ETC and its Board of Directors

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The sad reality is that while Board Members are choosing to remain passive and to stay silent, money-hungry bloodsuckers are eroding our hard won hard cash. The country is deep in debt which we may not pay back in the coming 50 years or more.

ETC and its Board of Directors


By Ewnetu Tessema


ETC’s Board Of Directors membership (tenure), inter alia, was meant to avoid authoritarian leadership and let ETC’s employees freely use their creative talent for the benefit of the company, raise their voice, allow their right to be heard and Board Members were expected to use their weight, last word and pens in defence of the efficient and the genuine. Yet Board members apathy has been shocking and their silence has been deafening. They seem to have closed their eyes, their minds and their hearts. They have adopted the no see, no hear, no speak attitude even when the plight of many employees is too close to their office. The reason is one and only one. They are deep into all dirty deals that is going on at the ETC. At this juncture, ETC’s employees are not asking the Board Members to promote them to a higher position, to increase their salary or do them a special favour. ETC’s employees are persistently asking the ETC Board Members to stop the corrupt practice, which is growing by day. Can they do that? Not at all! It would be tantamount to digging their own grave.

As time goes by, they (the Board Members) have totally lost sight of the original rationale for the Board tenure. The Board membership is not, as they might have misconceived it to be, a comfortable cushion that allows tenured members to sit back and relax.

We are now in the 21st Century, which clearly is an age of promise, an era of challenge, a period of intellectual effervescence. This is an age of questioning, of rethinking, of defiance, of deconstruction.

The ETC Board of Directors has literally become humdrum, lifeless, sheepishly follower, conformist, and unexciting.

It seems that individualistic, materialistic and worthless cosmetics have made the Board members conformists in thought, in belief, in action, conformists who dare not challenge the CEO who, due to his strong connection with the strong politicians of the country, holds the purse strings and who controls the entire money that comes as a” lubricant” (to loosen them up) from foreign telecom companies. And nothing can be more detrimental to the mission, vision and objective of the company (ETC) than conformity, in particular, voluntary, forced or induced compromise with duty, sacrificing integrity for material benefits and total apathy to a demise of an old standing giant institution like that of ETC.

Board members have a duty to sensitize the management team to the fact that integrity and rule of law are precarious entities that need to be constantly watched with vigilance and defended with vehemence. I am always frightened by the apparent indifference to the real threats to ETC and to the dangerous signs and trends that are all around ETC.

And nothing frightens me more than the lack of protest, from any branch of the Government such as the so called "Anti Corruption Commission", against the ever increasing corrupt practice, the passive attitude, or even approving reaction, to the broad daylight robbery, to mysterious and dubious conduct, such as fraud, under the table transaction and abuse of power, that continue to spread under the pretext of expanding the telecom services. The only force fighting corruption is the employees. ETC employees are now threatened that they will lose their job if they continue fighting corruption. I can safely conclude the intimidation tactic has worked. Those who used to cooperate with us are now telling us that the bottom line is ‘they are fathers and mothers’. We are in the same boat with many of them. As is always the case endurance varies from group to group, from person to person.

The sad reality is that while ETC employees are forced to remain passive and to stay silent, money-hungry bloodsuckers are eroding our hard won hard cash. The country is deep in debt which we may not be able to fully pay back in the coming 50 years or more.




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