Alemayehu G Mariam
What does a malaria researcher know about the art and science of diplomacy? Or for that matter the difference between telling the truth and telling lies? Or condoning or condemning lies? These are not trick questions. Tedros Adhanom is the “foreign minister” in the Thugtatroship of the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front (T-TPLF). In the official “Ministry of Foreign Affairs Biography of the Minister”, Adhanom is described as “an internationally recognized malaria researcher.” Adhanom is said to have received a “Master’s degree in immunology of infectious diseases from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and a doctorate in community health from the University of Nottingham (UK) in 2000.”
In 2005, the late Meles Zenawi appointed Adhanom “minister of health”. In 2012, following Meles’ death, he was appointed “minister of foreign affairs”. A malaria researcher-cum-“health minister” meteorically rose to became that country’s top diplomat literally overnight, a political metamorphosis that could only occur in the “Republic of Dystopia Ethiopia”!
The duping of Tedros Adhanom by a 14 year-old girl in the Land of Living Lies
Over the past couple of weeks, Adhanom has been a central character in a drama of farcical juvenile deception involving a 14 year-old Australian girl of Ethiopian heritage who came out of nowhere, sat with Adhanom at a press conference, and offered to spend a A$20 million prize she had won in Australia building schools in Ethiopia. That is at least the official narrative. To any reasonable person, such charitable magnanimity by a teenager would sound like a fish story. Indeed, it is the kind of improbable story one would expect to find on the satirical webpages of The Onion or worldneswsdailyreport.com which last November humorously reported the “Ark of Covenant stolen by Ethiopian church authorities” causing disbelief, alarm, panic, anger and deep disappointment among many unsuspecting Ethiopians.
On March 2, 2015, Abebe Gellaw, the young Ethiopian journalist in exile, known for his relentless exposes of corruption, scandal, fake degrees and abuses of power by the T-TPLF, published an investigative piece on the duping of Adhanom by the teenager. [Note: I am intentionally not naming the teenager sucked into the Adhanom scandal because I do not want to aid in her condemnation and demonization in the media. I also do not believe a 14 year-old girl could dream up or concoct an elaborate $20 million dollar scam entirely by herself. I shall refer to her hereinafter only as the “young lady” or “teenager” because I truly believe she is herself a duping victim by Adhanom and his henchmen who coached her to lie for their own cheap propaganda.]
The young lady during the press conference with Adhanom said, “I won a competition of 20 million Australian dollars so I came here with the government of Ethiopia and Australia to begin my project and structures in the area and the land.” A “Ministry of Foreign Affairs” spokesman told the rest of her story.
The main thing is that she used to participate in clubs (in Australia). One of the clubs she led worked in human affairs. In that club, she and other club members exchanged ideas about how to help others. The main idea she raised was how to give others an opportunity for learning. When people heard that (in Australia), supporters put together the award (of 20 million dollars). This happened in 2014. When she came home for a visit, as you have heard it from her, she wants to build a school in the Gara Muleta area in Harer with the award of 20 million dollars she got. She will begin her work soon with the cooperation of the responsible authorities.
How did the “Foreign Ministry” find out about the A$20 million awardee? The spokesman explained:
When the young lady came , we saw her documentation. She came to us through her family. Our honorable [foreign] minister learned about her and said it is necessary to speak and encourage her so that she can be a role model to other young people. So he called and talked to her. He encouraged her in a very strong way. He assured her if there is support the government can give her, she will get all the support she needs.
The problem with the “$20 million prize” is that it never existed. The teenager never received such a prize. It is completely bogus. For the “honorable minister” to believe an eight-grader would travel to Ethiopia from Australia to donate A$20 million to build schools, he must also believe in Santa Claus traveling from the North Pole in his sleigh of flying reindeer on Christmas eve to hand out toys and goodies to children all over the world. To put it simply, the “20 million award” is as phony as T-TPLF’s claim of “11 percent digit economic growth rate” in Ethiopia over the past decade (which, by the way, I proved beyond a shadow doubt to be a lie, a damned lie and statislie).
Abebe Gellaw’s investigative report methodically dismantled Adhanom’s $20 million caper. Abebe contacted the elementary school principal where the alleged $20 million teen awardee attended. The principal of that school said she “was quite mystified” and had no knowledge of any competition or prize for 20 million. Abebe contacted Baden Powell College in Melbourne, Australia which allegedly organized the fundraising. The college denied “any involvement in the bizarre affair” (the college itself runs on A$12 million annual budget). The Manager of Rotary International in Australia which allegedly donated the money told Abebe that all of the branch clubs in the country had “raised only $A 5.6 million dollars”; and it would be “an outrageous amount of money” to give to a 14-year old school girl under any circumstances. The Government of Australia denied any knowledge of a $20 million prize and further clarified that it does not give education funds to the Ethiopian “government”.
So, where did the $20 million lie come from?