By Samuel Estefanous 22 July 2019
I have been around for a while and I dare say I pretty much know what I am talking about- vis-à-vis the FDRE Constitution. For starter I wouldn’t be off mark when I contend that the Constitution was uncomfortably conceived in a state of utter belligerency and promulgated on the ‘graves of the vanquished.’ But there is a staggering statistical anomaly that has made the Constitution a way laid stranger in its own land as the vanquished happen to represent that infamous silent majority.
What I am trying to say is war’s triumph and democracy’s rules by the number don’t necessarily match. In war, fortune may unreasonably tilt far towards the lucky few. You see, in our case, TPLF’s legitimate war was meant to win freedom from an apparent subjugation but at the end of the day it kinda ended up generously dispensing plenty for the asking.
So in part it is a triumphant political declaration issued from a raised platform looking down at the multitude. No doubt, the form is Constitutional but the spirit was in line with the Declaration of Independence. In that sense it is yet one more ‘generously given Constitution’. That is why folks make me smile every time they harp on the Imperial Constitution’s indiscreet but honest statement that it was generously given by the Will and Grace of the Emperor. In plain words for better or worse, the right of nation, nationalities and people to self-determination including the right to secede was generously extended to the near 70+ nationalities on silver platter.
I am nowhere close to kidding, dear compatriots, symbolic as it might sound, I did even ‘observe’ a few elections conducted under the auspices of this very Constitution- purely for academic purpose. I believe we were representing our School in that capacity. As I remember it the Inter-Africa Group was the Civic Org. that had financed the mission. In its prime, the latter was a good friend of law students and faculty. I wonder what had relegated it from the political scene of the country.
So what I am saying is-I have lived through the whole tenure of the FDRE Constitution. There is this captivating line quoted in William Shirer’s ‘The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich’-I HAVE LIVED THROUGH OUT THE WHOLE WAR’ from Thucydides’ The History of the Peloponnesian Wars. See? The good thing about this Constitution is we all are living in the formative first decades and yet familiarizing ourselves with the meaning and ultimate purpose of the reigning Social Contract.
So allow me to freely reflect on the state of the Union forged by the FDRE Constitution.
1- Building a Nation in Reverse Gear
It is no small feat to build a Nation. In the process, multiple sacrifices might be paid, innumerable mistakes might have been committed and blood curling injustices might be visited up on the people. But at the end of the day if a Common Nation emerges as the result, it is indeed a whole mission accomplished.
In extreme cases, to forge a Union, a human being who is made in the image of God might be auctioned off just like a sack of grain. A whole native Nation might be herded like cattle and fenced off in wild Reserves. Even dear Old Abe was willing to live with slavery without fighting a war as long as the Union stayed.
But EPRDF, without weighing the dire consequences in earnest, impulsively went back in time, did an autopsy of injustice, opened the wounds, made the blood to flow afresh saw to it that the scar is sufficiently exhibited and only then tried to piece together the torn parts.
You can’t build a Nation in Reverse Gear.
2-Going Recklessly Blue- a la Sidama
When I saw a Sidama youth lovingly draped in what looked like an amalgam of the EU color and that of the Gambia, I was given some cause to fret-there is no way we are going to stave off this virtual hurricane just like that. We are dealing with the specter of a Frankenstein monster. I have written Hawassa is yet the Paradise Lodge it has always been and in just a few months I am made to eat my words.
Do I have the nerve to blame the Ajeto? Absolutely not! They have been educated and trained to do exactly what they are doing. They are being good students of the FDRE Constitution.
3-Losing Tigray or Free at Last?
TPLF’s struggle has come full circle. At last it has collected its loosely extended hems and has safely secured the edges. Now one can say Tigray is truly liberated. The Front has been aimlessly wandering all over the Country for the past three decades, breaking and fixing as it goes. Presently, the Front has shaken itself free of the decaying dead weight, now it can breathe freely. It was a very unwise false start to try to do mission civilisatrice on the Fundamentals of collective Right in the first place.
Perhaps it is not a time and resource wasted case. But if the animosity this effort has engendered is indeed on the scale being told by DebreZion it is enough to make us conclude that it wasn’t worth it.
But TPLF isn’t going to go alone. What is left of EPRDF is certain to fall like a house of cards. TPLF has handmade and hand delivered EPRDF. TPLF is the soul and essence of EPRDF. Without the former the latter is sure to become a noisy empty can liable to make all sorts of uneven irritable sound at the slightest touch. We are witnessing it every single blessed day.
I am not saying Tigray is going to break away or something. From what I am hearing and reading Tegaru can’t afford to let Ethiopia go. The other day I was listening to Aboy Sibhat on TMH and I had a veritable epiphany. He spoke not like an EPRDFite, not even as a TPLFite, nah-he spoke like Suhul Mikael…
‘God damn it… have you ever heard of a Tigraway Negus? You are certain to find a Shoan or a Gojjamee or even a Kaffa Negus…but have you ever heard of a Tigraway Negus? We don’t settle for anything short of ye ethiopiya negus negast…I swear to God I had a field day….incidentally the curse wasn’t audible…I apologize….
To be continued…