Frustration with Abiy Ahmed's (PhD) way of governance is building up...

Mar 9 , 2019

It appears that frustration with Abiy Ahmed's (PhD) way of governance is building up both within and outside of his administration, particularly over its inability to restore order and stability across the country, gossip observed.

The alarming increase in tension between leaders of the Amhara and Tigray regional states has now transformed into open hostility, with members exchanging rhetorical fire last week. A somewhat agitated youth gathered on the outskirts of the capital to confront the Addis Abeba City Administration’s officials from going ahead with their plan to hand over condos to the long waiting hopefuls.

Add to this the collapse of law and order in the southern regional state capital. Senior leaders of the political party governing the regional state were unable to hold an indoctrination meeting in Hawassa after its senior cadres from the Sidama Zone walked out. The party’s central committee had earlier met in the town of Arba Minch where it passed a resolution that the demand for regional status made by nine zones in the regional state could be considered all together and through time. It provoked the cadres from the zone to come back the following day and block cadres from other zones from continuing with their meetings, exacerbating the security situation there.

While all the constituency members of the ruling coalition were in turmoil, their chairman’s shuttle diplomacy last week brought more criticism than accolades, claims gossip. The promptness of his initiative, little known and understood by those in the foreign office and leaders of the countries he had visited, was no help to his standing on the domestic front, says gossip. Many feel that Abiy has mounting problems at home but opted for the luxury of fixing what is wrong in a troubled region, according to gossip.

The Prime Minister had invited Kenya’s President, Uhuru Kenyatta, to Addis Abeba to help mend Uhuru’s fraught relationship with Somalia’s Mohammed A. Mohammed, a.k.a Farmaajo. The two countries are in dispute over maritime rights along their borders where Somalia has given away concessions for oil exploration.

Abiy and Uhuru flew to Asmera where they met Issayas Afeworqi of Eritrea. While Uhuru flew back home in the afternoon, Issayas and Abiy headed to Juba where they were hardly expected since President Salva Kiir of South Sudan was in Bahr el Ghazal on a working tour, gossip disclosed. He had to interrupt his tour to greet his surprise guests, claims gossip. On their way home, Issayas was not in a mood to stop by in Addis but flew straight to Asmera from Bole Airport, gossip revealed.

Abiy’s series of tours last week was interpreted in Addis as a failure to give sufficient attention to bubbling troubles on the home front or as an attempt to run away from daily escalating and pressing domestic problems, claims gossip.

Faced with a prospect of further fragmentation of the political landscape, Abiy appears to be keen to consolidate power by overcoming potential resistance from leaders of political forces in charge of governing major regions, gossip observed. The roadblock to his aspiration could be the way the federal republic is structured - the autonomous existence of the political parties within the ruling coalition, says gossip.

It seems that changing this reality is at the top of his agenda, claims gossip. He is putting relentless pressure on the committee formed to finalize the document for the merger of the EPRDF as a national party, gossip disclosed. The coming of EPRDF 2.0 will no doubt become consequential to Ethiopia’s political landscape. It is very likely to see the most unlikely bedfellows align and realign themselves in the evolution and formation of coalitions, gossip foresees.

PUBLISHED ON Mar 09,2019 [ VOL 19 , NO 984]

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