By Abebe Gellaw,
ADDIS Voice can reveal that the 4th term speaker of the House of People’s Representatives has bought and used two fake degrees from a bogus university selling non-accredited diplomas online.
“Honorable” Abadula Gemeda, who is the chief “lawmaker” in Ethiopia as speaker of the lower house, bought Bachelor of Arts and Masters “degrees” in public administration in 2001 and 2004 respectively from American Century “University”.
American Century University, owned by Iran-born diploma mill operator Ali Marzaei, is notorious for its degree-for-cash schemes. Mirzaei tried to sell this reporter worthless MBA and PhD degrees for $4000 without realizing that his fraudulent scheme was under scrutiny. After a lengthy legal battle with the U.S. Department of Education, Mirzaei was forced to close down Hawaii Business College (HBC) in 2007 after it lost Federal student aid because of the forgery and fraudulent business practices that he was previously involved in.
HBC was accredited before he and his two sons acquired it. It collapsed after Mirzaei lost court cases, its accreditation and students. The conman runs a variety phoney online colleges and schools including American Century College, American Century International High School, American Pacific University and American Pacific High School International under the motto, “Your education is your future.”
Abadula, who dropped out of school at 8th grade before he joined Derg’s army as a private over three decades ago, also claimed to have earned a B.Sc. degree from “Chinese Defense University” in military leadership in 1995. But the claim turned out to be false as there is no such university in China that conferred a degree on the speaker.
This reporter confirmed from reliable sources that he has never been to China to study for a B.Sc. degree program. After we started investigation the B.Sc. degree was downgraded to a certificate on the parliament’s website but we have already taken screenshots.
The renowned African scholar Professor George Ayittey says that the issue of phony degrees cannot be taken lightly as it is a corrupt and criminal practice that reflects on the nature of the government. “A regime that employs people that purchase fake degrees from diploma mills instead of working hard to earn them cannot be trusted,” he said. Professor Ayittey refers to fake and greedy power mongers like Abadula “hippos” that must give way to the more agile and competent cheetah generation eager to positively transform nations suffering under tyrannies.
The damning evidence on Abadula’s bogus diplomas has also been discovered in the speaker’s biographies posted on the parliament’s website, his official Facebook page as well as Wikipedia. The almost identical biographies on the official pages claim:
“Abadula has a rare mix of military and civilian education. His military education was obtained from the Defense University of China, a close ally of Ethiopia under the EPRDF, in Military Leadership in 1995.
But Abadula seems to not stop there. His civilian education has taken him both ways across the Atlantic,” it claimed. “His education in the U.S. was focused on public administration. B.Sc in military science from the Defense University of China [nonexistent] in 1995, BA in Public administration from Century University of USA in 2001. MA in Public administration from Century University of USA in 2004 MA in International Relations from Greenwich University, UK, in 2009.”
The same line of narration about the speaker with four degrees has been repeated by the state-controlled media.
The English business weekly Addis Fortune’s profile of Abadula (SEP, 08, 2013 [ VOL 14 ,NO 697) also claims that he got his B.A. and M.A. degrees from Century University.
A couple of weeks ago, this reporter exposed fake “professor” Constantinos Berhe (Costy) for purchasing and using MBA and PhD degrees. The Addis Ababa University administration has not yet opened investigation on the bogus professor who teaches and advises graduate students. This reporter cannot verify whether the “professor” assisted the “lawmaker” in the purchase of the unearned degrees.
Former Derg soldier Abadula, whose real name was Menase Wolde Giorgis before TPLF re-baptized him as Abadula, was captured by EPLF fighters in Eritrea in mid 1980s but was handed over to the TPLF as a prisoner of war, along with Kuma Demeksa (Taye Teklehaimanot) and others.TPLF reoriented the Derg soldiers and made them leaders of the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization, which was set up in 1991 under the tutelage of the TPLF to serve as a Trojan horse to control Oromos.
Ermias Legese, former Minister d’etat of Government Communication, says Abadula is one of the most insecure people in the regime who always aspires to please his TPLF masters. “The fact that he has bought fake degrees, even if he is supposed to be the chief lawmaker, may only certify that his very existence is forged by the TPLF. Forged identity imposed by someone else is always a problem and deep psychological crisis,” he said. The constitution of the “Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia” declares that the House of Peoples’ Representatives that Abadula heads as the speaker is “the highest authority of the Federal Government, responsible to the people,” as stipulated in Article 50 (3). Members of the house, which is currently controlled by the TPLF and its allies, are installed every five years.
The constitution further declares that members of the House are representatives of the Ethiopian people who are governed by the constitution, the will of the people and their conscience. But the chief lawmaker purchased the degrees and fraudulently gained material gains with no regard to the people, the “constitution” and his own conscience. Ironically, the constitution vests the power of “enforcing all disciplinary actions the house takes against its members” on Abadula, as the speaker of the house.
According to the Criminal Code (Art. 385), presenting forged certificates for the purpose of obtaining for oneself or procuring for another an advantage or betterment is punishable up to one year imprisonment. It is to be seen if the lawmaker will go to jail or get promoted for his fake degrees.