There could perhaps be no political party in the world that has mastered the art of self-flagellation…

There could perhaps be no political party in the world that has mastered the art of self-flagellation as the EPRDF does, gossip observes. It is a Maoist culture successfully used during its era of insurgency, fighting a rather brutal military government.

Now that the EPRDFites are government, in charge of the “good old Ethiopian state,” they appear to travel only half the road, stopping short of actions. Nonetheless, they remain no less ferocious in their rhetoric. The best illustration is the manner in which they vilify themselves during successive central committee meetings, says gossip.

The Central Committee of the EPRDF has concluded that the party’s problems are deep and too petrifying to contemplate, gossip disclosed. At the core of these problems, the leadership confesses, is that the ruling party has turned into an instrument of the spoils of power. Although far too late, EPRDFites appear to have come to grasp the fact that appointments to senior party positions have become synonymous with an ascendance to state power, claims gossip. They now see this as the source of all their problems.

This has brought a paralysis in the party; it is unable to implement its plans; fails to respond to current developments; lose unity of purpose and action; suffers from legitimacy crises in the eyes of the public, the leadership admits. No less damning is their conclusion on the conduct of their leaders, claims gossip.

The leadership sees selfless commitment and conviction – once a hallmark of “revolutionary trait” among the EPRDFites – has been in question, while discipline to comply with the party’s bylaws has been eroded, claims gossip.

EPRDFites admit that they fail to honor their words made during their meetings; remain complacent at such meetings while saying a lot outside; attack and defend one another not on the basis of principle but networking; mediocrity has prevailed; and those who fail to deliver on their assignments are not held accountable for their actions and inactions, gossip reveals.

The ruling party appears to have concluded that the casualty of the party’s failures is the public, which has been denied of answers to its demands; deprived of the right to be governed justly; and led to lose hopes, according to gossip.

Ironically, a party that choses to be so harsh in reflecting on its failings remains to have a leadership that is struggling to find courage to act, claims gossip. It reveals the troubling contradiction the EPRDFites find themselves a quarter of a century after coming to the helm of political power, says gossip. While unequivocally accepting the crises is political; the party should own the problems; and it is the senior leadership that should be held accountable, it is the same party that claims no single body can be held accountable and individual leaders should not take the blame, disclosed gossip.

These successive meetings reveal that the fault line is between the very few with the determination to renew the party and the majority who see the change that could come would undermine their interests and put their fate at a risk, according to gossip.

While none of these groups seem to consolidate power, the few who wanted to reclaim their party appear to be too feeble to have their ways, thus are on the retreat; claims gossip.

The days for the EPRDFites to have a meaningful soul-searching are still ahead, claims gossip. Many from inside and outside wonder though if the ruling party is soon to reach at a point where it is beyond redemption, says gossip.

Published on Mar 18,2017 [ Vol 17 ,No 880]



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