Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Rich people shouldn't reduce politics to a commodity - TIZ
By Roy Habaalu
Wed 21 Aug. 2013, 14:00 CAT

TIZ president Lee Habasonda says rich people should not use their wealth to reduce politics to a commodity.

Commenting on Council of African Political Parties (CAPP) vice-president Eastern Region Redwan Hussein Rameto's statement that rich people in Ethiopia are not allowed to be members of the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front as a way of protecting the country's interest, Habasonda said the rich should ensure that politics responds to the needs of the poor.

"And their money should not be used to corrupt the people that are already poor and further create classes in society that ensure that political power does not alternate between the rich and the poor," he said.

Habasonda said if the rich were to participate in the discourse of their country, there was need for a restrictive code of conduct.
He said his organisation was of the view that political financing be monitored.

"So that those with money don't destabilise the normal political function in any society. By virtue of being rich they control politics and we should not allow politics to be captured by plutocrats. In Africa, we need the rich people to sanitise politics rather than debase them. Unfortunately for Africa, the gap between the rich and the poor is big and the poor easily surrender to the rich. This makes the population venal," he said.

Habasonda said as a result, wealth had a bad impact on African politics.

During an executive members meeting on Sunday, Rameto said the decision to bar rich people from being part of the ruling party was a preventive measure for members not to engage in corruption.

"It's possible to get out of poverty and assume renaissance and we still have to fight corruption. Never hesitate to chase out anyone who is found guilty of corruption. In Ethiopia, the first one to go behind bars was our former prime minister before our great leader Meles Zenawi. A month ago, we arrested customs authorities, including their director," said Rameto.


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