Ethiopia: Warlord turned media mogul Amare Aregawi is critically ill
By Getahune Bekele-South Africa
He spent the last 18 years of his life canvassing the authoritarian and corruption-ridden minority junta, always covering events from the government side rather than from neutral or opposing side.
Master of lamentable deceit, persuasive false reporting and complete fabrication, warlord turned media mogul Amare Aregawi is dying of undisclosed ailment at a private hospital in Addis Ababa-Ethiopia, after being rushed to unnamed medical facility on Sunday evening. According to a staff member at his MCC headquarter; the warlord has slipped back into coma while recuperating at home.
The first officially embedded citizen journalist in Ethiopia who struggled all his life to separate fact from fiction and became a joke to the noble profession of journalism, the wealthy warlord has been in and out of hospital since the death of his best friend Meles Zenawi.
Unimpeachable sources told the Horn Times on Sunday January 5, 2014 that Amare is a shadow of his former self, unable to move or even recognize his own children. A friend who visited the ailing mogul described the condition of Amare as “torturous physical suffering”; and if he dies, the former desperado will be the fourth top TPLF ring leaders after Meles Zenawi, Hayelom Araya and Kinfe Gebremedhin to depart without being held to account for his alleged war crimes and extreme treason.
“His excellency PM Meles Zenawi to resume office duty on Monday.” Was the screaming headline on ‘Reporter’ tabloid just three days before the remains of the late autocrat touched down at Bole international airport in 2012.
Then when confronted about the rancorous, vulgar and immoral lie; the loquacious factotum of the ruling junta- cum-citizen journalist, reacted angrily by saying “The bigger the lie, the more people will believe it. Even without being sand bagged into doing it, sometimes we had to lie by coining statements such as this for the sake of stability.”
That was how the disgraceful warlord turned media mogul with unrestricted access to government information destroyed the truth. He lied outright to pervert, to fawn at the feet of money; sold his soul for very little reward. Hence, he was called a pimp of the first order and a man without morals and ethics.
Amare Aregawi was introduced to the people of Ethiopia in the early 90s when he worked at the ministry of information as shadow minister of propaganda for his Fuhrer, the dead tyrant Meles Zenawi; where he learned the trade of Nazi style propaganda, bigotry and hate.
During his reign there, Amare Aregawi got rid of Ethiopia’s highly educated and creative talent at the state owned both print and electronic media, unceremoniously dismissing among others, current affairs show “Zena files” anchors the late Getachew Hailemariam and Genet Asmare; TV talk show great Tizita Belachew and renowned News reader Zenaneh Mekonnen.
They were replaced by untrained, gun-toting bandits such as the condemned spy Tesfaye Gebreab, Samson Mamo, the late lunatic novelist Sibehat Gebreegziaber, and well known traitor Yeshitila Kokeb. All pathological anti Ethiopian unity and ethnocentric TPLF cadres with jaundiced views.
Once he laid the foundation to create ruthless propaganda machinery for his beloved TPLF, in 1996 Amare Aregawi was redeployed to join the thriving free press under Machiavellian claim that he defected to the free media due to irreconcilable differences with the ruling minority junta. During the launch of his Reporter tabloid, the warlord promised to stay independent, objective and report in a free, balanced and impartial manner.
However, he was repeatedly filmed dancing with the rogue warlords and never stopped tormenting Ethiopians with lies even after making the free media platform his exclusive domain. He never wrote about the bludgeon violence committed by the totalitarian regime against the tyrannized masses.
Instead, by virtue of his special relationship with the regime, as influential magazines and newspapers shut down, journalists sent to prisons and banished into exile, Amare Aregawi alone controlled the lucrative market and amassed millions in a very short space of time.
The warlord was occasionally showing off his wealth by sending his children to exotic destinations like Acapulco in Mexico during their school holydays.
His media empire, the MCC, Media Communication Center, went from strength to strength in the absence of any competition and was able to start its own internet TV known as Reporter TV on You Tube, after receiving massive funding from the government.
Reporter TV was designed to counter the rapid expansion of the only independent Ethiopian satellite TV channel ESAT, and to support the propaganda works of Tigre People Liberation Front websites, tigray on line and aiga forum.
Amare Aregawi, owner and manager of MCC, the man who once told the late long time ruler Meles Zenawi to get rid of a mafia in the inner circle of the genocidal TPLF hierarchy, however, wasn’t the boisterous self lately. His associates said he felt alienated, neglected and even persecuted by the very junta he served with great loyalty for years.
“The bond of trust established between Amare Aregawi and the junta doesn’t exist anymore. The totally broken bond of trust between the people of Ethiopia and embedded Tigray born journalists will never be repaired. Look what Amare Aregawi, Tesfsye Gebreab, Dawit Kebede, Mimi Sibhatu and several others are doing and am afraid no Tigray born Journalist is going to be exempted from such generalization in the near future. It is tragic but it is true. We like it or not that is the mood among the people.” A political analyst based in Addis Ababa told the Horn Times.
“What surprises me more is that the likes of Dawit Kebede and Amare Aregawi see no evil with their criminal action of embedding the truth. Mimi Sebhatu has shown time and again that she too is incapable of seeing the harm done to the reputation of those ethnically TPLF aligned journalists due to her poisonous anti Amhara bluffs. Tesfaye Gebreab has made it abundantly clear that it is his “journalistic” duty to preach and promote division. Am sure you are familiar with a recent posting of the photo of warlord Debretsion Gebremicael as reformist on a certain website. An attempt to promote a mad murderer at the expense of his victims. No honest and self-respecting journalist would do such a disgraceful thing.” The analyst added.
Former minister of communication Bereket Simeon, top TPLF spin doctor Shemeles Kemal and disgraced scribe Dawit Kebede have been regular visitors of the bed-ridden Amare Aregawi for more than a month at his home, according to insiders who spoke to the Horn times requesting anonymity.
Although embedding is nothing new in a police state like Ethiopia, Amare Aregawi will be remembered for taking it to extreme heights.