Skip to content

Hailu Shawl comes full circle

By Alem Mamo

“He who has lost honor can lose nothing more.” – Publilius Syrus

The term ‘honor’ comes from the Latin honos in which a person is assessed based on the individual’s actions, mainly his or her honesty, dignity and integrity. The recent political theater performed by four honourless characters (Hailu Shawel, Ayele Chamiso, Lidetu Ayalew, and Meles Zenawi) is an atrocious act of deceit, lies and dishonesty that has appalled all of those who long for democracy, freedom, justice and human rights in Ethiopia.

It is not far fetched to say that politics is perhaps the lone profession in which some dishonorable individuals are granted the title of ‘honorable.’ What a pity. Dishonesty and deceptions are honored and dignified. How long should the people of this magnificent land be subjected to such cheap gamesmanship. It is this very fact of political opportunism that considerably delayed the process of democratization in Ethiopia.

We all know too well that if it wasn’t for the support provided to the military junta by some opportunistic intellectuals, the duration of the regime’s power may have been shorter and the suffering of the Ethiopian people could have been less traumatic and extensive. Those who betrayed the Ethiopian people at the time did it for nothing more than a few crumbs thrown at them from the military regime.

The recent choreographed publicity stunt, primarily prepared for the consumption of donor countries, is so juvenile in nature that we would hope it could impress neither donor countries nor the people of Ethiopia. No self-respecting soul with minimum integrity should buy into this vicious assault on the hopes and aspirations of the Ethiopian people for a true democracy.

It is an open secret that the history of TPLF shows its unmatched record of manufacturing surrogate political organizations deliberately created to advance its goals and objectives at the expense of the Ethiopian people. Before, coming to power TPLF used captured soldiers of the military regime to invent ethnic-based political parties, which currently form the so-called EPRDF. No one, particularly the Ethiopian people, believes for a fraction of a second that a TPLF-led regime has truthfulness or an inch of integrity.

I remember what one of my good friends from Ethiopia told me during a telephone conversation. “The only reliable information we get from the TPLF run TV, radio and print media is the date. The rest is pure lie and deception.” Well, ironically, the same was said about the military regime. The publicity stunt shown on the state-run TV and posted on the pro-TPLF website is awash with the declaration that Ethiopia has made a great advance toward democracy. Sadly, as long as TPLF is in power there will never be democracy.

As I said above, no one expects truthfulness or a hint of integrity from the TPLF regime. Some, however, would be surprised by Hailu Shawl’s political acrobatics and the bow of loyalty that he delivered to Meles Zenawi. The question one needs to ask is this: Did Hailu Shawel betray the cause of true democracy, justice, human rights and freedom in Ethiopia or did he come full circle in returning to where he began his political life?

We all know that Hailu Shawel was a Minister of Agriculture under Mengistu Hailemariam’s military regime. Although he claims that he resigned or left his post because of his profound difference with the regime’s policy, one could ask a question about his rise to a cabinet position under a regime that terrorized its citizens for 18 years. Even lower level bureaucratic positions are rewarded to those who showed unwavering support to the regime and participated in the atrocities committed against the people of Ethiopia. Therefore, the question is what don’t we know about Hailu Shawel? Is he a born opportunist who will say anything and do anything to have that “honorable” title and the power that comes along with it?

Political compromise and concessions are part of a political discourse. However, such deals are often made under one condition and that is the advancement of the greater good. In the case of the recent so-called ‘electoral code of conduct’ deal, the only thing being advanced is the strangle hold of power by the TPLF. The reality is that the TPLF and the common good are irreconcilable. The political principle of TPLF is deliberate polarization, oppression and the infliction of maximum suffering and trauma on the people of Ethiopia.

(The author could be reached at [email protected])

9 thoughts on “Hailu Shawl comes full circle

  1. I don’t understand the outpouring of so much crap on Engineer Hailu. I have not heard so much of outpouring when he presented points of discussion before the commencement of the round of discussions with EPDRF and the other two parties. If Hailu’s party is to compete in the upcoming election whatelse can it do? Is it a crime to raise issues and discuss with the incumbent? How else can he do it? Are not the points he raised and discussed with EPDRF the ones everybody agrees are some of the stumbling blocks. The question has to be will the incumbent honour them or not. It is not a sin to discuss issues with the incumbent. If we disagree with that what kind of democracy are we talking about. If people are not willing to talk to each other at the very least where are we gonna go?

    We should have a reason when we support and remove support. When we support someone that person is all angel to us and when we disagree with him, we demonise him, call him names, crap on him and disecrate him at a click of a finger.What so ever happened to civility?

    There are variou ways of fighting for democracy, ones we agree with and ones we don’t agree with but the party has every democratic right to chose which way. It should not be a reason to character assign a party leader. Come on grow up, the web master of Ethiopian Review and others. We can not build a better Ethiopia with a childish attitude as this. Sorry!

    Disclaimer: I am not a supporter of anyone party but the development of democracy in my country.


  2. Alem Mamo,
    “Political compromise and concessions are part of a political discourse. However, such deals are often made under one condition and that is the advancement of the greater good.”

    Well said. What is left is wait and see?.

  3. This is a wonderful article regarding Hailu Shaul. He has betrayed the trust of his followers ( both at home and abroad), supporters, the people of Ethiopia including the over 200 martyrs that scarificed their lives beleiving in the cause Kinijit after the 2005 election. As far as I am concerned, I will not use Hailu Shaul and honor in the same sentence. Hailu Shaul has never been an honorable man. Yes, Hailu has a big ego to match his height but never integrity or honesty. He thought he was God’s gift to Ethiopia and sadly enough his followers, specially the sychophantic elements that were vying for elevated positions in a Shaul administration (remember the ‘Jan Amora’ song preceeding his 2007/2008 retarded town hall meetings), fed his ego so much so he believed it to be true.

    As far as Hailu is concerned, he wouldn’t recognize honor if it slapped him on the face. And his basic character flaw was out there for all of us to see it but ignored in our quest and thirst for a national heroic figure. Remember his reply to a BBC interview when asked to explain his cozy relationship with Mengistu’s killer regime? He said, “I had to protect my family and raise my children”. Now that his childred are all grown up to be doctors and Satrabucks barristas and all, I’m sure his cozy relationship with the TPLF killer regime could be explained as, “I have to protect my investment and pass it on to my children”.

    Yes, even while he was in prison, the Shaul Consultancy Group, with Hailu Shaul as its head prinicipal, was cutting deals with the TPLF regime for lucrative government infrasturcture contracts all over Ethiopia. And a couple of months ago, courtesy of Aiga-Forum, we saw one of the many Shaul investments, a state of the art entertainment and recreational complex, targeted to the donor community and high flying TPLF elites in Addis. And any one who tells you Hailu Shaul is or ever was a man of the the people, that person is either a lier or an idiot or most likely both.

  4. Please come up with new stuff. We all know everything about Hailu. Can any one start writing solutions. I am tired of accusations and gossips. We have already said it. This ppl are good for nothing. All said and done. Let’s move on to solutions. Do we have no one who can focus on solutions? It must be hard.

  5. A mechanically assembled Kiniget was easily disassembled while it was gaining substantial political grounds. They elected Shawel as their leader and later ended up bickering and stabbing each others’ back. And what confuses me most is why in the first place they made him the Figure Head of such a conglomerate party knowing all too well that they have an axe to grind? What is more, once they got dismantled everybody run away as usual and started hooting and hollering “foul!” on each other from far off shores. Trust and faithfulness are key words to building a party and its movements. Any differences could have been setteled later. Through out the cyber-barrage after the 2005 failed election, I have never come across any article that stressed these key words and it has become very difficult to trust any “Limp Dick” these days. “Each to his own as they say”. For what it’s worth, I think Shawel and his party have the right to go it alone than to whine and bicker from a distance. At least should he fail, there will be no one to blame or back bite and he and his party only will take full responsibility. Other than this, what can be done? Having said that, I find your article as simpleton rhetoric with bad taste and after all you seem to forget that politics is a dirty game. By the way Alem Mamo, considering the zeal demonstrated in your writing as an Ethiopian, that is, what is or was your significant contribution to Ethiopia or to the people of Ethiopia?

  6. Hailu Shawel is a power-hungry man. He is begging Meles for the position of the presidency, since Girma Woldegiorgis’s days are numbered. Watch, Meles will appoint Hailu for that position since Hailu’s days are also numbered.

  7. ሪፖርተር፡- ከኢሕአዴግ ጋር በሥነ ምግባር ደንቡ ላይ ስምምነት አድርጋችሁ እርስዎ ከጠቅላይ ሚኒስትሩ ጋር ከተጨባበጡ በኋላ፣ አንዳንድ ወገኖች በተለይ ደግሞ ዲያስፖራው በእርስዎ ላይ ትችት እየሰነዘሩ ነው፡፡ “ቅንጅትን ማን እንዳፈረሰው አውቀናል” ያሉ ሰዎችም አሉ፡፡ ይህንን ጠብቀው ነበር?

    ኢንጅነር ኃይሉ፡- እኔ ገና ውይይት ስንጀምር ነው እንደዚያ ዓይነት ምላሽ ይመጣል ብዬ የጠበቅኩት፡፡ ትችታቸውን መቼ ነው የሚጀምሩት? በሚል ስጠብቅ ነበር፡፡ ሆይ ሆይታ እንደሚኖር በደንብ አውቄያለሁ፡፡ ፀባይ ለፀባይ እንተዋወቃለን፡፡ ሩቅ ያለ ሰው ምንጊዜም ለመናገርና ለመፎከር ችግር የለበትም፡፡ ችግር ያለበት የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብ ነው፡፡ የእርሱን ችግር ለመፍታት ነው የፈለግነው እንጂ በነፃነት ሜዳ ተቀምጦ ኡኡ እያለ ሳይጎዳ የሚጮህን ሰው ለማስደሰት አይደለም፡፡ አዎ በፋይናንስ ይጎዳናል፡፡ ነገር ግን ለገንዘብ ብለን የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብ ተሸማቅቆ እንዲኖር አንፈልግም፡፡ ዲያስፖራ ሆይ ሆይ የሚለው ለአምስት ቀን ነው፡፡ ኢንተርስቲንግ የሆነ ሕይወት የማይኖር ሰው፣ ዓላማ የሌለው ኑሮ የማይኖር ሰው ነው የሚጮኸው፡፡ እኔ አለሁ የሚል ፖለቲካ ነው፡፡ “ለምን አታማክሩንም?” ያሉም ነበሩ፡፡ እኔ ግን ገንዘባችሁን ለራሳችሁ አድርጉት ነው ያልኳቸው፡፡ እኛ ራሱንና ቤተሰቡን እየሰዋ ያለውን ሕዝብ ነው የምናማክረው፡፡ እንደዚህ ዓይነት ስምምነት ሲገኝ መደሰት ነበረባቸው እንጂ ጩኸቱ ለምን እንደመጣ አይገባኝም፡፡ አንዳንድ ቡድኖች ቢጮኹ ያምርባቸዋል፡፡ ኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ ሰላማዊ ትግል ሊካሄድ አይችልም ያሉ አሉ፡፡ እነዚህ ሰዎች ሕዝቡ ጥሏቸው እንዳይሄድ ቢጮኹ ተገቢ ነው፡፡ በአንዳንዳንዶቹ አልፈርድባቸውም፡፡ ሕይወታቸውን ለማጣፈጥ የሚያደርጉት እንጂ ጠንካራ ፖለቲከኞች አይደሉም፡፡

Leave a Reply