your supporters want. Otherwise, there is now way going forward.

  4. addis
    | #4

    I don’t get it why some people are worshiping an individual to the point of hanging his picture in a bedroom? Instead of worshiping a mortal human, worship the principle Kinijit stands for. What are you going to say if someone else tomorrow disappoint you again?

    Hailu Shawel or should I say emperror Hailu never belived in Kinijit’s principle. His only agenda is how to acende to power by using the poor childern of Ethiopia. How could a leader cry over a month for trivial matter such as this? And do we really want this person to lead Ethiopia? HELL NO!!

    Kinijit needs to purge people like HS and Bedru Adem. They are against everything Kinijit stands for.

    So Ye Hagere lijoch, please don’t worship individuals because if you do, you are in for disappointment one after another.

    The struggle for Democracy and rule of law will not be stopped because some individuals happened to be dictators. Kinijit is above Hailu Shawel, above Berhanu Nega, above Birtukan Mideksa etc.

    We only respect the Kinijit leaders as long as they are respecting the core foundation of Kinijit. Otherwise, what is the difference between them and Meles?

  5. belayneh tegegne
    | #5

    liston you bunch of ignorants you saying lock him out of the ethiopian strugle. i think you should examin your unstable head. In case you forgot hailu is the father of the strugle.not your kind of strugle i am talking about the all ethiopian strugle ok .let me remind you where were they sixteen years ago .mr berhanu tamrats layne best friend he got a piece of land from woyanei he was buse bulding his house and his bussines.miss brtukan the so called woyanie juge she probably sent a lot of poor ethiopians to die. tell me where hailu was in the battle field your heros wasnt anywhere.mr. brehanu is trying to copy meles zenawi overthrow the leader and bring his friends and those who are not bright like berket simon,siyom mesfin whom he thinks will want his power will be deposed just like negiste g/ hiwot bedru adem …etc a new dictotr on the making.

  6. | #6


  7. Benberu
    | #7

    I think we have a clear picture what these guys are all about.
    They are unable to think beyond their personal issue & fame they have forgot the life, mental sacrifices that has been payed to made them who they are to day.
    If not for the innocent Ethiopians who contributed for the struggle in different ways who knows whether they be here as a bravo or important issue for our struggle.

    I was not at all expecting such arrogance attitude from Hailu Shawel the rest Bedru Adem or Nigist…. I don’t buy about them
    If that was all what he has for us or if don’t hv a better vision we should say TIME IS UP let time & history take its’ course.

  8. | #8


  9. Benberu
    | #9


    Funny!Just look at U by this word U telling us who U are.

  10. Benberu
    | #10

    To:belayneh tegegne

    Have U ever heard about this proved “great mind discuss ideas small mind discuss person” so can U stop this urs Alubalta! say somethings from political point of view if U not capable of it just shut up don’t write for the sake of writing.

  11. Ye-Burew Jiga
    | #11

    All Ethiopians and friends of Ethiopia: just a brief suggestion. They say action speaks louder than words. Like millions of other Ethiopians, I did admire Eng. Hailu Shawul so far. However, after listening to his responses to a recent interview, and learning how he is “acting” publicly in Renaissance Hotel, I came to conclude that Eng. Hailu should be replaced by some other person who can ‘engineer’ Kinijit’s well admired leadership; and this person, who replaces Eng. Hailu, shuld be from among the top Kinijit leaders. Eng. Hailu should go not only he is in a very bad health condition but he;
    1. is notoriously stubborn, unwilling to
    compromise and to accommodate other
    people’s ideas for the good of the
    attainment of Kinijit’s objectives,
    because he arrogantly believes his way is
    the only right way for the fulfillment of
    Kinijit’s goals.
    2. Severely lacks the basic, elementary characteristics of a good leader : LISTENING to his audience: Eng. Hailu does NOT listen to his own top Kinijit leadership colleagues. He NEITHER listens to other concerned Ethiopians and friends of Ethiopia. The only figure(s) he listens to is “himself” and his cronies. And this kind of ARROGANCE will not only jeopardize Kinijit’s heroic struggle against woyane’s internal colonialism but will also totally endanger the very existence of Kinijit as a powerful genuine opposition political party in Ethiopia. What is the alternative? Keep having a divisive, severely short-visioned guy as a nominal “Kinijit’s Leader” and kill the party altogether, or remove him from the position he has been misallocated as “Kinijit’s Chairman” and place somebody else that can lead the party to its historic mission of liberating the Ethiopians from the poisonous woyane regime? The choice is clear: let us try our best to work together to achieve a much better result that furthers the well being of our mother land.
    Dehna Hunu.

  12. Bekele
    | #12

    I am not surprised with what Ato Hailu is doing. Many preferred silence so as not to hinder the efforts some were putting to reconcile him with his friends of the worst days in his life. Otherwise, they could say a lot about his dictatorial behavior. He has chosen well despised individuals who have no place what so ever in the eyes of millions of Ethiopians. He has betrayed them. And betrayed the Ethiopian people like he did it to the late Professor Asrat. No body wants a dictator and I will definitely destroy his pictures from my rooms which I have carried on several occasions while taking part in vigils for the release the jailed leaders. We Ethiopians gave our votes to Kinijit with the belief that it was capable of bringing our beloved country to the level it should be, not to replace a dictator by another dictator. It is indeed a pity to yet we can’t help. It is all about saving out beloved country, Ethiopia. Atop Hailu would be the only loser not our mother Ethiopia

  13. astewaye
    | #13

    I’m concluding after yesterday’s event that Ato. Hailu showel is self-centered individual who needs to be isolated, he is given ample of time to reconsider his unpopular decisions instead he is out in full force to bash and back stab everyone who is not in his camp, his behavior and alliance with group of tugs like Ato Adem ( person who denounce his membership of kinijit) Dr. Taye who was passionate about not casting his vote for Kinijit and Lady Burtukan wane-be who is in need for jealousy pain killer is really disappointing, his reckless comments about the youths inexperience to undertake the political leadership to bring change, being a seasoned politician is an accomplishment but thinking and acting like one is what he lacks,

  14. Mathias
    | #14

    Ato Hailu failed a very simple test…he should nob allowed to lead one person let alone Ethiopia….the name of the pary is Coalition for UNITY and DEMOCRACY…Mr. Hailu, Democracy is not in you and unity you don’t like even with your comrads!! Form some other party…possibly a cummunist one that you can privatize!!

  15. Tom
    | #15

    We will witness the filtration of many more people like Hailu Shawel…was he in for Democracy or power? This is the process…the most genuine ones will survive the test!! Lidetu Ayalew, Hailu Shawel and schizophrenic Bedru Adam have failed…we’ll move on!! Neither Meles nor Hailu Shawel can stop the train!

  16. And Le Ethiopia
    | #16

    Can’t people learn? Is Hailu Shawel so old he can’t realize we will not accept “dictatorship!!”? I am so sad to see such a person commit a political suicide! Ato Lidetu now has a friend! lol

  17. TIBEBE
    | #17

    For Ato Hailu Shawel please please dont be a loser u have to follow Your boss Burtukan M. My god bless my cantry ETHIOPIA Bay.

  18. tito
    | #18

    You ethiopians are not diserve democracy
    because you don’t know how to handel it.
    berhanu already talked with bereket simon and this guys when they go back to
    home they will become house niggers.Hailu will laugh at you.

  19. das
    | #19

    To Tito,

    I just want to know were u there when they were discusing? You have a big imagination poor boy !!

  20. tedla fikre
    | #20

    I am realy happy that hailu shawel and his fudal grupps are showing us there evel faces.we should celeberat it.we dont want to suffer again another 17 years by dictetor like hailu shawel.sheam on you fudal hailu!!!!.

  21. | #21

    I listen Eng.Hailu Shawel speach from VOA and from the Sunday meeting speach.what the Ethiopians wants is one who leads to power which can exercise the rule of law and the right to elect its owen leader and for democracy. The objection of Eng is they came to international tour early.This is nothing to the princple of kinjet.Any how this is a cover up .The main issue will come soon .Saying kinjet kinjet in words does not make kinjet .It is the exercice that the help the kinjt princple practical .What the Eng is not accepted is to solve the problems in table with other kinjet members which is a key princple of kinjet .If any leaders or memebers coms out of the Kinjet princple it is like a fish out of water.the water is the poeple of ethiopia .

  22. Mussa Ghedi
    | #22

    The saying that “tradition dies hard” still holds true to many Ethiopians in all our walks of lives especially its more true in our infant politics. Instead of upholding political bodies for their manifestoe and principles we tend to hastly allay our support with people that are supposed to lead or whose oratorial skills could melt butter. instead of realising the dynamic nature of organisations that should neceesarily pass through phases of growth, termoil, change, development, progress towards attaining the targeted objectives, we dream of an organisation that should never have misgivings, commit no mistakes and never die.

    In my opinoin the fact remains that political organisations that do not show the tensile strength to brave the stoms, solve problems at budding stages, remain transparent in all its activities and never detatch its activities from the people it dreams to represent is not worth of symphathy let alone support. I am not trying to abstract the current in-fighting that has befallen kinijit which is not surprising after all, given the varied background and track record of its leaders but I dread people that leap to creating personality cult at every oportunity and forget that organisations are meant to outlast leaders and supporters.

    If we are talking about a democratic organisation then none of its leaders should be indespensable and there is no appointment for life sort of post in a democratic entity. Hence, the question for is not who has the oratorical skills of Brutus to sway the masses to and fro but who is genuinly prepared to carry on leading the people in a sustainable struggle for democracy in the years to come. We also need to remember that in stuggle for democracy there is no short cut or a given time table to attain your goals, it is an on going struggle with in and with out.

    Allah bless

  23. Alem
    | #23

    You Selamawit! It is a surprising overnight fruitless conclusion!!!
    Have you known the reason of desentigration among Kinijit leaders??? Can you say somthing about the cause why Bertukan led by Dr. Hailu declared their differences (the so called appeal)???? Don’t you have suspession on Woyane’s “Koreta”?? Clear example is Ledetu’s past actions. No doubt things are repeating themselves.

  24. nanu
    | #24

    this are the people who were supposed to lead ethiopia? ho give me a break. this ppl can’t even put thier pary together let a lone lead ethiopia. it would have been absolutly a disaster if this people take power. just picture that for moment, let say they take over ethiopia during the 2005 election. can they lead a nation of 80milions? i dont think so. this is an embaressing i bet u meles is laughing his ass off. i feel sad for my ppl though they thought this were the ppl would lead them to a better future. a lots of man and women have sacrfied their life for kinijit and this is how they repay them. how dare u do betray my ppl like this. u are fighting each other before u even hold power i can just imagin what u ppl would do if u ever hold power. shame on u hailu, birtukan, berhanu and all the rest of u so called kinijit leaders. what happen to the saying “knijit is a spirit” it’s not anymore?. the ethiopian ppl have giving up hope on u. if u keep up this u are going to be history mark my word

    long live emma ethiopia! i know someday soon a real leader with a real idea will rise up and lead emma ethiopia to a better place. that day is not here todat but that day will be here. as sure as i am typing this freaking word it will happen.

    now don’t get me wrong i am not trying to hate on kinijit. no no thats not the cause at all. i was once a big support of this group.

    long live ethiopia!
    long live ethiopia!

  25. Ere Amsale…
    | #25


    I thought you are a free media service provider equally to those abiding to the rule of free expression. Since recently you are disappointed many others and me. When I was a three years child, I was saying “abugeda, hewuzo, begudehawe zezo and the likes.” I think you know when and why many and I had to say?
    But your Abugeda is no longer partial and always for the Ethiopian interest. You are deleting including decent posts while allowing very destructive, full of lies and hateful comments against respected Hailue. This is not right. Do you think this will benefit Ethiopia? Why don’t you reject or allow all sides instead of being part of the hopeless media gangs and their foolish participants most of them are born and grown up in impoverished towns and cites while knowing nothing about the Ethiopian Rural where the vast majority live.

    I’m not a politician. I also will not be part of this dirty/backward type politics conducted by weak, hateful and emotional Ethiopians. But as a citizen I will always rise my voice.

    I know there are so called media groups created to conduct criminal acts against the beautiful nation, Ethiopia. As the result they don’t care what others say. I’m afraid because of not being sure about you where to belong. As a result you may not care about what I say here and you may not allow my comment to be posted as you did in the past.

    It doesn’t matter. What we see in the Diaspora is just the kind of fun with crimes and it will not have any effect back home. The Ethiopian people know exactly who is who.
    Telba Binchacha Beand Mukecha. What we see in Diaspora mainly with few Media gangs will not cross the Atlantic Ocean. It will end up in vain.

    I hope you will come to your sense. Or to be faire both sides and find the truth and work for better Ethiopia. Or just ignore all of it and do other stuffs.

  26. Mesfen Amede
    | #26

    I thought Eng. Hailu was a person of principle, but not. He is not only old his understanding of the Ethiopian people situaion is rusty. Let us pray we may have someone who can priortizes the Ethiopian people than himself.

  27. Mussa Ghedi
    | #27

    Dear People,
    Could you please mind your words and manners. If you aspire for democracy you have to consider equal opportunities to all irespective of race, religion,colour, creed, gender, disability or AGE. If you condemn someone due to their age that will be an absurd discrimination. If one keeps on discriminating against age etc., one will be not be better than the tyrants and diehard reactioneries. But you could critisize people for their views and principles safely if you feel its right.

    Allah bless

  28. ARADA
    | #28

    Hi Gay please wake up this all are full of sheet they all are the same . there is no difference b/n them , do you think they care about ethiopia , they make money don’t be full, i will say all are snake

Comments are closed.