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    The Devil Incarnate

the incarnation
                                    of evil, a betrayer has been born
the king of all deceivers, upon the throne of scorn
an enviable position of power, wealth and glory


to keep the key to the ignition of the purgatory

follow me and you'll succeed
my disciples, you're now a part of me
you reap what you sow, then you roll the dice

how could we ever know that it was the devil in disguise?

the pawns that made the way through this narrow path

for how long will they obey once they taste the grapes of wrath?

now, this wheel of fortune - it spins too
                                    fast for you
once it gets
                                    in motion there is nothing you can do
                                    me and you'll succeed
my disciples,
                                    you're now a part of me
                                    reap what you sow, then you roll the dice
                                    could we ever know that it was the devil in disguise?
                                    blindness never seen in the history of man
                                    rulers of their holy lands
                                    sacrificed, gently led to slaughter

successor to the throne - the devil's own daughter?


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Focus on corruption at ETC
By Ewnetu Tessema
January 2, 2007
We at the Ethiopian Telecommunications Corp (ETC) are investigating the current so-called “supplier’s credit” or “vendor financing” contract that involves U.S. $1.5 billion dollars. The project was initially earmarked for three Chinese companies. The two companies have either been expelled or they distanced themselves. We have now one sole Chinese supplier.

This sole company which has been handpicked to do “business” with ETC for the next 5 years has already taken the whole project worth $1.5 billion. We do have credible information the ‘under the table transaction’ is very massive and the "stake holders" are high-ranking officials in the Weyane power structure.

Many credible sources and very giant telecom companies are anonymously expressing their suspicion that refurbished used telecom equipment dismantled from South East Asia telecom network could be delivered to the Ethiopian Telecom Corporation.

More to the point, it is to be recalled Chinese-made equipment worth 400 million Ethiopian Birr was dismantled and stored as a derelict at the ETC's warehouse by the previous CEO. It is that same Chinese company that has now signed with ETC for the current $1.5 billion project. Hailegaber Sibhatu, in his article under the title “The Ethiopian Telecom and the Chinese syndrome” hinted that there is a 10% commission reserved for EPRDF. The 10% commission hinted in that article is just the tip of the ice berg.

We are doing our best to reach out to all relevant documents related to this transaction. However, we need unreserved and full cooperation of the Ethiopian Telecom Corporation employees. At present, we don’t want to hide it that we are facing hefty impediment cropping up from a new culture of non-co-operation within the Ethiopian Telecom Corporation. This can be described as a “fiddle reticence” where some employees try to feign trustworthiness to their colleague at the expense of the 77 million Ethiopian people and support is withheld from us.

Some even tend to believe the way to survive (some say jokingly, “live to tell the tale”) is simply to put your head down and be not ready to give a helping hand to anti corruption activists. This group of employees is uncommunicative fearing loss of job. If they speak up and identified, they may lose their job. If they don't speak up, they lose their soul. I leave the choice to those employees who do have valuable info and documents in their possession.

The other hurdle, as indicated above, is that the way of thinking or the mind-set towards corruption whistleblowers has by, misunderstanding, misinterpreting or deliberately distorting tradition, been hostile or at least unsympathetic, and informing is being perceived as having traitorous qualities. The ex-corrupt officials of ETC used to encourage “two-timing” quality among the employees and some still seem to be in that state of mind. Actually, they were the ones with traitorous qualities manifested in their prostitution of character.

They were the ones determined to perfect the “art” of “survival” by dancing to the tunes of Weyane and at the same time pretending to be sympathetic with the opposition like CUD and others in their public life. By Ethiopian tradition those hated and ostracized are the political spies of an oppressive regime who sell out their brothers and sisters for purely dirty money. Such spies (better known as “joro tebi”) for sure are regarded or judged as weak of integrity and character, but not corruption whistleblowers defending mother Ethiopia from blood suckers.

It is humanely impossible to resolve disagreements between corrupt officials backed by the government and anti corruption activists without recourse to entities like that of ours unfortunately perceived as outside bodies by some gullible individuals. I urge all employees of ETC to drop such harmful mode of thinking or attitude towards exposing corruption and have the audacity to wage war against corruption at this time when our beloved country is being looted to death. We hope this call will effectively clear the hurdle.

If you have any information, please feel free to reach us at: OR use the info request form at the bottom of our website: The simplest way to access our website is just to write ewnetu tessema on Google search engine.

Ethiopian Telecom, the Mother of All Corruption, is praised?

An Intelsat X series satellite It was with disbelief and great shock that I read Russell Southwood's article: Ethiopia puts off privatizing ETC but rolls out nationwide fibre network. I am an ETC Senior Engineer who has been with ETC for 20 solid years, and during all these years, I have been working with seven CEOs, including Tesfaye Biru. ETC prior to Tesfaye Biru had a well streamlined, highly structured and a well thought out modern administration as was initially established by the Swedish and later on upgraded and refined by the previous seasoned and internationally renowned CEOs.

ETC used to employ internationally acknowledged procurement and bidding procedures. The drawback the preceding ETC CEOs wrestled with was one and only one i.e. finance. Despite the serious financial dearth the CEOs prior to Tesfaye Biru could bring in Internet, Mobile service, DDN and others into the country. The CEOs prior to Tesfaye Biru had all the strength of character, knowledge and the necessary technical and management capability to do the job to the required professional standard. It is a shame when one lies in such a naked manner and dares to present himself as one who brought all these new technologies to the country. Even fiber optic was considered by the previous managers and discarded as unwise investment from economic return point of view.

In January 2003 the present CEO came into the picture. To begin with Tesfaye Biru is a Mathematics graduate with no knowledge about the telecom and ICT. His appointment was the beginning of all subsequent debacles as clearly verified during the last two and a half years. Many predicted Tesfaye Biru’s appointment was a recipe for disaster. As predicted the disaster exceeded the magnitude of many concerned persons fear and worry. The writer, I presume, should be from a company that should have sold some equipment to ETC. The article for sure is written in consultation with Tesfaye Biru. The writer has surprisingly attached an interview with Tesfaye Biru. Nobody can tell who interviewed Tesfaye Biru, when he was interviewed and the circumstances in which he was interviewed is not also known. It is weird. Is it not???!!!

I again presume Tesfaye Biru wants to use the Weyane useless regime as a escapegoat for all series of blunders and deliberate corrupt practices under his leadership for the last two and a half years, and seems determined to use the government as a perfect excuse. Yes, that is true the Ethiopian government policies all round are a recipe for disaster. Tesfaye Biru perfectly knows this. He accepted the appointment with full knowledge about the government. Now, he is trying to tell us via a certain foreigner that it is not Tesfaye Biru who is at fault, but the government. It is a very attractive argument. For unwary reader Tesfaye Biru’s cheap trick works excellently. But under close scrutiny one should ask only one question: "Where has our US $1.7 billion gone?" We are looted and plundered to death.

It is very surprising that apparently a foreigner has come to a rescue of Tesfaye Biru by attacking the Weyane government. It is very easy. Tesfaye Biru thought it is a good way out and begged one of his companies men to do his best to polish his tarnished image. The writer to make his fabricated story about ETC credible mixed up a big truth about the government’s misguided policy on the telecom. This is repeatedly said. The government, as it is always the case, is adamant enough not to accept good advices about telecom. It is in all other economic sectors too. ETC is no exception.

The issue regarding the telecom is the money spent during the last two and half years under the leadership of Tesfaye Biru. Let me give you a simple example. Say you bought a nice jacket. Friends and acquaintances may appreciate the quality. But any admiration should be contingent on the price of the jacket vis a vis its quality. By the same token one may say the number of mobile phones and internet users has increased. It has not as such increased much when compared with the population. Besides the quality of the service deserves more emphasis than the sheer numbers which at the end of the year Tesfaye Biru uses it for a meaningless statistics. Now, one here should ask how much money Tesfaye Biru spent on purchase during the last two and a half years.

Tesfaye Biru spent 1.9 Billion United States Dollars during the last two and half years. I visualise many of you shooting up from your seat in a great shock. And also I know many of you say this is a lie. I don’t blame you. It is humanely impossible to imagine a poor country living on food hand out coming from the west could afford to spend this much money within two and half years. This in NOT the tragedy. The real tragedy is the fact all bought gadgets are inferior quality and/or incompatible with the system. The writer mentioned about school net. ETC purchased a VSAT for 30 Million USD for the purpose of the school net. Actually, we have NO school net at present. Schools receive no teaching program directly from anywhere via satellite. What we have now is education via TV. What schools do is insert a recorded video cassette and watch a recorded teaching program. What is the use of the VSAT then???. Even if we had a school net it was not designed to be interactive. Not only that. I have more to tell you.

The recorded teaching programs come from South Africa and no student understands it due to the South Africans' difficult English pronunciation. Here we can safely conclude Tesfaye Biru threw into the bush 30 Million USD. If our ordeal stops here it could have been fantastic. It doesn’t stop here. ETC has to pay for a space segment to INTELSAT 1.5 Million USD. We spent 30 Million USD on a gadget we didn’t use i.e. the VSAT. Over and above this we pay for a soace segment. Huh, this is sickening. Fiber optic is a fiasco project. No need to mention about it. As is the case always no feasibility study is done about it. I assure you with a hundred and one percent precision that Fiber Optic will fail too.

Let us now examine the mobile network. 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. Let me tell you about the procurement. 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.

Let me tell you again about one big tragedy. The Chairman of ETC Board, Ato Getachew Belay, wanted to buy indoor and outdoor antenna with all its accessories for a direct link via sattellit meant to create 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. This happened two years before. A gadget worth 26 Million USD is damped for two years. Tesfaye Biru said we will use it someday in the future when we set up another Sululta satellite station with a KU band. It is all like a joke. Finally. I want to advise the writer not to dust his conscience for a filthy profit. If he is a man with a high moral standard, he should truly feel it stealing money from poor Ethiopians is a crime against humanity.

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.

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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 a blind eye to the truth. We should expect nothing from a person blind folded to the reality and the truth.


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