Monday, February 25, 2013

NEVIS Review NO 11, Section II : Ref No # 11.2

NEVIS Review NO 11  
Section II 
Ref No # 11.2 
 February 25, 2013
 Reinvigorating the Spirit of Constitutionalism: We say ‘NO’ To Political Messiah from the Diaspora 
By Gezahegn Anbelu
There was this conference I attended very recently .One of the participants were discussing the potentialities of the Ethiopian Diasporas that could be contributed to the economy .He talked of the financial capacity, their intellectual prowess and technical knowledge they could bring to the country if they were given the well-deserved attention.

I presume the government has also clearly understood the power and the economic tide the Diasporas community could generate and is trying to serf as cautiously as possible.
However the extreme political view the Diasporas and the government hold never seems to give a way and impasse, political deadlock and suspicion have hereto characterized the intricate relationship between the two

The angle of attack that mostly comes against the Diasporas political elite with alleged sole ownership of the opposition political blog is of their snobby and bigotry view of ‘I know better than you’ attitude. This impression they as a group have is expressed in many ways. They have a flagrant self-appointed view that they are the solution to the economic predicament of Ethiopia. Their interpretation of history, politics and culture of any content is the sole interpretation that can’t be dared questioned or disagreed on. The tide they cause due to their financial ability is hard to surmount .It is of their propaganda and misinformation which characterized their political strategy which is purely based on public relations stunt focusing purely on crises and confusion in Ethiopia. Any potential and apparent political instability is a best opportunity to be exploited and any positive is subjected to mockery.

The contribution the Diaspora community is making to their country is quite significant. The remittance they annually send exceeds the Ethiopia’s export earnings. The technical support they make available to their nation is also worthy of acknowledgement. This is the case for majority of members of the Diaspora. However, some in the group mislead the majority by engaging in misinforming and disorienting. These group plays with the genuine sentiment of a lot of Ethiopian Diasporas Community who have strong sentiment toward their country.
Many Diaspora have genuine desire to see their country strides in democracy and development; they also want to see a unified and strong Ethiopia. There is nothing wrong in having such prospect to once country. However, when it comes to realizing these objectives, the path they are urged to take by these extremist elements is disturbing.
In Ethiopia, the rule of the game is set by the legal and cultural frameworks that are devised to regulate every political engagement.
The rule of the game dictates that people who aspire to bring social and political change to do it according to the rules that is set by the constitutions as it is the embodiment of collective political will of the nation. This is of commonsense, not the kind of enlightenment one gets from eating the forbidden fruit.
Often we hear this disturbing news from the Diaspora that some bunch of defectors who had been hooked to power structure till their belly is filled with their greed, has organized a council and start talking about taking power. This trend is disturbing and unconstitutional. The act would elucidate the extent power mongers would take to realize their ultimate and the only goal to overtake power. When popular vote fail to realize their dream to seize power, they will not sit down but will leave no stone unturned to make sure their unlawful usurp to power. The only thing they are eying is the throne! 
Any apparent political uncertainty is an opportunity to beat the drum and create havoc, clamor just incase the wind would drop them some luck to smooth takeover of power.
Some genuine folks in the Diasporas may not be conscious of such manipulation to suck their hard earned dollar for their absurd political manipulation.
Let me ask, what makes anybody from USA or Europe the Messiah of Ethiopian politics? Who is the prophet that anoints?
These people are not interested about the political process within the nation but arrogantly assume that because they are in Europe or USA ,that they are all entitled to call a meeting ,assign whosoever present with title and then people would do ‘anything’ to make sure the coming of their fantasy into reality .
The political change I envision to evolve in Ethiopia should be indigenous. The elite from some dream-land cannot tell me what I need or should need. What we need is developing a system where institutions would be built up with democratic principles, accountability and public-service taking their rightful place. I want to see people, not some bunch of ‘enlightened folks’, get empowered and have voice to freely speak their minds, get benefited from economic growth. I say not to elite-led politics.
Some argue that the political space is narrowed and they do not have the space to undertake political activities which is stipulated in the constitution. They may have a grain of truth in what they said .But can we confidently say that the opposition parties have not been in disarray: wobbling ,accusing, betraying one another totally possessed by short term thinking and lack of vision, creativity, and palatable policies and strategies. They are monotones, unorganized. They could not move beyond opposing the ruling party just for the sake opposing. Their very existence can be justified by very existence of something that they can oppose. 
Is the blame game viable?
We should return to constitutionalism. The only way to bring political change is to be part of the mainstream politics and present palatable policy alternatives: not sitting in Disneyland across the Mediterranean or the Atlantic, eating MacDonald and fantasize about usurping power.
It is not revolution but Process, engaging the grass root that has to be the beginning of genuine political transformation that transcend generations. All actors in the polity must envision of long term political transformation towards democracy and people’s empowerment. We do not want political Messiah from Diasporas .We want political process that places the mass at the centre. People are not pawns that are easily manipulated and used by power-thirsty individuals who do want to pay a penny except an easy entry to resource.