Misinformation and Disinformation – By Yilma Bekele

June 4th, 2008 Print Print Email Email

There are two special slang words that have been assimilated by the English language. They happen to explain certain circumstances in such a vivid way there is no need for further clarification. I am referring to ‘cojones’ and ‘chutzpah’. One is borrowed from Spanish and the other is Yiddish in origin.

Chutzpah is used to explain unashamed or insolent person. A good example is ‘having the quality of being able to murder both your parents, and then plead the court for mercy on the grounds that you’re an orphan.’ Cojones is a term meaning having balls, not scared. (more…)

There are two special slang words that have been assimilated by the English language. They happen to explain certain circumstances in such a vivid way there is no need for further clarification. I am referring to ‘cojones’ and ‘chutzpah’. One is borrowed from Spanish and the other is Yiddish in origin.

Chutzpah is used to explain unashamed or insolent person. A good example is ‘having the quality of being able to murder both your parents, and then plead the court for mercy on the grounds that you’re an orphan.’ Cojones is a term meaning having balls, not scared. A perfect example is for someone to come home late after a night out with the guys, smelling of perfume and beer, lipstick on your collar, slapping your wife on the ass and having the balls to say, “You’re next.” You can say he has got cojones.

The current regime in Ethiopia is a serial practitioner of both these traits. In this futile attempt to present itself as a functioning ‘Sovereign Nation’ it gets plenty of ‘solicited’ help from the World Bank, IMF and US ambassadors in Addis.

It was only a month ago that the IMF declared ‘“Ethiopia has recorded impressive growth during the past few years—the fastest for a non-oil exporting country in Sub-Saharan Africa. Growth has been supported by structural reforms and infrastructure development, as well as favorable agricultural conditions.’ Well and good. May be we thought wrong. There really is progress and some how we just don’t see it. Sorry we were blinded by the 12 million starving, the high unemployment among the youth and the migration of the youngest and brightest.

Unfortunately we were correct. The World Bank has the ‘Chutzpah’ to backtrack and declare all to be an illusion. Now they say we are almost broke. The new report claims ‘Ethiopia is close to exhausting its foreign-currency reserves and may need a loan of $1 billion to fund food and fuel imports to avoid economic growth from slowing.’

Have you ever heard of such double talk? Aren’t we broke because we did not create a real growing economy? They are loaning us money so we don’t slow down? Our economy is supposedly growing double digits but we need an advance to feed ourselves. Just great! Thus we are going to borrow one billion to stay afloat. Don’t even think of the interest on a billion dollar. Believe me it is murder. You see in the realm of banking nothing is free. The idea is to squeeze every penny from the customer but all done legally. Ethiopia must have a bad rating. Being poor and on welfare does not help. We have no leverage. We are a very high-risk borrower. We are a candidate for a sub-prime loan or the IMF as a lender will dictate the direction of the economy. They call it ‘structural adjustment’.

The IMF will be either the lender or they will guarantee that the loan will be paid. The money will be used to buy oil and food. Oil from the Middle East and food from Europe and America. There will be no forward progress. After paying principal and interest we will have no money left for education, health infrastructure investment and other needs. They loan you money to buy stuff from them at inflated price. I bet you they even charge fees for ‘structuring’ the loan.

Never mind all that. The real ‘Chutzpah’ is that they are giving the loan to the same guys who caused the ‘melt down ‘ in the first place. They must know something we don’t know. What is for sure is the loan will be paid by Ethiopia. It looks like the WB and IMF view of Ethiopia does not extend beyond the balcony of the Sheraton.

Voice of America reported that Zimbabwe and Ethiopia have offered to evacuate nationals wanting to escape the anti-foreigner attacks in South Africa. You can say these two dictators have cojones. It also takes some chutzpah to ask a citizen you have exiled because of your failed policies to return to an empty house. So you travel thousands of miles crossing rivers and streams, hostile tribes, corrupt police and border guards, guides from hell, hunger, cold and unbearable heat to find work and they are offering to take you back!

Walta the government news service wrote ‘the government of Ethiopia launched here on Thursday its first-ever National Nutrition Strategy (NNS), which will ensure that all Ethiopians secure an adequate nutritional status.’ The regime does not lack cojones. In a country where there are 12 million starving citizens, the TPLF folks are swindling the ferengis to fight malnutrition.

On April 5, 2005, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Meles Zenawi announced a plan to have Universal Internet Access in Ethiopia in 3 years. The Prime Minister was quoted as saying then “information technology lay at the heart of transforming the impoverished country where millions are dependent on foreign aid.” He continued “We plan to ensure universal access and Internet connectivity to all the tens of thousands of rural kebeles (districts) of our country over the next two to three years.” For a leader authorizing investment in highly specialized computer software to block websites it requires chutzpah to promise universal access. It is like buying a book with so many of the pages cutout.

In February 2007 Sudan Tribune on its web site reported ‘Ethiopia has an ambitious multibillion-dollar (-euro) plan to provide all its citizens with electricity within eight years…we already have plans in place to begin supplying power, hopefully, to Sudan and Djibouti by 2009, and Kenya by 2010,” Mihret said. Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation a government monopoly and a cash cow can only supply electricity to a little over 20% of the population. I believe it requires big cojones to promise 80% increase in production in eight years. It definitely calls for double cojones to sell power to neighbors who are producing double amount today.

A comparison of four African countries
Country Ethiopia Kenya Sudan Ghana
Population 76 Million 36.9 Million 39.3 22Million
Electricity production 2.86 Billion Kwh 5.502 Billion Kwh 3.94 Billion Kwh 6.64 Billion Kwh
Telephone – Land 725,000 293,000 636,000 356,000
Telephone -Cellular 866,700 6.48Million 4.68Million 5.20Million
Internet Hosts 89 2120 21 2899
Internet Users 164,000 2.77Million 3.5Million 609,800
Radio AM 8 24 12 0
Radio FM 1 18 1 86
Radio Short Wave 1 6 1 3
TV Stations 1 8 3 7

It is highly unlikely that we will be selling electricity to our neighbors. It we have the money it might be cheaper to buy it rather than investing billions on power plants. We can spend the billions on education and train future scientists to come up with new sources of energy.

‘U.S Ambassador to Ethiopia said that the successive economic growth being registered in Ethiopia as well as the stable political system are of paramount importance for the peace and stability in the Horn of Africa. Ambassador Donald Yamamoto told the Ethiopian government news service WIC recently that the presence of stable political, economic and social conditions in Ethiopia help the country play crucial role towards ensuring peace and order in the region as well as in the fight against terrorism.’

Ambassador Donald Yamamoto is correct in one out of five important tasks he mentioned. There is no stable political system in a one party state, it is called dictatorship. The economic condition is in a state of melt down with 12 million starving. Social conditions are abysmal in this environment. The neighborhood is very unstable because of us and the correct description will be war and disorder. When he said we are helping the fight against ‘terrorism’ he is correct. We are nothing but hired hands. But the problem is we don’t have terrorists threatening us. No one who is capable of doing us harm. Today, or in the near future. We have a choice to feed our people or to go to war. Our government has chosen war.

His predecessor Charges d’ Affaires Vicky Huddleston is remembered for telling Dr. Berhanu Nega to ‘abrogate his elected position and tell the public to accept as Mayor the person appointed by the regime. Her predecessor Ambassador Aurelia Brazeal, a black lady is famous for telling us that ‘democracy is a process and it takes time.’

I have no idea if these individuals have the chutzpah or they have the cojones. You be the judge. Mr. Obama, the Democratic Party nominee for the presidency in his victory speech said ‘the President of the United States isn’t afraid to let any petty dictator know where America stands and what we stand for.’ It is music to our ears. It is a notice to those who can hear. The business card Ato Meles printed which says ‘Meles Zenawi, Prime Minister, #1 terrorist fighter will have no currency in the next US administration. We Believe!!

  1. sholla
    | #1

    What a wonderful article. “You told them upto their neck”
    god bless you

  2. London
    | #2

    It is very sad; I believe all Ethiopia is responsibility including me

  3. Koratu
    | #3

    Dear Yilma Bekele

    This is what i call a true Ethiopian standing for his country

    Keep up the good fight

  4. Medhanit
    | #4

    Just Excellent!
    Thank you compatriot!

  5. miskir
    | #5

    EXCELLENT. EXCELLENT
    They needed to be told. THANK YOU.

  6. miskir
    | #6

    tplf is under life support plug by IMF and WB.
    Just unplug this life support. It is done.

    We can do it as Obama did it. It is a matter of time, Obama is here.

  7. Robele Ababya
    | #7

    Outstanding. God bless you, patriot Yilma.

  8. muleta
    | #8

    Thank you so much.
    I like your points of arguments and commentaries on political and economic landscape of Ethiopia. Please keep it up!
    Good bless you!

  9. Raila
    | #9

    Excellent analysis, but hey, don’t blame the IMF & WORLD BANK only, they publish what despot African leaders give them as statistics.

  10. Mussa Ghedi
    | #10

    yilema,
    you have produced a highly commendable analysis about the current situation in our country. We should apploud you but for what appears to be minor but grave digressions. One, you need not mention ambassador Brazeal’s colour since I believe, it has nothing to do with what she has said. You did not enlighten us on her peers’ skin colour, why her’s? Two, all your analysis seem to warn concerned Ethiopians to be critical and warry with what international organisation (IMF, World Bank, WFP etc.etc )or government representative from rich countries try to tell us about the economic progress, social advance, political stability, good governane and what not that prevail in our country. If that is the situation why count on the US democrat presidential candidate, Barak Obama. It would have sufised if your analysis remained focused on the systems that victimise poor countries like ours. I have no belief whatsoever that an individual’s view would help us pull ourselves from the ever deepening quagmire we have found ourselve. That is what I have read in the chunch of your analysis and the solution should also be sought within.
    Well done again
    Allah Bless

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