To those who follow local politics, the unprecedented legislative action taken by the House of People’s Representatives (HPR) in 2001 is one to remember. It was not an ordinary legislative action lawmakers usually take in the lower house. This legislative action has kept several politicians, activists and observes wondering for years. It was the adoption of the Anti-corruption and Ethics Proclamation criminalizing acts of corruption and bribery, and penalizing them with long prison terms.
Most remember it as one of the most extraordinary legislative actions the HPR has ever adopted in its 22 years of existence. There are even those critics who satirically call it “Lovely”, after a brand of local biscuit introduced then. The time of the proclamation coincided with the time when commercials for the biscuit were being constantly played on ETV (now rebranded as the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation). The commercial had the catchy phrase, Tewat Temerto Kese’at Merkato (akin to “Fresh from the Oven”, but the literal translation goes, “Baked in the morning, and sold in the afternoon at Mercato). It was a well-articulated commercial designed to seduce customers to buy a fresh product.
Such a humorous association of a legislative action with a commercial was made because the proclamation was endorsed swiftly after it had been drafted. The MPs took no more than a couple of days of deliberation before they endorsed it. It typically takes quite a long time before bills are endorsed in the Ethiopian parliament. For many observers, the anti-corruption bill is by far the most controversial and hysterical legislative actions ever taken by the incumbent regime. Read more here