One could state that people were made to speak in different tongues during the Pentecost for the purpose of attracting others to join the camp of believers and not for the purpose of dissuading or evicting the believers from the camp. Unlike spreading religion, in democratic efforts the camp is widened and new ideas are entertained to attract others to join the camp. Unfortunately, we do not learn readily. Since the violation of the Ethiopian social contract that began in 1970’s, a breach of a faith among Ethiopians is more the norm than a rarity. How we change this malaise remains a tough question.
I write this piece in response to statements made by an individual called herein Detractor X.
The Detractor was angered when I shared the view that the May 2007 letter purportedly written by Kaliti would have shell-shocked the KNA executive. Instead of responding to the case of the purported letter, Detractor X emphasized on bearing false witness against my activities. The detractor falsely alleges that I have never participated in Kinijit conferences, that I am an enemy of Kinijit, that KNA has a (ratified) bylaws. Moreover, the Detractor shares his/her belief that group rights (chapter’s views) are paramount to individual rights, or the view of an individual. In short, Detractor X has written a piece to impugn my motives, efforts, ideas, and even the function of my biological organs notably my mind. I will respond to my Detractor’s comments step by step and by referring to the Detractor’s sentences, to which I have given numbers for easy reference.
The implied folly of the Detractor's' view
that he/she represents Kinjit
Kinijit is a movement that started in
The first sentence also abrogates to the Detractor the right to determine who helps or harms Kinijit. More than likely when Detractor X wrote of Kinijit, he/she likely was referring to activities in the Kinijit North American (KNA) support groups. Even then, he/she should have realized that I have the right to suggest ideas to the KNA support groups. The members of the august Kinijit support group have the ability to judge for themselves and determine whether to accept or reject any idea that is suggested to them.
Is it possible that feathers of Detractor X, who is in the KNA executive, have been ruffled by my clear, clean, and simple proposal? Apparently yes, as we will see below. Is it possible that Detractor X seeks to scare me into silence? It is difficult to be certain of motives, though I am not the type that will easily be silenced. However, Detractor X has no justifiable and defensible right to allege that my effort harms KNA when I presented my suggestion to them. It would have been more interesting had Detractor X attempted to show how my suggestion harms KNA. Certainly, as I indicated above, I want to underscore again that the Detractor’s allegation that my insistence for KNA to pursues democratic process harms Kinijit as a whole has no basis of fact or logic and is totally unacceptable in the eyes of any fair observer.
Regarding the Detractor’s oxymoronic wish that no new ideas should be entertained by intelligent people.
The Detractor’s second sentence accuses not only me but by inference any one who dares propose an idea. According to Detractor X, coming up with ideas indicates that the people to whom ideas are suggested have no intelligence, and Detractor X claims that the proponent of ideas wishes to impose his views on those who read new ideas. The corollary of the Detractor’s sentence is that people of intelligence should not expose themselves to different ideas. The Detractor’s attempt to correlate sharing ideas with lack or presence of intelligence of the audience is logically incorrect and is therefore invalid.
The attempt to falsify my record of attending KNA conferences: on the question of individual rights in a set of bylaws that proclaim justice.
I want to thank Detractor X for presenting the fourth sentence. It helps explain the difference between wearing a kitab versus pursuing bylaws written by and for democrats. A kitab will refer to group rights such as chapter’s rights, whereas bylaws drafted and ratified by democrats will emphases on individual rights, and on one-person-one-vote democracy.
As I have written repeatedly, in any Kinijit discussion
which culminates in counting votes, and where individuals and chapter
representatives are present, each person should be given one vote and the
chapter representatives should be given votes in accordance to the number of
individuals they represent. That
suggestion, which is entered at the bottom of this section, had received the
backing of at least one Kinijit supporter, who gave his blessing to the
suggestion and who further expressed his indignation that some supporters were
wrongly asked to leave the KNA teleconference of
What the KNA executive did in the teleconference of
In sentence 3, Detractor X also alleges that I had never attended a conference. I guess that Detractor X has forgotten that I had, or did not know that I had. However, because Detractor X forgot or did not know that I had attended a conference does not mean that I had not.
I provide below the suggestions of
” I have previously provided for your files a short note on two KNA teleconference determinations in April 2007. Both teleconferences involved specially called general assembly (GA) of the KNA and were conducted with Shaleqa Yoseph as the ultimate chairman, though each had different facilitators.
The chairman never asked and did not get a vote to reconsider the one
b. The vote was not based on one-person-one vote democracy. A chapter of 3 persons was taken to be equivalent to another of 100 persons, and then equal to 1 person of the KNA executive.
Clearly, there is a need to infuse the notion of democracy in the KNA so that both the KNA executives and the chapters can behave and produce democratically meaningful determinations. Solutions are simple and are suggested below.
I. When a vote is democratically determined by the GA, the KNA executive should implement that determination. The KNA executive ought not to pass another and opposed determination, then turn around and get its wish rubber stamped by another special GA, which it conditions to vote by decidedly undemocratic practices.
II. A democracy based on one-person-one-vote should be practiced at all times. In a specially called GA, all individuals present must vote and each person must be given a weighting of 1 vote. Chapters might declare the number of individuals in their chapter and their votes must be multiplied by the number of individuals they represent. Thus, the individual who represents Chapter A, which has 3 members, must mention its chapter name and the number of individuals he represented so that he will be given 3 votes. The individual who represents chapter B with the 77 persons must mention her/his chapter name and the number of individuals represented so that she/.he will be given 77 votes. In the event two persons are present from the same chapter, each person should mention which chapter he/she came from and his/her vote will be equal to half the number of people in the chapter. Thus, in the case of two participants from Chapter A, one person present in the meeting would represent 1 ½ people, whereas in the case of Chapter b, if two members represent the chapter one person would represent 38 ½ people.
Kinijit believes in one-person-one vote democracy, and those in the KNA should also. “
Regarding the role of giving a vote of confidence to stave of disaster versus creating a robust and dusrable structure.
I want to thank Detractor X for raising the determination of
This effort could be viewed as a measure of saving a
movement that had been badly managed. The effort of the
Many of the members in the KNA executive are people whom I
respect. Even before the conference I had posted many documents in support Shaleqa Yoseph and other KNA
members who supported him. For example
see my posting of
The structure that I had proposed much before the Denver
conference, and beginning at the first KNA conference of January 2006, requires
that Shaleqa Yoseph,
because he is seconded by the Kinijit leadership of Ethiopia, become the
chairman of a liaison officer, and that Kinijit supporters in North America
elect their representatives, an in turn the representatives should elect the KNA executive body. This
well-structured form of governance that I suggested is very different from the
amorphous governance, in which the person who is appointed by Kinijit
Let me describe the failings of the current amorphous governance. TPLF and forces which support it can easily blackmail Shaleqa Yoseph by claiming that Kinijit Ethiopia has suggested that one or other people join Shaleqa in the leadership role and or ask the Shaleqa implement this or the other act. Shaleqa Yoseph, and the KNA executive of which he is the chair, will focus on ascertaining the veracity of the message(s) from Kaliti, and or implementing the orders from Kaliti. Let me cite examples to remind us of what has transpired up to know.
1) Shaleqa Yoseph along with a select few from the KNA executive was engaged in signing secret pact to form the Alliance for Peace and Democracy (AFD) with gun totting separatist movements, a move that was signed before the majority of the KNA executive heard about it.
2) An email designating 6 individuals as members of a Kinijit International Leadership (KIL) appeared at the same time as a KNA Conference was held.
3) A couple of weeks later another letter from Kaliti that slightly modifying the role of the KIL appeared.
4) The number of KIL was increased to 12 so that three of the four parties that merged to form CUDP will have four persons each.
5) Shaleqa announced that he had fired two individuals Brehane Mewa and Anderagtchew Tsige from Kinijit efforts.
6) Two messengers from Ethiopia carrying messages from Kaliti whose trip, food and lodging were paid for by KNA appeared.
7) The messengers engaged the leaders of the split KNA groups.
8) A letter alleged to be from Kaliti and purportedly responding to the “facts” sent by the messengers appeared.
9) KNA attempting to ascertain the veracity of the letter.
10) Perhaps another order might have been sent from Kaliti that Shaleqa Yoseph is processing to pursue.
Chairman Shaleqa Yoseph and his supporters had been quite busily engaged in such activities. Because of the amorphous nature of the current KNA executive governance, the role of the KNA becomes one of following what the outcomes of such efforts are. The KNA has lost the means of pursuing initiatives to support activities that would get the votes of the multitude of Ethiopians who elected the KNA leadership into power. Quite simply the supporters have been abandoned, and whether by inadvertence the KNA executive is working to disable KNA supporter from supporting Kinijit.
Notice that my criticism does not focus on individuals
including the Shaleqa Yoseph . Rather my criticism
focuses on the structure, and principally on the lack of granularity for it to
function properly. The structure that will best work for the KNA and other
Diaspora support efforts would be to place the Shaleqa
as the Chairman of the Liaison office, that links the Diaspora with the Kinijit
leadership in Ethiopia, and for the KNA to elect the chairman, secretary,
treasurer and others as its officers with the Shaleqa
as the ex-officio member of the executive.
Such a structure will insulate the KNA executive body from those issues
that involve the office of the Shaleqa. Claims by some that they had been appointed
leaders of Kinijit will have no space in such a structure. The KNA will have an
opportunity to focus on initiatives that would go in the direction of the
respecting the vote of the electorate in
A vain attempt by the Detractor to falsify my efforts at unity.
In sentence 6 the Detractor makes a similar error as was
made in sentence 1, namely that the sentences abrogate to the Detractor the
singular knowledge of what helps and harms Kinijit, and confuses the role of
the KNA with that of Kinijit in
Detractor X was seeking approbation: the issue of unratified bylaws called by Detractor X as bylaws.
In sentence 7 it is indicated that the feelings of Detractor X were ruffled by my posting. I would let the Detractor know that it was never my intention to ruffle anyone’s feelings. However, if my posting which seeks to infuse democracy across and amongst the Diaspora has ruffled the feelings of Detractor X, I cannot help it. In sentence 7 it is also implied that that I might not have understood that the Detractor works hard. I will plead guilty to that charge because I was not focused in describing the level work performed by individuals.
In sentences 9 and 10, Detractor X informs us that KNA has bylaws which the leadership is fine tuning. In an earlier posting a gentleman had informed us of his belief that KNA has no bylaws. Another gentleman has replied by saying that there we have bylaws that are being fine tuned by the leadership. I had interjected, and had thanked both gentlemen for saying the same thing, namely that there is a draft of bylaws which are being worked on by the KNA executive. Having a draft is different from having bylaws that are ratified. We can say we have bylaws if there exists one that had been ratified by the rank and file of Kinijit. I have never seen bylaws of KNA. No such bylaws have been posted for all to live by. Irrespective, Detractor X turns around and accuses me in sentence 8 for misleading and misinforming us.
I will refrain from accusing my Detractor. However, I would like to ask Detractor X to refer us to a website where the KNA bylaws are posted for its members to live by? I would like the Detractor to inform us when the draft was ratified by the rank and file? If the Detractor does not have affirmative answers to these questions, while there may be a draft that Detractor X knows about, there is however are no ratified KNA bylaws.
I wish to remind us of what I posted on
“A more significant effort now
should be to draft bylaws or improve existent drafts to make them suitable and
agreeable to democrats of KNA along the lines so simply pointed to by Ato AA and by using the pointers provided in my piece on
bylaws versus Kitab. Please point to a more polished
version of my effort in the following URL. It would be a heinous crime if
kitab is presented as bylaws, particularly after we
have articulated the difference between them.
There is a very serious concern that we should all heed to when it comes to bylaws. The bylaws must embody justice and democracy in addition to stating the offices of the organization and the duration of the officers within each.
We should all learn to abide by the laws that we have ratified. We should all struggle that the law which we have ratified must be followed. Because we have to give our allegiance to the law, it is imperative we should agree to the contents of the law.
Democracy without law has no meaning. Democracy without democrats has no value. In fact, organized groups will take over the movement unless the rank and file struggles to defend what is their law.
Stoppiing the impact of the strange” letters that purportedly come from kaliti.”
In sentences 11 through 14 the Detractor shares with us the case of the KIL and how much time the KNA spent on it. Then the Detractor alleges that I might have not know of the goings on
Firstly, if the KNA structure had granularity
as I suggested and the “Viceroys” were placed under the office of the Liaison,
with Shaleqa Yoseph as
their chairman no time would have been wasted on such triviality. Secondly,
shortly after the KIL idea surfaced I condemned all individuals, bar none, who
masqueraded as leaders of Kinijit without being elected by the people of
Notice that the ire of Detractor X was heightened because another letter, which my detractor does not see fit to mention, purportedly from Kaliti, appeared, and I announced that this kind of transaction should stop. The malaise in the KNA executive is not because people are untrustworthy, lazy, or have any such attributes. The problem is the wrong configuration or structure of the organization.
Here is how
we stop the effect of the strange “letters that purportedly come from Kalilti”. At this
stage of the Kinijit movement, accept Shaleqa Yoseph as the undisputed liaison between the Diaspora and
It is quite unfortunate for the Detractor to write sentence 15.
Professor Chernet does a lot of good within Kinijit,
but even greater harm. 2) He keeps coming up with ideas that he
wishes to impose as though none of us have any intelligence. 3) What is it you
want Professor? 4)You do not have a chapter and
never participated in any KNA conference or election. 5) KNA chapters
legally and democratically elected KNA officers in
- Show quoted text -
Subject: From Kaliti,
I heard that two sets of letters were sent from Kaliti. I have not received or read them. Those who have scanned the letters may send them as pdf files so that I can read them.
From telephone conversations I heard that the letters apparently indicate that Kaliti feels hurt by the division of it supporters and its KIL. The KIL is the body of people which Kaliti appoints as its Liaison officers as I understand it, or which it anoints as the leaders of the Kinijit movement the world over as some think it to be.
Notice there are two KNA groups, Group A and Group B
The Shaleqa Group is an amorphous one, and considers the Shaleqa and associates as both the KNA executive with four of the executive being former members of KIL.
The Brehane Group has KNA that democratically elects its executive, with the KIL being a separate entity.
Group B is structurally capable of reacting to the Kaliti letters. Its elected executive is immune to any statements from any one. The KIL component can interpret the Kaliti letters and proceed as needed
Group A is structurally incapable of absorbing any letter from Kaliti, particularly if the letter will not crown the executive as the true banner holders. If the Kaliti letters do not crown it, the executive will be shell-shocked. Since the KNA support in Group A does not have an independent and democratically elected executive, its support chapters are rudderless and have not immunized themselves from external attack. The KIL component of the executive relies on Kaliti for its power and should comply if it wishes to stay in power. Any movement taken by the executive of Group A that does not comply with the whims and desires expressed in the Kaliti letters will be seen by all as an attempt to divide the Diaspora Kinijit supporters. Therefore, the KNA supporters in this group have only themselves to blame for the short sighted, ineffective, and structurally flawed executive that they had placed themselves in.
If the executive in Group A determines to join the KIL, the KNA supporters of Group A are abandoned by it to either sink or swim or to join the KNA of Group B, a KNA that was specifically organized to support the KIL. If the executive of group A determines not to join the KIL it may be viewed as a divider, and also it might receive a curse from Kaliti. Hence KNA in Group A has problems, which we may view as challenges to surmount and excel in.
Proposed solution for the problem (challenge) of Group A.
Please recognize that this is the time for action. Action! Action ! Action!
3. Never forget that failure to prepare is preparing to fail. Hence, move rapidly and prepare the actions that you consciously and willingly wish to take.
We support the people who had democratically elected the Kinijit