If his passing away is likely to have a national security connotation, we don’t mind waiting until the ruling party gets control of the situation (What his absence gave away, August 2012). Any country would do the same if the information has a national security impact. As can be seen, there are many groups who are happy, wishing and waiting his death, assuming the country would mess up and they benefit from a likely turmoil and drift.
I pray for PM Meles’s health; dearest, genius and dedicated son of Ethiopia. And I hope enemies of Ethiopia’s development will be embarrassed by his revival.
What I find much more interesting is the fact that while Meles is their foe, many of the opposition supporters seem to be obsessed with his health condition even more so than his supporters and the larger public (What his absence gave away, August 2012). It doesn’t come as a surprise as such hiccups in history provide opportunities to be exploited by power mongers in the opposition. Luckily, time will tell and the people of Ethiopia really don’t bother much about Meles’s illness as they are rather preoccupied with winning their daily breads. I do not mean that Meles is favored by all but the news that he is ill has overpowered the opposition’s claims to the point that it announced his alleged death and Ethiopians really never buy such speculations. It is rather an insult to the public to proclaim that Meles is dead without having to present any shred of evidence. It is an underestimation of the publics’ growing awareness and intellect to use such an old-fashioned deceptive means in political struggles.
Your lead (What his absence gave away, August 2012) was the only meaningful and credible story to have come out in the last two months when Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has not been seen in public. It is due to the failure by the government communication office that we the Ethiopian public were forced to turn to various unreliable sources in search of any news on his health and where about. If the government assigns an office of communication and many staffs to run it at the cost of the tax payer society, failing to do the one thing such an office is assigned to do is absurd. Thank you for highlighting on the issue.
Your lead story of the last month (What his absence gave away, August 2012) is one of the most dissapointing lead stories I have read ever since I stared reading your good magazine. You tried to illicit a logical explanation out of a topic that has been kept off the reach of the deserving public by design. If it were under normal circumstances, your explanations on why the state failed to have informed the public on the health of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi would have been excellent explanations. But Ethiopia is not a country where normal circumstances exist. Secrecy amongst the political elites is considered the fourth estate for centuries and sadly it continued to be within the ruling party today.
I didn’t want to comment on your otherwise professionally written article on the ill manners by which the state communication affairs office handled the health issue of the late PM Meles Zenawi until the news of his death was announced. (What his absence gave away, August 2012).
The Ethiopian public is deeply grieving over the death of PM Meles. To many of us the announcement brought sadness and fear. We have been subjected to countless false information which, except for the few who really wanted him dead, has brought fear and uncertainty upon many of peace loving Ethiopians. This can only be attributed to the state propaganda machine as your article rightly indicated. What we learned after the death of Meles is how important he was for Ethiopia in particular and Africa in general. The overwhelming response of shock and sadness from the Ethiopian people by itself is an indication that millions of us have respect for our late prime Minister, and hence should have been informed about his wellbeing step by step. I sincerely hope this unfortunate turn of event will teach the ruling party that the public has the right to know all information with regard to its leaders.
I hope the ruling party’s communication affairs office took a good note of your previous article (What his absence gave away, August 2012). The overwhelming reaction of grieve and shock by the Ethiopian people should teach party officials that the same people should have never been exposed to the level of speculations including the late PM’s death before he actually died and should have been the first to get an honest and up-to-date information. At least the shock, if not sadness, would have been minimized if the people of Ethiopia were ready to the inevitable.