There are sometimes ironies in life. Today that comes from Addis Ababa and Ethiopia. Where Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali was supposed to reform things. However, with time that isn’t sincere and today the nail in coffin of that was with a disingenuous law. Laws like these aren’t to save the nations from certain speech, but to muffle critics and opposition.
The Prosperity Party and the Prime Minister are really showing that there is no difference in them compared to the previous regimes, which it came from. This is happening in the months ahead of elections. So, expect the leadership of opposition and journalists to be arrested because of this law. As there are easy steps to be hit by this sort of law. Because of this, I am first dropping the key news about the law, before a simple explanation of the “Medemer” and after that breaking it quickly down.
The State own report on it:
“Addis Ababa, February 13, 2020 (FBC) –Ethiopian parliament today approved a hate speech and disinformation prevention and suppression law. The law was approved with a majority vote, 23 against and 2 abstentions” (…) “It is also intended to control and suppress the dissemination and proliferation of hate speech, disinformation and other related false and misleading information. The law prohibits disseminating hate speech by means of broadcasting, print or social media using text, image, audio or video” (Fana Broadcasting Company – ‘House approves hate speech and disinformation prevention law’ 13.02.2020).
What is Medemer:
“Since reformist Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed came into office, his concept ‘Medemer’ has become a phrase of common currency within Ethiopia’s political landscape. ‘Medemer’ literally means ‘adding’ or ‘being added’ based on how its read, and contextually means to come together. According to the Prime Minister, ‘Medemer’ is a homegrown approach that aims to solve the country’s challenges by bringing together polar views, and finding compromise” (Ethiopian Press Agency – ‘Inside ‘Medemer’’ 13.01.2020).
This law is clearly aimed at the ones not speaking their language or their rhetoric, as they can charge and make their expression illegal. As they will control the media, the public online and elsewhere. That is why this is totally opposite of the ideals of ‘Medemer’, as that was to bring together polar views and find compromises.
Now, the state is instead made way to stifle the voices, instead of listening they can ban and make voices illegal. Even if there are ethnic hate-speech, if there is tribal sentiment growing. This law will be most likely hit the dissidents and opposition.
This is the opposite of finding compromise and it’s actually silencing them. If this would target Mohammad Jawar’s Oromo Media Network or Eskinder Nega for that matter. I wouldn’t shocked, if they got into trouble for something they wrote or stated online. Neither, if some media forums like Tigrai Online or Aiga Forum for that matter. Don’t be shocked, if these would be banned or seen as illegal by the authorities ahead of the elections. Because, they just need to write or state something online, which is deemed as disinformation, hate-speech and you got it cracking.
This wasn’t a move of reform, but of going back. They might renamed themselves the Prosperity Party, but this is the old-EPRDF oppressive style of move. Peace.
That the Transformation Alliance are planning to become a Political Party seems to stressful for the Republic of Malawi. This can be said, since the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security, Hon. Grace Obama Chiumia ordered that two foreign speakers to a TA Conference we’re banned from the Republic. This is the Zambian politician Saviour Chishimba and the South African politician Julius Malema. TA must really upset the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the President Peter Mutharika, who is struggling in with the Cash-Gate and the Maize-Scandal, that has run the Republic.
The Malawian ruling party and President Mutharika must fear the possible TA becoming a single political party instead of a political pressure group. Since the pressure group has enough power to get two foreign high-level politicians to its conference. They would question the corruption and the problematic institutions lacking procedures to secure food storage. Just take a look!
“BLANTYRE – Transformation Alliance (TA), a political pressure group, has announced that it has invited South African and Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema, and controversial Zambian politician Saviour Chishimba, to its first national conference end of August ahead of the 2019 elections” (…) “Chishimba is a darling to Malawians for being a whistle blower of the controversial maize deal between state grain trader, Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc), Zambia Cooperative Federation (ZCF), a government agency, and private company Kaloswe Commuter and Courier Ltd” (Kamanga, 2017).
“Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have threatened to take action to force the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) pay back the money it received from councils and parastatals during the blue night fundraising dinner held at Kamuzu Palace. According to reports, DPP solicited money from Blantyre City Council (BCC), Mzuzu City Council (MCC) and Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) totalling K13.5 million. Gift Trapence: The reports sparked anger among CSOs who demanded that DPP must pay back the money it got from the institutions” (…) “As Civil Society Organizations we are not going to allow having that impunity and we are warning the ruling party it will return that money come rain come sunshine,” said Trapence. He further urged President Peter Mutharika not to allow party members to be “insulting” the citizenry when they demand answers on issues of national interest” (Bisani, 2017).
“Chakwera will join Julius Malema a well -known politician in South Africa, a firebrand agitator who is revered and disliked in equal measure as another speaker will be Zambia’s leader of United Party (UP), Saviour Chishimba and that he has already confirmed his attendance. TA spokesman, Leonard Chimbanga could not confirm or deny about Chakwera attending the conference late alone making a keynote address, but confirmed that the leader of opposition has been invited to attend the conference. “He has been invited since we share similar views on matters of national interests,” he said. Meanwhile, some officials within the alliance have told Nyasa Times that the pressure group is working on turning into a political party ahead of 2019 elections apart from working underground to forge an alliance with other political groupings including Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and Peoples Party (PP)” (Malawi Voice Reporter, 2017).
Clearly, the Malawian government are afraid of the TA. They fear what the opposition pressure group TA can gain from this conference. That is why they have banned the Zambian politician UP Chishimba and South African EFF Malema is barred from entering the country. This proves the problems Malawi government has with it’s opposition. Peace.
Bisani, Luke – ‘CSOs threaten demos over blue night donations’ (16.08.2017) link: https://malawi24.com/2017/08/16/csos-threaten-demos-blue-night-donations/
Kamanga, Penelope Paliani – ‘Malawi’s pressure group invites Malema and Zambia’s Chishimba’ (14.08.2017) link: https://southernafrican.news/2017/08/14/malawis-pressure-group-invites-malema-and-zambias-chishimba/
Malawi Voice Reporter – ‘Kunkuyu’s Transformation Alliance Party Teams-Up With MCP Ahead Of 2019 Polls’ (16.08.2017) link: http://www.malawivoice.com/kunkuyus-transformation-alliance-party-teams-up-with-mcp-ahead-of-2019-polls/
There are trouble in paradise, one of them island republics part of the commonwealth and also a place which are getting more popular for vacations by westerners. This is the Maldives, where President Yameen and his Progressive Party are staging a hostile takeover. As they used the Police and the Army to blockade and with violent force clear the Parliament to stop a single against the Parliament Speaker Masheeh!
President Yameen must be giddy today, as the opposition party leaders and members are detained, as the Parliament got blocked by the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF), who blocked the gates. The Police have barricade the Jumhooree Party’s Campaign Centre in Male, the capital of the Island Nation. The same has happen with the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP),
The chaos appeared as the President and ruling party of Abdulla Yameen of the Progressive Party of the Maldives. They blocked the Parliament because the opposition wanted to vote on a “No Confidence” vote towards the Abdulla Masheeh, but the authorities would not let that happen. At the Parliament MPs was taken by the soldiers, forcefully removed, tear-gassed and then later detained. Some was so hurt that they got hospitalized.
So today, the Majlis stated that the scheduled vote was not there, since the Parliament we’re not supposed to be gathered before on the 31st July after Independence celebration, but with all MPs already in the chambers and ready to be pray, the Press Release form the Majlis Secretariat seems a bit strange, as the MNDF we’re ready from the morning and then went to close the Jumhooree Party offices and the MDP. The disturbing clips of former speaker Abdulla Shahid out the Majli’s, proves the extent of President Yameen and the MNDF use of force to silence the opposition.
The understandable that the Opposition and Activist calls this a coup d’etat, as the army and the ruling party have blockaded the national assembly the Majlis, while they either get hurt or detained for being there. The elected MPs are taken and forcefully removed there, with no forewarning and with no direct public order. Therefore, the military in orders for the President has acted in disregard for the republic’s representatives in the Parliament. They came even with court warrants for the MPs who was there. This seemingly seems like a planned affair to take total control of the Majlis.
The Maldives Police in their statement has claimed, that they are investigating the obstructions done against the MPs, while like the Majlis Secretariat stated this: “The Parliament building was restricted access by the Government of the Maldives as the Parliament session for the 24 July 2017 was cancelled”, as they said their was contacted by the MNDF to intervene in the blockade of the Parliament. This is all what the authorities says, but both the Majlis Secretariat and Maldives Police Service seems a bit far fetched, as the preparation was already there. Just that the President and his party couldn’t accept being questioned by the opposition. Therefore, they had to send Soldiers and Police Officers to silence them.
The Inter-Parliamentary Union has answered these acts today with this statement: “The IPU is extremely concerned about the worsening political situation in the Maldives and the undue interference in the parliament’s work. The Organization reiterates its commitment to preserving the integrity of the People’s Majlis and protecting its members from reprisals for carrying out their parliamentary duties. Opposition MPs claim to have been subjected to a campaign of intimidation and coercion in the lead-up to a vote of no-confidence against the Speaker of the People’s Majlis. There has been recent legal action against three prominent MPs, including, opposition Jumhooree Party Leader, Qasim Ibrahim, who has been prevented from travelling abroad for medical care and is in a critical condition. In addition, six MPs have reportedly been stripped of their seats by the Elections Commission, a decision with apparently no legal basis. The IPU is deeply worried that these actions are seemingly intended to take away the small majority in Parliament that wanted to dismiss the Speaker in today’s vote of no-confidence, which was thwarted as a result” (IPU, 24.07.2017).
It wasn’t only the IPU who has answered the attack on the Parliament. The Maldives Trade Union (MTU) wants action as well, when they wrote on social media: “We condemn the brutal intervention of MPs legal duty, by mndf and police, and call for nationwide civil disobedience” (MTU, 24.07.2017). They cannot be alone, as all of opposition has to muster to civil disobedience as the Parliament and the government using force against the democratic institutions.
Clearly, there is not only tensions between the parties in the Maldives. The PPM and President Yameen are misusing their power, when they have to storm the parliament and do what they did today. No nation deserves this sort of affairs. The Maldives and not anywhere else. President Yameen, must clearly feel insecure about himself and his authority, when he has to go this far and use guns to stop a single vote in the Majlis. Seems like he needs some questioning and also has to answer for his violation of the political order in the Maldives, together with the arrests of previous month like Faris Maumoon. The Maldivian politics will not be the same and the trouble in paradise is just one the rise. Unless, civil disobedience and demonstrations gets to the level that the people get rid of the President who has no issues with violating their elected officials!! Peace.