As we all may remember the motto of the 10th congressional meeting of the Ethiopian Peoples' Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF): “Crown peoples’ trust with a supreme growth and transformation,”
it reveals that the ruling party has fully realized the enormity of the responsibility conferred on it by the Ethiopian people.
And it had engaged itself in soul-searching self-scrutiny to prepare itself for better tasks correcting its past mistakes. It has passed important decisions that could radically transform the party and the country at large.
The EPRDF was fully aware of the overwhelming tasks it is entrusted with. Giving leadership to effect all round transformation is not of course a simple task. Taking seriously the responsibility bestowed upon it, the Front had taken uncompromising stance to deal with the identified deficiencies of the organization, such as chauvinism, narrow nationalism and anti-democratic dispositions.
EPRDF’s congress conclusions indicate that the party was crowned with renewed resolution that gives hope and motivates members and participants of the convention. It has determined to adopt a more radical approach to the problems of good governance and economic transformation. Accredited agents of the political parties that are invited from different African countries and China delivered humble addresses, and in their speech, they have congratulated the EPRDF for the commendable job that it has performed in creating notable growth and economic transformation.
At the event there were around twelve foreign political parties that have ideological kinship with the EPRDF. Among these political parties, the Communist Party of China (CPC), the African National Congress (ANC of the South Africa), the National Congress Party (NCP) of Sudan were also in attendance.
In their solidarity address, they have declared their commitment to consolidate their existing political and economic ties with Ethiopia. Some of them have expressed their strong interest to emulate the ideological and organizational stance of the EPRDF and promised to further consolidate the bonds with the people of Ethiopia.
The ruling party has evaluated the implementation of the first GTP and had found its performance to be satisfactory, but not good enough in delivering what it promised to accomplish. It was also a revealed fact that the ruling party had assessed honestly its performance without exaggerating its accomplishments and shortcomings.
To this end, EPRDF had realized that the difficult situations that it faced requires its members' commitment as well as tough and resolute leadership.
It also shows willingness to address the stumbling-blocks that have hindered the effective implementation of nation's development plans.
In fact, the congressional meeting was a remarkable event that had shown the changed attitudes of the ruling party in dealing with its shortcomings as acknowledged during the congressional meeting. EPRDF had truly acknowledged the suffering of the people that arise from lack of good governance, corruption and injustice by the perpetration of authorities who wish to satisfy their selfish interests.
To reverse bad trends and to rectify ideological rift that has led corrupted officials astray, the party has vowed to work hard to weed-out the bad apples found in the highest echelon of the leadership strata. This kind of radical move should begin by candidly acknowledging the problems that tend to incarcerate the vision of the leadership.
Evidences suggest that officials are making use of their political influence and deceitful media reports to paint a rosy picture that does not reflect the true state of things in areas falling under their jurisdiction. The Front then seems to have realized the gravity of that problem and thus made pledge to root out the bad apples.
Now, are all the promises EPRDF made happen to be hollow words or fulfilled? As these are questions that are raised continuously by the public, the promises made by the EPRDF will be tested in times.
Of course, the EPRDF has identified and vowed to addres its deficiencies after conducting brutal self-assessment. One of the things that could be considered as an outstanding gift from the EPRDF’s 10th organizational congress is that its leadership commits itself to combating bad governance with resolve. The problems identified by the congress were serious; and if the party fails to address them in time, then it will lacerate the hard-won victories and diminish praiseworthy accomplishments of the organization.
To put the resolution of the congress into action, the Front need to thoroughly vet everyone of its member and take action to purge bands of charlatan cadres who try to shroud themselves with high-sounding catch phrases and slogans of the party. In these regard, EPRDF has done commendable jobs that satisfy the public though further actions are required.
The party must always be on the alert to understand the devious character of rent-seeking cadres who wish to lurk in the organization to advance their selfish interests. It is high time for EPRDF to reassess itself and reclaim public confidence.
Based on developmental state paradigm, the ruling party has been able to design a pragmatic development strategy, which is tailored and adjusted to the country's unique socioeconomic structure. The experiment has resulted in the unprecedented mobilization of resources and outstanding economic performance in the country's history. However, the staggering double-digit economic growth success story is accompanied with another shadow story of epidemic rent seeking practices, which becomes the greatest threat to the nation's steadfast economic growth and national security
Therefore, the EPRDF needs to work hard to dispel this threat and take strong action to dismantle the networked rent-seekers and corrupt officials.
BY AMEN TEFERI