Ethiopia: Understand PM Hailemariam Desalegn
Zelalem Eshete, Ph.D.
The new PM Hailemariam Desalegn has already been accused of several things in his brief time in Office. It is fair to hold him accountable for the things he has done, but failing to understand him is unfair. It is difficult to change the affairs of one’s personal life in a matter of weeks, let alone start changing the great, complex country of Ethiopia.
His Excellency Hailemariam Desalegn is not only the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, but he is also the leader of the ruling party. He brings change by leading his party – not by ignoring his party. You have two choices: either you want him to be an agent of change that brings healing to Ethiopia in humility, or you want him to fail by going it alone in pride. Which one of the two choices is your expectation that caused you to be impatient by what the Prime Minister is doing?
When at last representatives of the minority race come to power in the persons of PM Hailemariam Desalegn and First Lady Roman Tesfaye, somebody finds ways to say something negative by manufacturing the Eritrean connection. We have lost our ways on the race issue in Ethiopia, and we are really hopeless if a time like this cannot move us in the right direction towards healing.
So far no one has come forward with a valid evidence to question the personal character of PM Hailemariam Desalegn. Everything that we hear about his personal character, intelligence, and family values is positive and uplifting. This is the time that even the Ethiopian newspaper (The Reporter) is writing about the deep corruption and the need to clean up the house for EPRDF. Is it not exciting to know that the top person in charge has his integrity intact?
Some individuals use the Scripture to attack the Prime Minister by questioning his religious devotion. I think that is a mistake, because the Scripture doesn’t authorize anyone to be the judge over another human being. The right to judge is reserved exclusively to God. Heed Scripture and judge not. Do not apply Scripture out of context and with the wrong motive for a political end.
Whenever we entertain unproductive discourse, we are slowing the change process. There is power in being fair, true and positive while holding the Prime Minister to high standards. We need to avoid distraction by not injecting invalid negative energy anymore. He deserves and needs that all of us should genuinely give him time so that he is able to take Ethiopia to the next level. There is no excuse other than hate to do otherwise.
This time in our history is one of a kind, and it is important that we do not waste the great opportunity to unite the country. The people on both ends of the political spectrum need to see the making of this great moment and extend their good will to the new Prime Minister in a meaningful way. This is an independent voice of truth in love.