Archive | February, 2013

Duka’le Lamisso and Abuse of Civil Liberty in Sidama

23 Feb

 By Hawassa Teessonke

23 February 2013

In a land where state does not have any contractual obligation to protect residents from abuse of political power, civil liberty vanishes into thin air.  A local stooge of a rogue political establishment can torture, imprison, kill and maim civilians under his jurisdiction who he perceives to be disobedient to his instructions with impunity when and where he wishes.  The continued persecution, bogus criminal charges and sentencing of the Sidama civil rights icon, Duka’le Lamisso bears testimony to this sad state affairs.

The common adage: “Power corrupts; but absolute power corrupts absolutely” could not be truer in today’s Sidama and an amalgam of 56 nations in Southern Ethiopia. The people are forced to live in dark ages. Any new idea is regarded as a threat to the political establishment. Effective economic development interventions in Sidama which were established 19 years ago were dismantled 11 years ago because they were considered to be threat to the political establishment. Sidama’s quest for economic development, and poverty alleviation was dashed to ensure political equilibrium in the South.  We were told that Sidama’s faster economic advances could destabilize the region and should be slowed down. Slowed down they did. In effect we were told that we could develop only as far as the political establishment would want us to reach. We were powerless the more so because our own Sidama stooges were the main singers of the demonic poems. That was when I reminded myself that the worst enemy of the oppressed people remains to be the oppressed people themselves. We gave up. But we never despaired. Our spirit remained and remains unshakable today and forever. We have seen the results of the political actions today 11 years on: abject poverty, famine, hunger, unemployment, disease and you name it.  

But my ingenious fellow countrymen never gave up. They unequivocally told the political establishment and the Sidama stooges that enough was enough. They knew the devil causing them ills-lack of political power; lack of power to decide on their own affairs- regional self-determination, for which their forefathers sacrificed their precious lives during the past 50 years.  Once again the shameless Sidama stooges stood in unison denouncing their own mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, uncles, and aunts, that they should obey the political establishment and die in hunger, famine, poverty and misery.  Lest rot in jail. Duka’le Lamisso questioned the sincerity of the verdict, but never confronted the political establishment.

He said: “Respect to civil liberty is as old as human history; in 24th century BCE the Sumerians enacted laws protecting civil liberties of orphans and widows and created checks and balances to prevent abuses of power”. On he lamented: “The 13th century English Magna Carta Libertatum was promulgated to protect civil liberties of the English people 700 years ago.”  What does the reader of this brief article say about an absolute lack of respect to civil liberty in the 21st century Ethiopia, Sidama?

Duka’le Lamisso is an icon of the struggle to preserve an institution 4400 years old-civil liberty in Sidama. He is not a criminal. The criminals are the Sidama political stooges and their Ethiopian mentors.

Release Duka’le Lamisso today!!!