by MeKonnen H. Birru, PhD
Arrogance, ignorance, and incompetence. Not a pretty cocktail of personality traits in the best of situations. No sirree. Not a pretty cocktail in an office-mate and not a pretty cocktail in a head of state. In fact, in a leader, it’s a lethal cocktail.
More than a year and half ago, November 1, 2012, I was skeptical about the man but would like to give the benefit of the doubt, hence wrote, “Mr. Hailemariam Desalegn, 48, has been prime minister of Ethiopia not more than three months now but has already made several serious mistakes. I was among the first who wished him good luck within his first few office days but his unchristian and copycat drama make me question his integrity. I pray God will help him. Mr. Hailemariam is a highly educated man. He has a graduate degree in sanitation engineering. He was President of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region (SNNPR) for five years; then served as Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Ethiopia for almost two years. More than that, many claim and witness, including Mr. Hailemariam, that the man is a devout Christian with uncorrupt and respectful solid Christian background. So, how such a strong, educated, dedicated, uncorrupt, and ethical personality becomes full of lies or mistakes? Some say he is a strong Christian with weakness in telling the truth. Is there such personality? If so, can we categorize him as a person with multiple personality? One who plays tricky political games, entertain lies, enjoy purposeful mistakes, and disregard the truth while another of him regrets, confesses, cries, talks smooth, and believes Christ?….
Now, in February 2014, I have no illusion about the man. I am not skeptic about him. I know for sure (unequivocally), he doesn’t have multiple personality or any other mental disorder; however, he is just a cocktail of arrogance, ignorance, and incompetence.
Chris Ortiz listed ten signs of leadership incompetence, and the number is delegating work rather than balance workloads: In his televised press conference this week, PM Hailemariam told the nation that he is not in control but ‘a committee’ that no one knows. Who are these people? Incompetence breeds incompetence. According to David Dunning, a psychologist at Cornell University, stated ‘incompetence deprives people of the ability to recognize their own incompetence. To put it bluntly, dumb people are too dumb to know it. Similarly, unfunny people don’t have a good enough sense of humor to tell. This disconnect may be responsible for many of society’s problems.’ I know it is yours now, too.
The people of Ethiopia elected the house of representative and the house elected you…. We already know that you are not in control but at least you could have said it differently and act like better; however, you couldn’t do it because you are too ignorant to figure out that. Let me give you a simple example since you may find this concept hard to understand…. Ato Girma, the one who always sit on your far left, is elected by his constituent to serve as a member of parliament. No one, not any committee, but his constituents have the right to take him out…either to make him a local leader or unemployed. That is unequivocally true! But this democratic truth doesn’t work in your case according to your own statement. Don’t you respect your constituent when you say ‘my party can send me anywhere to serve…?’ If you know, your bosses are not those unknown committee members (TPLF?) but the people that elected you…your people!.
Finally, it is offensive to hear what you said about Assab. Being arrogant is being offensive. As a proud Ethiopian, you offended me. Hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians died to protect that part of Ethiopia. It was, it is, and it will be wrong and offensive.
MeKonnen H. Birru, PhD Program Director at Fortis College and Mental Health Professor at HCC
posted by Daniel tesfaye