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
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
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.