Exclusive Opinion @ Abbay Media
Gadissa Kuma

If you are following the campaign to lead the World Health Organization (who), you must have noticed few reputable individuals promoting Tedros Adhanom. If you know Adhanom’s real record, you must have wondered whether Adhanom and his expensive public relation agents have fooled these supporters of Adhanom. But is it also conceivable that these accomplished individuals are working for an I.O.U redeemable if and when Adhanom takes charge of WHO? I ask myself these questions because it is difficult to think they do not know his deplorable record both as Minister of Health and Foreign Affairs. They must also know that each year, in its over 25 years in power, Adhanom’s TPLF regime has been the most corrupt and worst human rights violator in the world. The atrocious record of Adhanom’s government is in the open for all to see as international human rights organizations report on it regularly. Moreover, as if TPLF is confident of its ability to buy the silence of those in powerful places, it does torture and kill citizens in public for all to see. Diplomats attending court hearings in Ethiopia have witnessed first hand where innocent individuals, including citizens of European and North American countries, were deprived of their life, liberty, and property without due process of law.

Adhanom and his minority TPLF regime commit crimes against humanity with complete disregard to TPLF’s own constitution and international conventions to prolong their stay in power. What is puzzling and disturbing is that few, otherwise reputable, individuals in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America have chosen to embellish Adhanom’s non-existent accomplishments by lending their credibility to him ignoring all the crimes. It is sad that these supposedly champions of the rule of law, fairness, and justice do volunteer their reputation to serve as a crutch to lean on for a member of a brutal regime. This is a betrayal and an abuse of the trust people attach to their names.

To endorse a candidate to lead an organization as important as the World Health Organization, one must be convinced beyond a shadow of doubt about the competence and trust worthiness of the candidate. Adhanom has a disastrous grade on both counts. He is the only candidate who is not a medical doctor; his performance during the interview demonstrated that his capacity was limited to reading the power point presentation the public relation organization prepared for him; and his record as Minister of health in Ethiopia was terrible. The Ministry of Health, under Adhanom, also squandered millions of dollars in aid on poorly constructed clinics without the basic equipment, medicine, and staff. This was done to fool the international community as if access to health has improved. As the World Health Organization audit demonstrated, the approach chosen by Adhanom’s administration was one that was convenient to misappropriate millions of dollars in aid money.

In spite of the evidence demonstrating that Adhanom is not one to be trusted with the health of the world population, has few cheerleaders who pride themselves on their contribution to international health and human rights. For instance, a recipient of the Order of Canada wrote this outlandish endorsement with a ‘longtime advocate for women’s health and rights.’ But publicly available evidence proves the endorsement to be based on fake success stories with the intention of painting a fair, compassionate, visionary, honest, and effective leader out of Adhanom who never displayed these qualities. To see these champions of international health and women’s health and rights engaged in campaigning for the man under whose watch thousands of women were made infertile through forced sterilization raises question of credibility.

Could this be part of “you scratch my back I will scratch yours” game? If yes, the question remains ‘what might be the itch that is bad enough to risk ones reputation for the benefit of a disreputable character called Tedros Adhanom?