Even followers and members of the combatants of the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) have marked a lot to be done in the coming years to fight corruption and rent -seeking mentality that posed threat to the well- being of the ruling party itself and the nation at large. Is the ruling party serious? If someone is interested to ask about issues related to any leadership mess how far are these institution that established to investigate corruption, to hear administrative complaints, like the ombudsman could go extra miles to reveal the truth? We don’t have any background report about those who rose up to the political ladder and that disappeared immediately.
The case in point here is Juneydi Saddo who rose up on the political ladder and failed from the cliff to the point we don’t know his whereabouts. Juneydi was one of the youngest cadres who most often spoke about corruption and rent- seeking mentality on various media outlets.
Juneydi Saddo was one of the leading figures in OPDO and EPRDF, whose career was powerful but weird in the recent history of Ethiopian politics. He was, as he himself had said on various occasions, gradually emerged as one of the leading EPRDF cadre of the oldest non combatants recruits. Those who know him usually referred to him as an ambitious person who was in need of climbing the succession ladder crushing all those in his way.
About a month past, Juneydi the then Minister of the Civil Service whose wife is in prison as a suspect of Terror charge told a private newspaper ‘ Sendek’ an Amharic weekly, the innocence of his wife whom police claimed caught red-handed. He defend the activity of his wife and told the public his wife is innocent. On the other end, the Police Commander who appeared on the same newspaper told the public that Juneydi was not a suspect and did not get any evidence that took the police to Juneydi. However, the only serious problem the Police Commander mentioned then was Junedyi’s open letter that was published defending the innocence of his wife as a Minister he has to wait and see what the court could ruled out.
The Commander also told press that a realistic and unbiased finding about her arrest will be communicated for the public in an orderly manner.
After few months later, Junedyi himself find his way out to Kenya –no one knows how Junedyi crossed the Ethio-Kenyan boarder. His party the Oromo Peoples’ Democratic Organization didn’t say a word about how its long time leader ends up in Kenya. For those who said the man shouldn’t be trusted, time has come now seriously strengthening their earlier opinions. Juneydi is a symbol of very degrading state of administration that grips the EPRDF.
Juneydi represent none but those EPRDF members who climbed the ladder during EPRDF honey moon period of the early 1990’s. The majority of these newly recruited members climbed the ladder easily through deceitful means. It is difficult to say the ruling party does not know about all the messes that happened within the party. EPRDF does know there is a glaring administrative ineffectiveness and inefficiencies within the party itself.
Mention must be made to the point that even prior to the death of the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, Juneydi was engaged in ethnically charged inflammatory words –a bulk of his speech which are documented in both electronic and print media is a testimony who Juneydi was. Juneydi was also the first Ethiopian Minister in history that told university students have no other choice than engaging on cobblestone work. It was not a speech made out of good faith. It was just made on a dream of having an Arab spring like demonstration in Ethiopia in which he wanted to be seen as a leader of this movement.
Ever since its establishment, founders of the front and many others have left the EPRDF for other options within and out of the country. Some have even left the front officially announcing the reason why they left. Some because of frustration, and corruption related cases, abuse of power and maladministration though they didn’t say anything why they left. There is hardly any month in which more than four person resign from EPRDF, most often from kebele and sub-city administration level. We are in Ethiopia where thousands flocked most were incompetent colleagues who were very close to the powers that be at the time.
Last month, when the rumors about Juneydi’s run to Kenya broke out the public see as the moment for EPRDF to prove its commitment to implementing the principles of good governance and proving to this nation that there are no sacred cows to protect in the party. Unfortunately, Juneydi absolutely disappointed his wife and the law enforcement bodies that didn’t take action after they learnt that there are some indication that led them to the big cow.
The combatants should think about what power transfer is meant about. If EPRDF is in a position to consider about what is going on the overall performance of the party.
In the past two decades, particularly it is in the civil service and the bottom stratum of local administration that huge violations are made. The contribution of senior cadres in all these messes is of immense. Some of those newly recruited members who climbed the top ladder were engaged on nepotism recruiting their cronies easily in the name of their ethnic affinity and friendship.
It seems the combatants are a bit tired to look deep inside to themselves. It is lack of proper management systems, at the party itself. More importantly, the majority of these newly recruited cadres were playing some games with it.
It could not have been correct if the combatants left us for newly recruited cadres that robbed the public on daylight. Please let us tell the newly recruited dictators please remember the quotation “the higher you jump the deeper you fall” that is a lesson from Juneydi.
* Originally published on Ethiopian Herald, on May 12, 2013, titled “The Higher you Jump the Deeper you Fall”, authored by Iyasus Mo’a.