Media Digest:Negasso Faces Financial Problems
Negasso Faces Financial Problems
“EPRDF is killing me without shooting a bullet,” says former Ethiopian President Negasso Gidada, in an interview with Fitih newspaper. Negasso indicated that the house he is living in is near collapse, and he fears for the safety of his family. Negasso also told Fitih that, as he no longer has any income, his daughter is forced to work as a cleaner. But Negasso noted that he is touched by the love and acceptance of the people. He says, “I travel on public transport for free because another traveler or the driver will cover my cost.” For such love, Negasso says that he is very grateful.
In the same interview, Negasso responded to journalist Tesfaye Gebreab’s claims. “He is a liar. He portrays himself as an Oromo more than the Oromos.” He also spoke about opposition leader Birtukan Mideksa’s release from prison.
Negasso further revealed that the current president, Girma Woldegiorgis, was elected to parliament with the help of the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO). Negasso says, “Because it was recommended that the OPDO should leave some private hopefuls to be elected to the parliament, the current president, Girma Woldegiorgis, and Bedru Adem were allowed to win in the 2000 election.”
Negasso was quoted by the newspaper expressing his view about Birtukan’s release from prison. He said, “This government is like a bad father who beats his children without any reason. When the beating worsens, the children will beg him for mercy, saying, ‘we have done wrong’.” But Negasso says that the letter written in Birtukan’s name was neither written by her nor by the prime minister. Negasso thinks this “shameful” letter was rather written by the mediators, who knew what the prime minister wanted to hear.
Even though the newspaper asked Negasso whether he was pressurized by the prime minister to sign a capital punishment against Jemial Yossuf, he repeatedly declined to answer, saying, “There are things which you should keep confidential, even if you are not in the presidential seat.”
Power Interrupted During the GM’s Press Conference on the Blackouts
The English weekly The Reporter has reported on the accidental power interruption while the General Manager of the Ethiopia Electric and Power Corporation (EEPCO) was in a press conference. The Reporter quoted GM Mihret Debebe as saying, “There is no power shortage. The blackouts occur because of transformer and transmission tower malfunctions.” Mihret added, “The dams are full of water”. Mihret also disclosed that factories that require high power are told not to work from 6 to 10 o’clock in the evening. Mihret further said, “Customers whose power is interrupted can call us. We will fix the problem, since we don’t have a power shortage.” But, according to The Reporter, the power in the auditorium was interrupted three times while Mihret was speaking. Other newspapers, such as Sendeq, also commented on the frequent blackouts.
Court to Decide on Askaluka’s Cheating Charges
According to Sendeq, the Federal High Court is to make a final ruling in the case of Askaluka, the company charged with taking 45 million birr from 1200 people, in exchange for the promise of world cup participation. The owner of the company, Girmay Gebremichael , has disappeared after allegedly taking the money. But the court has ordered that Girmay’s wife and company employees defend themselves. The employees and Girmay’s wife have denied participation in the crime. According to Sendeq, the court will give its final decision on November 19, 2010.
ONLF Prisoners Released
Following the government’s agreement with the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), a guerrilla group that has been fighting against the government for nearly two decades, 1147 ONLF prisoners were released from jail. According to local newspapers, 147 of the prisoners were women. The government also reportedly paid them a sum of money in order to help them resettle into society. It is also said that some of the released prisoners had been serving life sentences.
Semera University: A Prison in a Desert
The weekly Fitih has also reported on Semera University, in the Afar region. The shocking report states, “Because the University has no toilet for male students, the students are forced to use the fields of the university as a toilet.” “The ladies rooms are also fully made of iron sheets. Given the 45 degree Celsius temperature of the area, the vapors that come out of the pits might expose the female students to health problems, like cancer.”
According to the report, as there is no water in Semera, students must travel 10 km from the university to Logiya town in order to take a bath. Moreover, the university instructors reportedly have little interest in teaching because their salaries are not delivered on time, they lack toilet facilities and must work in the sweltering heat, says the newspaper. Semera University has received 1500 students this academic year.
“Surprise! Beyene and Mererra oppose taking the parliamentary seat!” – Fitih
“The rumor about me saying ‘a lady cannot be my leader’ is far from the truth. When I was a professor in the US, I worked under three lady presidents of the University.” – Dr. Yaeqob Hailemariam to Awramba Times.
“EPRDF is a shameless, tricky and an ever-lying Party” – Unity Party