My Weblog: kutahya web tasarim umraniye elektrikci uskudar elektrikci umraniye elektrikci istanbul elektrikci satis egitimi cekmekoy elektrikci uskudar kornis montaj umraniye kornis montaj atasehir elektrikci beykoz elektrikci
As I expected, so far no one called to ask politely if I would accept the nomination for the Presidency… I was travelling for several days. Perhaps I missed Ato Bereket’s phone call…Who knows.
The news remains that President Girma, who is completing his term, is leaving the Government in just few weeks. He is set to move to a ETB 400,000 month retirement villa where he will surely continue to push himself to the limits in his public service. Rumours have it that serious negotiations brought the rent down by ETB 100,000 a month to some ETB 400,000 plus… to calm down citizens clamour.
Here’s the inconvenient truth: Whoever came up with this plan has forgotten that the monthly minimum wage in Ethiopia is less than ETB 2,000. Who knows why such an insensitive decision was made? In any case when Mr. Ruling Party wants to do something he doesn’t need a reason. He doesn’t ask permission. He doesn’t argue his case. He just does what he wants.
In the mean time, we still don’t know who the leading candidate to replace President Girma is, but whoever it is, he or she will surely be committed to pursuing his deeds: receiving and sending off dignitaries, give out medals, and deliver speeches of introduction, speeches of praise, eulogies and other speeches of acceptance, after-dinner speeches, and speeches of inspiration.
As you know, folks like you and me can’t vote in the presidential election. Our Constitution would not permit us…I suppose we can’t be trusted to elect a President, even a ceremonial one!
Be that as it may, nothing infuriates citizens more than seeing Mr Ruling Party abuse tax payers Birr. We all know that President Girma has served his country well. However, I do not feel that many understand or appreciate the lavish, and unprecedented, rent benefits that he receives when he retires. By any standard dishing out a monthly rent of ETB 400,000 in Ethiopia, today, is obscene! Which branch of the government approved this plan? The Peoples’ Parliament? The Prime Minister?
Interesting time to be living in Addis… to read the newspapers… and to listen to all those self-righteous government officials lecture about good governance. All those party BS on fighting waste and corruption… All those theories… All that indignation. And all of it complete rubbish.
I apologize for this rant, but it really disappoints me when I see such entitlement decision for two reasons. First, it steals from the many Ethiopians (teachers, military veterans, civil servants, health officers etc.) who legitimately deserve better benefits. Second, it steals from Ethiopian taxpayers. If we assume the median yearly retirement income is ETB 24,000 (and I’m being too generous) how can a government, which claims to favour the vulnerable, reconcile the ETB 5 million yearly rent benefit to one retiree, however special that retiree is? It’s a given that governments by and large waste money, but this one tops it all. Such moves run contrary to what decent people believe and think is right.
Some facts: various studies show that 29% of the population, or 23 million people are living below the national poverty threshold, in other words in extreme poverty. Ethiopia’s average per capita incomes of $471 are less than half the current sub-Saharan average. Some 44% of children under five are stunted and about 29% of all children are under-weight. The Country is ranked 173th out of 187 countries in the UNDP’s 2012 Human Development. Such is the predicament of Ethiopia, a country a long way from achieving food security.
Ethiopians used to admire officials who served their country. Now, they despise and distrust them. A passage from Keynes sums it all: ‘Those to whom the system brings windfalls…become “profiteers” who are the object of the hatred…the process of wealth-getting degenerates into a gamble and a lottery…’
President Girma is guilty of no crime other than being in the right place at the right time. But in our way of seeing things, no President is worth retiring in a 400,000 Birr/month villa. Or even 100,000 Birr, for that matter. But that’s what you get in a degenerate pseudo-developmental system.
On a slightly different take, the New Year arrived not long ago…it was pleasing to see all these young graduates full of hope, aspirations and energy eager to join the work force to contribute to the advancement of our societies. Problem is that many of these college, or university graduates are poorly trained (very poorly to be precise) and will certainly face difficult prospects in life. Doing nothing to address their lack of education, after four years of college, could mean that the government ends up with a large population of so called graduates, but with low skill at a time when the economy is demanding high-skilled workers.
The problem starts much earlier in pre elementary and continues up to high schools. Indeed, children aren’t learning anything in schools these days because teachers just don’t give a shit. Teachers aren’t paid enough, period. They have to put up with 50 or more hungry, resentful, indifferent kids 5 times a week for the rest of their lives. Their compensation, if you can call it that, is sometimes as low as ETB 36,000/year (and I am being generous). Who the hell would want that job? Doesn’t anyone see anything wrong with this picture?