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ANTI CORRUPTION COALITION OF THE ETHIO TELECOM EMPLOYEES gce_etc@yahoo.com

ETC CEO: Corrupt Extraordinaire

Home | New corrupt officials in the ethio telecom | ETC: Twelve jailed, the "Sacrosanct" ex CEO Still at large | OPEN LETTER TO HONORABLE SENATOR JAMES INHOFE | ETC: An incovenient truth | ETC: The Corrupt Empire | Zenawi Admits Corruption at ETC | "PRIVATIZING CELL PHONE IS AS GOOD AS LICENSING INVESTORS TO PRINT MONEY" MELES ZENAWI | Who is to blame for ETC's ignominious failure? | Ethiopian Telecom and the Chinese Syndrome | THE CULTURE OF CORRUPTION AT ETHIOPIAN TELECOM | Former Telecom chief leaves Ethiopia with deputy | LETTER TO EWNETU TESSEMA | New CEO Appointed to ETC | CORRUPTION IS STATE POLICY | Open Letter To His Excellency Ato Junedi Sado | ETC and its Board of Directors | The Top Four of ETC's Management Team Flashed Out | A Comment on a "comment" about ETC | Ethiopian Telecom: Suffering Under A rule by THIEVES! | UN Convention | Meles Zenawi Dropped Two Lawsuits | Articles | APPEAL TO ALL ETC EMPLOYEES: He who sees a crime and keeps quite is an accomplice! | Believe it or not , IT IS ALL TRUE | A Bizzare Understanding of IS by an ETC guy! | Ethiopian Telecom: The Mother of All Corruption | PLEASE PROMOTE OUR WEBSITE!!! | GET ORGANIZED NOW!!! Group of Concerned Ethiopians at ETC | News | Pack of lies exposed: ETC CEO: Corrupt Extraordinaire | September (our new year) won't draw closer before we take notice of an implausible story. | Send us info via gce_etc@yahoo.com | About US | Favorite Links | Contact Us | Our Objective

Is ETC CEO talent extraordinaire or corrupt extraordinaire?


The Last Days of a Tyrant: When Meles knew the Ethiopian people have dumped him as unwanted in the May 15 election, the tyrant had no option but to declare a state of emergency and unleash his security forces now known for the June 8th killings of at least 42 unarmed protesters in Addis Ababa. A reign of state-sponsored terror is simmering beneath the political surface, and eventually, the downfall of the anti-Ethiopian agent is a matter of time. As the Honorable Ana Gomez said, "Pre May 15 Ethiopia is quite different from the post May 15 Ethiopia." (Caption and photo montage: Ethiomedia; Photo: Courtesy of Andrew Heavens)
I read both articles written by Tsegaye T. and Ewnetu Tessema on ETC, Tesfaye Biru and the US 1.9-billion-dollar purchase at the ETC within two and a half years after the appointment of Tesfaye Biru as CEO. I was at the ETC on a senior management position and have worked very intimately with Tesfaye Biru. I resigned very recently from ETC. Though some had from the start a serious reservation on Tesfaye Biru’s adeptness and uprightness, I had been arguing for some time in favor of him. In due course, as I started knowing the man more and more, doubt crept into my heart. Actually, I didn’t feel comfortable when he was mysteriously appointed after he allegedly resigned from Addis Ababa University (AAU) opposing the Weyane parochialist regime. I REALISED LATE IT WAS FAKE.

It was a shock to everybody who had a favorable attitude towards him. I hope many of you remember Professor Endrias Eshete’s mayhem and stratagem to drive out the previous president of AAU and take the position for himself. It was Tesfaye Biru who even won over the ex president to let him resign from AAU. Tesfaye Biru without more ado followed suit and submitted his resignation. He became one of the brave men at AAU and many did put their hands together to give him a long applause. Many were expecting Tesfaye Biru to be on his own, or wanted to see him working for a private company somewhere in Addis. All of a sudden everybody heard about his controversial and mysterious appointment. Everybody was stunned. Everything ended there and then. I guess all said to one another: “Don’t trust any man, said the fox.” Then, life continued as usual.

I ought to clear out one thing before I touch upon all the other areas under discussion. Tesfaye Biru is a graduate of Mathematics from AAU. This is what Ewnetu Tessema said too. Tesgaye T admitted this truth. So far so good. But Tsegaye T went further and said he does have masters degree on Information Science (IS) from somewhere in England. I am NOT sure if it is Masters Degree. I think it is a post graduate Diploma. And yet, be it masters or doctorate, there is a big difference between Information Science and telecom technology. There is a big difference too between Information Science and ICT. Information Science is more to data processing and also to library science. Information Communication Technology is totally a different thing. ICT in particular in this epoch is to telecom, broadcasting etc. So, it is inoffensive to conclude Tesfaye Biru’s education is NOT at all related to the telecom or ICT.

Over and above this, Ato Tsegaye T is very recklessly audacious to conclude that Tesfaye Biru is better than the previous managers. I know the previous mangers very well. I know for sure it was them who introduced to this country Internet, Mobile, DDN and all other currently available services being provided by ETC. The remaining job is expansion. If we have the money expansion is NOT a difficult task. We can have over 100 million mobile phone lines within a year or so by a turn-key contract with one of European or American telecom giants. Frankly speaking, it is not a big deal. Can the writer cite one and only one single new service introduced to the country by Tesfaye Biru? He is at present nick-named in the ETC as “purchaser." A CEO should be far greater than a purchaser. One can here simply deduce the writer, Tsegaye T, is completely predisposed in favor of Tesfaye Biru and has turned a deaf ear and eye to the truth. We should expect nothing from a person blind folded to the reality and the truth.

The article written by Ewnetu Tessema unmistakably and unequivocally stated facts and figures as to what has cropped up in the ETC during the last two and a half years. Those particulars and figures should be clearly and unequivocally contested by ETC and/or Tesfaye Biru. Otherwise, we do have all the privilege to believe Ewnetu Tessema’s story as dead right and authentic.

I talked about it with different persons who are very conversant with the specifics. I also talked with different engineers working for ETC currently. The information I bunched up is that 1.9 Billion USD is a lot of money with which one can safely set up another similar telecom company. The Saudi investors' investment in the Carlyle business group in America is 1.4 Billion US dollars. This money is a very colossal sum even in America and hope all of you know how much dust this investment raised in the US after 9/11. After reading Ewnetu Tessema’s article what I expected was a complete rebuttal from ETC. My engineer friends in the ETC informed me that Ewnetu’s story is true and he, Tesfaye Biru, or ETC can never ever have the nerve to deny it. They believe the denial would be counter productive and will outrage many ETC employees who are burning inside for being passive spectators to this national tragedy. Yes, the story partly was published in the Reporter Amharic weekly for well over 6 months. The reaction from ETC was silence. The reaction from the government was the same too. Hey, there is something fishy. There is a corruption triangle all the way up to the highest guy in the hierarchy. Many unflinchingly say no other person, other than the PM himself, can protect one guy so much.

Listen, Ewnetu Tessema said the following:

“Tesfayed Biru issued a tender. One company that offered 10 Million USD declared winner. But contract signed for 40 Million USD. Another company in another project that offered 11.5 Million USD declared winner. Contract signed for 47 Million USD. Another company that offered 9 Million USD was declared a winner. Contract signed for 31 Million USD."

Is this information true or not? I need to hear from Tesfaye Biru himself or from ETC. Ignoring this big verity, the guy who cherished Tesfaye Biru, tries to tell us he is “extraordinare” etc hogwash things. It is all hot air. You have to either deny it or accept it and face all the possible consequence.

It would otherwise be ludicrous to write about his masters degree in IS which has no relation with ICT while glossing over facts and figure plainly avowed by Ewnetu Tessema. If what Ewnetu said is true, then I will have no doubt in my mind my country is being looted by Tesfaye Biru. Nowhere in the world a supplier signs a contract for an amount 4 times double to what he offered for the tender.

Ewnetu Tessema again said the follwing:

“Tesfaye Biru bought a mobile system from a Chinese company called ZTE. The system costed ETC 400 Million Ethiopian Birr. The Chinese sold their system. ETC said it is tested and proved to be excellent. All the warranty period expired. After the warranty period expired ETC started complaining about the system. Now they decided to dismantle it and damp it at the famous warehouse where such gadgets are damped by the direct order of Tesfaye Biru.”

I again implore ETC and/or Tesfaye Biru either to deny it or agree to it. If this thing is true it is at least an obtrusive evidence for his ineptitude and lack of veracity. 400 Million Ethiopian Birr is a lot of money. With this money we could have built hospitals, clinics, schools and internet café in many districts. We could have also used it for fertilizer. ETC and Tesfaye Biru should get out of their shell, come forward and deny it or accept it. I take their silence for acceptance. If it was in America a grand jury to investigate the matter could have been set up.

Ewnetu Tessema again said the following:

“The Chairman of ETC Board, Ato Getachew Belay, wanted to buy indoor and outdoor antenna with all its accessories for a direct link via satellite meant to create a sort of network etc. Tesfaye Biru was consulted. He recommended a gadget. That gadget was bought for 26 Million Ethiopian Birr. But the gadget bought was compatible ONLY with KU band, not C band. Our Sululta satellite station is a C band. Tesfaye Biru took the gadget and dumped it at ETC’s famous warehouse and bought another one for the Ministry of revenue which is being headed by Getachew Belay. Tesfaye Biru again threw 26 Million Ethiopian Birr into the bush. I recently visited ETC’s warehouse and it is still there.”

I again plead to Tesfaye Biru and ETC either to deny it or accept it. 26 Million Birr is a lot of money. We could have done a lot with this money.

Tsegaye T said,

“Those who are writing an article may be the ones who were working very hard with Reporter Amharic weekly magazine, defaming Tefeye for a long time. But they couldn't succeed, and they have now returned to the Internet.”

Defaming him??? Hmm. Very surprising! It is not important to know who wrote it. When this same thing was being published by Reporter weekly, ETC or Tesfaye didn’t utter a word. I want to pose to the writer one simple question. Why didn’t ETC or Tesfaye Biru take the editor of Reporter to court for defamation. Reporter reported about it indefatigably and with all the determination to let the truth out to the public. Why Tesfaye Biru has NOT so far accused the Editor of Reporter? Why? Please answer this question! Was it because ETC is in love with Amare Aregawi? It was as well published by Nation weekly. The editor of Nation weekly newspaper is NOT accused either by Tesfaye Biru or ETC. Why? The writer for sure is not a guy from AAU. It should have come from ETC. If they write it as a reply from ETC, readers would ask, is the story by Ewnetu Tessema true or not? The readers will further push hard and ask ETC either to deny it or admit it. Hence, a good way out is just to send an email pretending as though it is sent from an individual. I even beg the editor of ethiomedia to ask Tesfaye Biru or any other pertinent department at the ETC either to deny it or admit it. All these evasive writings can never ever hide the truth.

Finally, the Ethiopian people have every right to know about the authenticity of this information. Let me make very happy the good friend of Tesfaye Biru i.e Tsegaye T by jokingly saying Tesfaye Biru could be a “triple Einstein”, “a triple Issac Newton” or both combined together. I only ask Tesfaye Biru One and ONLY one question. Is all said by Ewnetu Tessema true or not? Is there any truth in what Ewnetu wrote under the title “Ethiopian telecom, Mother of All Corruption, Praised?” If ETC or Tesfaye Biru simply drop a line or two to the ethiomedia and say “it is Totally untrue’, I will say Ewnetu Tessema is a lier. My next article would be on the local purchase which is not at all touched by Ewnetu Tessema. The local purchase is also in billions of Birr. The embezzlement in the local purchase is also horrendous.

The Telecom Regulator in Ethiopia is A Chemist???!!!


I read Tariku Z’s article under the title “A Bizzare Understanding of IS by an ETC guy” and couldn’t accept as true what I read. I know the Weyane government is very unconcerned to the wellbeing of Ethiopians as citizens and the country as a nation.

This is time after time demonstrated by its brutal deeds against ingenuous civilians. It is further demonstrated by its thoughtless venture like provocation of the diverse ethnic groups, to the extent of inducing the Harrar Somalis to come up with a secession proposal. It is as well demonstrated by its despicable concoct to spark ethnic strife between Tigrai and Amhara or Oromo and Amhara.

However, I have never ever imagined in my wildest imagination that Weyane will go so low (near to the ground) and appoint a CHEMIST as a telecom regulator. The famous Ethiopian saying goes “September (our new year) won’t draw closer earlier than we take notice of implausible story”. I am an Ethiopian by origin, living happily with my British husband and two beautiful daughters. Both I and my husband work for the British Telecom. This is to say we are well out in the open to the telecom and the regulatory framework. Restructuring incumbent telecommunications operators, introducing competition, and remodeling regulatory frameworks can never ever be done by a mathematics or a chemistry graduate. It is a joke. I feel like being trapped by a friendly April the fool trick. Countries like Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan have led the way in setting up independent regulatory authorities, and many other countries in Africa too are following their lead. This is a major step forward and is delivering positive results for consumers.

The Ethiopian government's decision to separate the operator from the regulator in 1996 was a step in the right direction. Ethiopia has NOT yet privatized the telecom. But in due course the government will surely privatize. I read recently in the Reporter Amharic weekly that private ISPs are allowed to operate in Ethiopia. The ISPs will by law be forced to use ETCs gateway. I doubt ETC has got a sufficient backbone to speed up this process and make the venture successful. I know ETC has recently bought a very expensive broadband system which is kept idle. I don't know how much that may help. It could be of some help. It goes without saying Mobile and data services will be privatized soon. Privatizing the land line may take some time. This small privatization is the "refreshment stand" Weyane has planned to give to its western “buddies” who failed, though reluctantly, to endorse the naked electoral fraud.

Weyane has made up its mind to partially and reluctantly privatize the telecom to please the “ferenji”, so that the electoral fraud, the massacre in relation to it and the mass arrest and torture could be sidelined. This is like a day dream, and yet weyane will for sure go along that line. Here comes the challenge for the CHEMIST "telecom regulator”. Attracting investors will be harder to achieve now given the prevailing financial markets conditions unless the regulatory body in Ethiopia demonstrates high level of professional competency, independence and activism.

One thing a “cadre regulator” can never ever demonstrate is competence. Even if he wishes to, with his chemistry background, his hands will be tied on the matter and as the result will resort to ideological speech making. Over and above that, the government will surely be reluctant to hand over the regulatory role. A cadre regulator obviously lack adequate autonomy and a clear mandate to make and enforce key decisions, free of political interference.

What is wrong with the Weyane regime? Appointing a Chemist as a telecom regulator makes it a laughing stock all over the world. Actually, who cares? Does Weyane care? Not at all! Why should it? Weyane’s agenda is NOT to bring economic prosperity or technological advancement to the country. It is rather the direct opposite. So, appointing a chemist as a telecom regulator is in line with Weyane’s grand design to destroy Ethiopia.


 

A bizarre understanding of Information Science by an ETC guy - (a response)


An Intelsat X series satellite Ayalew A in his article “Do we need expat CEO at ETC?” tried to lump IT and ICT, pasted unrelated matters from here and there, and concluded that one can work with whatever he got within his 6 months or a year-long study by totally ignoring or putting to rest for good previous four- or five-year-long study. This is outrageous! This is unbelievable! In Ethiopia today many of the physics, chemistry, math graduates end up as teachers at high schools or places like SISA. Teaching as a profession is not popular for it doesn’t pay off. I understand this and I sympathize with guys like Ayalew A. My heart goes out to them. As Ethiopia prospers and advances in technology and gets a good governance after Weyane, this situation may change.

I did study Information Science for one year after graduating in physics from Addis Ababa University (AAU). But I never ever dare to say I am no more a physicist, but IT specialist, leave alone ICT which is a completely different area as compared to IS. I rather dare to say such a move is a waste of resource when viewed from the point of view of the nation’s interest. I hope all of you know we do have at present a totally ignorant government on such and other important matters. So, Ayalew A is endorsing the sneaky act of Tesfaye Biru who got a position he doesn’t deserve by presenting himself to the government as an ICT connoisseur. I went to the same university where Tesfaye Biru went to. I am using IS as a best tool as a physicist. Tesfaye Biru could have done a lot to Ethiopia if he had used IT as a tool to Mathematics. The whole point towards training individuals in IS is to let them use it as their tool for their respective areas of specialties.

I remember one of the beneficiaries of former Science Commissioner Abebe’s project (under the Derg) is now a general manager of Ethiopian Telecommunication Agency (ETA). ETA is supposed to be a telecom regulatory body in a monopoly environment. In ETA’s day-to-day activity, there are, inter alia, a bundle of legal matters, telecom engineering, broadcasting and frequency issues, which are purely technical and legal. Is there any relation whatsoever between chemistry and ETA’s work? Not at all!. Is there any relation between IS and ETA’s day to day activities? Only as a tool to all the departments of ETA. Should the ETA’s General Manager be a Chemistry graduate? This could happen only under the totally ignorant Weyane parochialist regime. Actually, the prime minister bluntly said, “I will appoint even an illiterate who can hardly read and write his name so long as he supports my government.” The ETA General Manager, Eshetu Alemu, is an AAU graduate in chemistry. Commissioner Abebe sent him to Africa or Europe for a one year study on Information Science. He was using IT as a tool in his day to day activity on his area of specialty, i.e chemistry. About two years ago, at about same time Tesfaye Biru was appointed, he was also appointed general manager of Ethiopian Telecommunications Agency. It gave a real shock to everybody who knew the real situation. By the way both Tesfaye Biru and Eshetu Alemu are “comrades in arms,” and were recruited by one guy who is currently an ETC Board member. This guy, the ETC Board member, is responsible for the massacre that took place some 13 years ago at AAU during a visit by then UN Secretary General Boutros-Boutros Ghali. He shall have his day in court when the Ethiopian people get their own government truly elected by a perfect democratic process. There is also ethnic politics in the appointment of both Tesfaye Biru and Eshetu Alemu.

Ayalew A confessed he has no idea about the telecom. He further said, he doesn’t know Tesfaye Biru in person. This is a “good” move to make a story credible and think his totally pseudo analysis would earn readers' trust. Ayalew A’s worry to use his own verbatim is “I am a little bit worried about the idea of Ewnetu and Takele that a graduate of mathematics with an information science background cannot be appointed as CEO at ETC.”

Dear Ayalew, what do you mean when you said “information science background”? Why didn’t you say “mathematics background”? Isn’t mathematics actually the background of Tesfaye Biru? Which one outweighs which? Four years at AAU or less than a year minor course somewhere in Europe? Why didn’t you at least say basically mathematics background and then after IS as an additional input??? Your approach destroys logic! Let us say Tesfaye Biru has an information Science background. I know this makes you happy. But the flaw in your analysis and conclusion can not be hidden behind your own creation which is non-existent “IS background”. Takele Hirpo in his article “Is Telecom CEO talent extraordinaire or Corrupt extraordinaire?” said Information Science is to data processing and library science whereas Information Communication Technology (ICT) is to telecom engineering, telecom technology, broadcasting etc. What does a mathematics graduate with a one year Information Science training know about telecom technologies like satellite, VSAT, exchanges, mobile technologies, internet infrastructure, radio system etc??? What does he know about all these telecom technologies? Please answer me! I agree with your definition of Information Science as “Information Science or Informatics is the science of information. It is studied as a branch of computer science and information technology and is related to database, ontology and software engineering.” It is therefore safe to conclude Information Science is the sciences concerned with gathering and manipulating and storing and retrieving and classifying recorded information. What is then its relation with Information Communications Technology? None. No relation whatsoever. As Takele Hirpo flawlessly put it, Information Science is data processing and library science. By the way ETC currently does have plenty of Information Science guys and all are working in the Data Processing Department. It is only Tesfaye Biru, “annointed” by Weyane as telecom expert, who became a CEO of the Ethiopian Telecom Corporation. And the result is a disaster as written by Ewnetu Tessema and Takele Hirpo.

Finally, I also ask Tesfaye Biru and/or ETC to give a reply to the corruption issue. The website Ethiomedia is visited by millions all over the world. It is not like the Reporter or Nation weekly Amharic newspapers with 5000 copies. Millions of this website visitors will be forced to take Tesfaye Biru’s silence for acceptance. I am also curious to hear about the school net project which I know for sure it has failed though well over $30 Million US dollars was spent on it. I was shocked to hear ETC is still paying 1.5 Million USD to INTELSAT for the space segment meant to create a link for the satellite education. I now tend to believe both articles by Tsegaye T and Ayalew A came from ETC. I advise ETC guys to refrain from such sneaky acts like sending articles by a pen name, but to give an official reply in the name of the company or Tesfaye Biru himself as all the accusations are directed to him. I want also to beg Ethiomedia to formally request a reply from ETC on what is written by Ewnetu Tessema and Takele Hirpo.


Dear Ayalew, what do you mean when you said “information science background”? Why didn’t you say “mathematics background”? Isn’t mathematics actually the background of Tesfaye Biru? Which one outweighs which? Four years at AAU or less than a year minor course somewhere in Europe? Why didn’t you at least say basically mathematics background and then after IS as an additional input??? Your approach destroys logic! Let us say Tesfaye Biru has an information Science background. I know this makes you happy. But the flaw in your analysis and conclusion can not be hidden behind your own creation which is non-existent “IS background”. Takele Hirpo in his article “Is Telecom CEO talent extraordinaire or Corrupt extraordinaire?” said Information Science is to data processing and library science whereas Information Communication Technology (ICT) is to telecom engineering, telecom technology, broadcasting etc. What does a mathematics graduate with a one year Information Science training know about telecom technologies like satellite, VSAT, exchanges, mobile technologies, internet infrastructure, radio system etc??? What does he know about all these telecom technologies? Please answer me! I agree with your definition of Information Science as “Information Science or Informatics is the science of information. It is studied as a branch of computer science and information technology and is related to database, ontology and software engineering.” It is therefore safe to conclude Information Science is the sciences concerned with gathering and manipulating and storing and retrieving and classifying recorded information. What is then its relation with Information Communications Technology? None. No relation whatsoever. As Takele Hirpo flawlessly put it, Information Science is data processing and library science. By the way ETC currently does have plenty of Information Science guys and all are working in the Data Processing Department. It is only Tesfaye Biru, “annointed” by Weyane as telecom expert, who became a CEO of the Ethiopian Telecom Corporation. And the result is a disaster as written by Ewnetu Tessema and Takele Hirpo.

LONG LIVE ETHIOPIA!!!

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