Meles Zenawi toys with TPLF honchos

Ethiopia’s despot Meles Zenawi who has recently completed the transformation of his regime into a one-man-dictatorship is now toying with his former equals in the ruling TPLF  leadership by demoting them to mid- and low-level government posts. His latest move is the appointment of Abay Tsehay as manager of the Ethiopian Sugar Corporation. Before the September reshuffle, Abay was a politburo member, minister of federal affairs, and national security adviser.

Earlier in the week, Meles appointed Industry Minister Arkebe Okubay as adviser to the prime minister, without any specific assignment, and former Foreign Affairs Minister Seyoum Mesfin is named ambassador to the U.N., which he has refused to accept. Seyoum reportedly wants to be ambassador to Washington if he is to be demoted from a cabinet position.

Meles is also going after the humiliated Sebhat Nega’s businesses. A government-owned construction company has recently filed a lawsuit against Wugagan bank, which is owned by Sebhat. Just a year ago, it was unthinkable to touch any of Sebhat’s enterprises. [read here]

Meanwhile, the despot has taken even greater security measures than before to protect himself. To start with, Meles has the most protection than any other African dictator. Currently, even when he holds meetings with top level officials, he is constantly surrounded by several nervous bodyguards who are ready to act in a split second against any threat.

FORUM | AMHARIC