HE DIED BUT HIS PROPHECY STILL RESONATES (listen to the videos)
Lt. Mamo Mezemer, the Unsung Hero
By Worku Gadissa, April 5, 2018
Today I want to present a short article about one of the key founders and leaders of Mecha Tulama Association, Lt. Mamo Mezemer the Unsung Hero.
Must listen to video
What draws me to write the story of Mamo Mezemer?
- He was the only member of Mecha Tulama sentenced to death by hanging.
- He was the chief ideological leader of Mecha Tulama.
- Mamo prophesied the downfall of the Haile Selassie branch of the Solomonic Dynasty and Ethiopian Empire.
- His heroism in the struggle against Haile Selassie and the empire is largely unsung. Yet even though Mamo is little known his achievements are substantial.
- Finally, I want to recount his story to show gratitude to him and all MTA members for their heroic struggle against the injustice and the oppression of the Haile Selassie regime.
In modern Oromo history Mecha Tulama was, after Raya Azebo and Bale Peasant Movement, the most significant Oromo organization engaged in social, political and armed struggle against the Ethiopian empire.
In 1955 [Eth. Calendar] Mecha Tulama Association [MTA] was born. Its founding marked the beginning of the modern Oromo nationalist movement. MTA is a social and political movement that has literally altered the course of Oromo history. Through the establishment of MTA Oromos took control of their own destinies for the first time in centuries. Mass meetings were organized in many regions of Ethiopia from which arose torch burns symbolizing the Oromo struggle and the Oromo peoples’ quest for freedom. MTA is the foundation and a beginning of OLF and Qerroo .
Mamo Mezemer was born in Guder, a town some 15 km. from Ambo, the birth place of many Oromo heroes. Few regions can match Macha and Bale as a birthplace for heroic figures of Oromo history.
A few details about Mamo’s birthplace. Guder is a small town known for wine, limestone and a special quarry stone for house building known as “ Ambo Dingay”
Mamo attended Ambo Hagere Hywot School and then high school at Teferi Mekonen. Upon graduating high school, he went to Harar Teacher Training Institute. After that he joined the Army Academy in Harar and graduated as 1st Lt. For a period, he served at the Army Academy as instructor.
Attracted to its revolutionary appeal, Mamo joined Mecha Tulama at a young age and played a key role in shaping events.
Continuing his education, he entered AA University Law School. At the university he organized a student movement with the popular slogan of “meret la rashu” – “Land to the tiller”. But before he received his degree Mamo was arrested and imprisoned by the Ethiopian government.
The Plot to Arrest Mamo
Ethiopian history is rife with conspiracy especially when it comes to the Oromo struggle for justice and freedom from political and governmental oppression. Central and provincial governments lie about everything concerning the Oromo people from their historical origin to the history of their relationship with the Ethiopian state.
The arrest of Mamo Mezemer was the vile fruit of a deceptive and deceitful plot concocted by the Aklilu Habte-Wold government. It viewed the charismatic Mamo, a man of intellect, wisdom and imagination, and described by Bekele Nadi as a visionary, revolutionary, and ideological figure deeply involved in Mecha Tulama, an organization and movement that it fearfully viewed as a threat to the Haile Selassie dynasty, empire, and regime and the Aklilu premiership and government.
The plot to arrest and judicially murder Mamo unfolded this way.
One day as Mamo was watching a movie with a friend in Cinema Adwa in Sheger a bomb exploded in the cinema. The bomb was actually detonated by an Aklilu government agent but Mamo’s proximity to the explosion gave seeming credibility to the accusation that it was he who detonated the bomb. This false accusation led to his arrest and imprisonment for treason.
The framing of Mamo was provoked by the regime’s increasing suspicion, fear, and hatred of the Oromo people. It was only made worse by Mecha Tulama’s plot to assassinate the emperor and endeavor a coup against the state and government. But the coup d’etat failed. One of the subsequent effects of its failure was the government’s ruthless pursuit, arrest, and imprisonment of MTA members.
In 1962 (Ethiopian Calendar) Gen. Tadesse Biru and Lt. Mamo Mezemer were tried, convicted and sentenced to death by hanging. Gen. Tadesse’s death sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment. No commutation of sentence was granted Mamo. He was to die by hanging.
Vision for Oromo Struggle and Prophetic Warning of the Fall of Haile Selassie
Mamo Mezemer’s execution date was set for mid-1962. As he walked to the gallows, one of the prison guards heard him speak a vision for the Oromo people and a prophetic warning of the fall of Haile Selassie.
Mamo said “I am falsely accused of a crime which I never committed, but my death has great value for the Oromo people. As you have dealt with me, judgment will come upon the emperor and his cabinet within not a long time.”
Mamo predicted that God`s judgment would fall on the Haile Selassie dynasty and the regime through which it had oppressively ruled Ethiopia for over four decades.
Aklilu Habte- Wold at the Hanging of Mamo Mezemer
On the day of Mamo’s execution Prime Minister Aklilu who rarely appeared at public events, went to Alem Bekagne prison to observe and celebrate the killing of a man who he deemed a dangerous threat to him and his government.
Accompanying Prime Minister Aklilu was an entourage of high ranking governmental officials to whom he granted the honor of watching and enjoying the judicial murder by hanging of Mamo Mezemer.
Aklilu was accompanied by:
Akalework Habte-Wold, Dej. Sahilu Defaye, Dej. Kifle Yirgtu, Mej. Gen. Derese Dubale, Mej, Gen. Yilma Shibashi and other prominent members of the Aklilus cabinet.
After most of the Mecha Tulama leaders who had been arrested, imprisoned, and hanged in the aftermath of the failed coup, the ministers and generals who accompanied Aklilu to witness and celebrate Memo’s death, were generously rewarded, decorated and promoted to higher ranks.
Dej. Kifle Yirgatu was given 20 gashas in Gamu Gofa and 15 gashas in Kaffa, Mj. Gen. Derese Dubale given many Gashas along Awash river. Others were promoted to high ranks and given lands and money.
Memo’s prophecy was loud and clear and judgment did eventually befall the Haile Selassie dynasty and regime.
In 1974 Haile Selassie’s feudal rule was brought to its terminating end by its toppling army, Derg. Soon after its overthrow sixty cabinet ministers and high-ranking army officers including Prime Minister Aklilu Habte-Wolde were arrested and brought into same prison where Mamo Mezemer had been imprisoned, executed and buried.
Ultimately, the Derg condemned all sixty high ranking government officials to death. Those executed were buried inside the same prison where Mamo was hanged and then buried.
Lies, injustices and evil acts, eventually receive just retribution as shown by the execution and burial of Aklilu, his ministers, and military supporters for they died and were buried at the same prison Akililu had built to imprison, execute, and bury his political foes.
Mamo said “My blood will pave the way for the struggle of my people” and predicted judgment and destruction would fall upon the Haile Selassie dynasty and regime.
This is a clear example of how the prophetic word achieves fulfillment and how God can transform injustice into justice
What does Macha Tulama mean for us today?
The Haile Selassie, Derg, and TPLF regimes all banned MTA. But, after 48 years we are witnessing and experiencing a very important time in Oromo history. Mamo’s spirit is not dead because Qeerroo keeps the fire burning. We patriotic and resisting Oromos have reached an absolutely crucial moment in our struggle. Ultimately, our goal is not only to remember and teach the history of the MTA, but to rediscover in our own hearts and minds its legacy and pass it on to future generations of our people
The history of the Oromo people is shaped up by people like Mamo Mezemr: brave individuals who made the ultimate sacrifice in the fight for equality and justice.
Although his earthly remains are buried Mamo’s life and immortal spirit inspires us to courageous deeds of Oromo patriotism. The millions of Qeerroo of today are a blossoming of his heroic legacy. Lt. Mamo Mezemer sacrificed his life for our cause and we are both proud of and grateful to him.
Lastly, I would like to thank the MTA’S original founding fathers, some of whom are with us today. They have kept the fire burning. I also have the hopeful expectation that MTA will one day return to Sheger.
Some are chosen to pay a price like Mamo. Some of us stand for nothing, but remember you are standing on the sacrifices of heroes like Mamo Mezemer.
As Assatar Shakury declared “Nobody in the world, nobody in human history has ever gotten their freedom by appealing to the moral sense of the people who were oppressing them.”
You should stop asking for freedom, equality and justices from EPRDF, OPDO, or anyone.
“FREEDOM IS TAKEN, NEVER GIVEN”
Robe Bale Oromia-Roobee Baalee Oromiyaa
Dur dur Tokkummaa Qabsaawoota Baalee fi Dhaaba Maccaa fi Tuulamaa
Bara Oromoon wal beeke,bara saayinsii fi teknoolojiin guddatee odeefanno sakandii tokko keessatti waliin dhaqqabuun danda’amu kana keessatti dhaabbileen siyaasa Oromoo bakka garagaraatti ciccittanii wal qabachuu dadhaban. Dur waggaa shantama dura,bara oromoon wal hin beeknetti,bara wal qunnamtii uumanii odeefannoo wal jijjiruun akkaan rakkisaa ta’etti qabsaa’onni Baalee fi Hogganttooni Maccaa fi Tuulammaa wal qunnamanii tokkummaa uuman. Wal qunnamtii kanaafis gahee guddaa ka taphatan Haaji Aadam Saaddo ti. Bara san keessa miseensonni Maccaa fi Tuulamaa warra muudaaf deemu fakkatanii Dirree Sheek Huseen dhufuun gama Haaj Aadam Saaddotiin qabsaa’ota Baaleetiin wal arganii waaye qabsoo hidhannoo mari’ataa turan. Baruma kana keessaa Ulama’onni Roobee muudni gara Dirree Sheek Huseen godhamu amantii Islaama keessatti hin hayyamamu jechuun ummata barsiisaa turan. Jiddu tana Ulama’ni kabajamaa fi beekkaman tokko Haaji Aadam Saaddotiin “maalif muuda Dirree Sheek Huseen Deemu itti fufte?” jedhe gaafateen.
Haajiinis aariidhaan akkana jedhaniin “Callisi maal akka nu hojjannu eessatti beeytaamiti,nu dhagaa yookiin mukatti amanaa hin jirru, Sheek Huseen Rabbi jedhaa hin jirru. Garuu Oromoota biraatiin wal arguu qabna,waajjira wahiitu hin qabnu,galmee raga barreefamaa wahiitu hin qabnu,karaa biraa kan ittiin wal qunnamnu kamiyyuu hin qabnu kanaafu Dirree Sheek Huseenitti wal arguu qofa” .
Dirree Sheek Huseen hambaa seenaa Eenyummaa,Aada fi Siyaasa Oromoo turte,sabboontonni qabsoo Oromoo fi hayyoonni seenaa kan dhalootaan Baale ta’an dabalatee dhiibbaa Ulamaa’ota Roobeetin Dirree Sheek Huseen irratti godhame yeroo qeeqan ni mul’ata.
Haaji Aadam Saaddo miseensa Maccaa fi Tuulamaa, fi akka Baaleetti itti gaafatamaa bakka bu’aa dhaabbatichaa turan, bara san keessa Baale keessa miseensonni dhaabbatichaa muraasni Ismii Abbaa Washaa (Hisuu), Haaj Huseen Suraa fi Haaji Aliyyi Haaji Jaarsoo yaadachuun ni danda’ama. Barreefamni armaan gadii barreefama xalayaa Hoggantoonni Maccaa fi Tuulamaa, fi qabsaa’onni Baale yeroo garagaraatti waliif barreessan uf keessaa qabata.
XALAYAAN ARMAAN GADII MACCAA FI TUULAMA IRRAA QABSAA’OTA BAALETIIF ERGAME.
Xalayaa kana kan barreesse Liwtinaant Maammoo Mazamir ture. guyyanis September 10,1965
“Seena ilma namaa irraa akka hubatamutti ummattoonni osoo du’a hin sodaatin bilisummaa fi birmadummadhaaf qabsaayan yeroo hundaa ni injifatu…jiruu fi qabsoon du’aa ummattoota cunqurfamoo impaayera itoophiyaa keessatti ol’aantummaa amaara fi fakkaatoonni isaani sirna impeeriyalizmii Ameerikatin deeggaramuun geeggesan irratti qabsoon ummattoonni cunqurfamoon miliyonaan lakkaawaman godhan Qabsoo Addaati…. Uf duratti ummattooni cunqurfamoon bifa dhaabbileen wal gurmeesani sirna cunqursaa kanas sirriti gadi fageenyaan waan hubataniif qabsoon ammaa kun ni babal’ata. Marii kanaan dure goone irratti akka hubattanitti sosochiin dimokraatawa Maccaa fi Tuullamaa kan jalqabameef Ummanni Oromoo akka uf beeku gochuudhaafi, Haala qabatamaa amma jiru kana ilaallatee halkanii fi guyyaa waan dandeennu hunda gochutti jirra. Maqaa isinii dhahuuf qaamni Maccaa fi Tuullamaa ka humna qawwee hidhate sosochii biyyoolessaa kan fedhii fi hawwii ummata Oromoo bakkaan gahu qindeessutti jirra. Isin ummanni Baale qabsoo gootummaa itti jirtan itti fufaa, haga dhiigni keessan cophee dhumutti lafa Oromiyaa taakkun tokko osoo hin hafin diina irraa lolaa. humni waraana warra mpeeriyalistii, ziyoonistii fi cunqursitoota kara hundaan isinitti duulanis lolli falma waraana isin itti jirtan murteessadha, ni injifattus. Nu karaa dandeenne hundaan isiniin wal qunnamtii uumuuf ni carraaqna.”
XALAYAAN ARMAAN GADII QABSA’OTA BAALEE KAN JENERAAL WAAQOO GUUTUTIIN HOGGANAMU DIRREE WARAANA DALLOO IRRAA HOGGANTOOTA MACCAA FI TUULAMAAF ERGAME
Waldaa Maccaa fi Tuulamaatiif
Qabsaawoota bilisummaa Oromoo-Baale,Jeneraal Waaqoo hogganamtu Dallo irraa.
Nageenyi keenna isin haagahu. Ummata Oromoo Shawaa fi bakka biraa jiraatu hundaan nagaya keenna nuuf gaha. Nu Oromoonni Baalee gabrummaa amaaraa jalaa baahuuf qabsoo hidhannoo erga eegalle waggaa afur fin’eerra..Nu karaa Dallootiin qabsoorra jirra, Kara Bahaa-Awuraaiiaa Waabeetiin generaal Huseen Buneefaa itti jiran. Wanni akka isin nuuf gootan isinirraa eegnu.
- Waraana haylasillaaseen nutti duulchise keessaa irra guddaan ijoolle teessan, wallagga, Jimmaafi kanneen birooti. Ijoollee teessan waraana diinaa ta’anii akka nutti hin duulle nurraa dhaaba.
- Isin qabannee isaanis (ijoollee wallaalaan waraana diinaa taate) sirreessuu ni dandeenna.
- Carraa qabdaniin qabsoon keenna addunyatti akka beekamtu nuuf godhaa.
- Ijoollee baratte ta waa nu gargaartu nuuf erga.
- Waan hundarratti bal’innaan akka wajjiin mari’annu namoota keessan nuu erga.
- Olola dharaa Ammaarri nurratti oofu-nu abbaa biyyummaa keennaa waakkate shiftoota, Soomaale nuun jedhu kijiba ta’uu ummata oromoo hundatti nuuf himaa. Nu amantiin keenna Islaamaa ta’us, oromoo ta’uu keenna hubadhaa.Soomaaleen amantiin wal fakkaanna malee, sabaan adda ta’u keennas beeka. Nu ka lolaa jirruuf biyya teennaafi male, ta Somaaleetifi miti. Kana ummata keenna hundatti nuf himaa.”
Qabsaa’ota Baalee keessaa xalayicha irratti kan mallatteessan.
Hoggansa waraana Olaana irraa
Jeneraal Waaqoo Guutu
Koloneel Haaji Aliyyii Cirrii Jaarraa
Koloneel Aadam Jiloo
Koloneel Dubroo Waaqoo
Manguddoota hoggansa keessaa ammo
Haaji Goobanaa Yuuboo
Koloneel Cirrii Jaarraa
Koloneel Waaqoo Shaaqee
Saadiq Roobaa fi walumaa galatti namoota haga 15 ta’u
Haaji Huseen Suraa(xalayicha harka isaanitiin ka barreesse)
XALAYAAN ARMAAN GADII QABSA’OTA BAALEE KAN JENERAAL HUSEEN BUNEETIN HOGGANAMU DIRREE WARAANA HAWAAXXUURRAA HOGGANTOOTA MACCAA FI TUULAMAAF ERGAME
“Waldaa Maccaa fi Tuulamaa fi ummata Oromoo Shawaa keessa jiraatu hundaaf
Nageeenyi keenya isin haa gahu. Dirree qabsoo bilisummaa Baalee Hawwaaxxuurraa”
Oduun keessan akka nu gahetti gurmooftanii sochiirra jirtanii dhageenne. Nu gama keennan qabsoo bilisummaa eega eegallee waggaa afressoo keessa jirra. Halkanii guyyaa waraana amaara jeneraal Kabbdaa Yaaqoob jedhamu hogganuun wajjiin wal falmaa jirra. Qabsoon keennas uf duuba hin deebi’u. Biyya keenna irratti gadi aantummaan jiraachu hin feenu. Murteen keennas bilisummaadha. Yoo isin nuuf tumsitan ni biisoomna. Ummata Shawaa keessa jiru hundatti waan nu keessa jiru nuuf labsaa. Gurmuu nu ta’a
- Waraana Imaan oromoo amaarri gowwoomsee nurratti achii duulchisu nurraa dhaaba.
- Olola dharaa Somaale nuun jedhu akka dhugaa hin ta’in ummataaf himaa.
- Namoota baratan bilisummaaf nu wajjiin dhaabbachuu danda’an dandeetti hoggansaa qaban nuuf ergaa. Nu gama keennaan gargaarsa Rabbitiin qabsoo eegalle Baalerraa gara Harariifi biyya Dida’a(Arsii) ni bal’ifna. Isinis bakkuma jirtanii eegalaa.
- Waan nu keessa jirru biyya alaatti nuuf beeksisa. Gurra Faranjii nuu buusa.
- Haala maanguddoonni keessani fi hoggantoonni keenna wal arganii itti mari’atan nuuf uumaa. Wal qabannee haqa keenna deeffachuuf jabaanne haa qabsoofnuun dhaamsa qabsaawoota Baalee hundaati. Nageenyi isin wajjiin haa jiraatu.
Jeneraal Huseen Bunee Daraara
Koloneel Abdullaahi Badhaasoo
Ismii Abbaa Washaa
Haaji Aliyyii Jaarsoo
Haaji Usmaan Imaamaa
Hogganaan Maccaa fi Tuulamaa Jeneraal Taaddasaa Birru waraanaan qabamanii to’annaa jala oolfamanii turan. Manni isaani humna waraanatin sakata’amaa osoo jiru jiddu tana Xalayicha Baale irraa Haaji Aadam Saaddoo fuudhanii gara Finfinnee dhufan,Haajiin hidhamuu Jeneraal Taaddasaa Birruu quba waan hin qabneef gara mana Jeneraal Taaddasaa Birru bilbilan, hogganaan waraana mana sakkata’aa jiru sagale Jeneraal Taaddasaa fakkeesse wajjiin haasaye, haajii wajjiin wal arguuf naannoo ministeera bulchiinsa biyya keessaa/agargizaat kan yeroo ammaa ‘immigireshinii’ jedhamutti beellama qabatan. Akka kanaan borumtaa Haajiinis human waraanittin marfamanii qabamanii gara mana poolisaa geeffaman, wayta moora buufata poolisi gahan Haajiin mala dhawan, poolisootaan mana fincaani na geessa jedhaniin, poolisoonnis geessaniini balbala mana fincaani irra dhaabbatan, yeroo kana haajiin iccitiin qabsaa’otaa akka hin baane gochuuf waraqaa xalayichi irratti barreefame tatarsaasanii alanfachuutti seenaan, jidduu tana ajaajan waraana biiro gadi bahee poolisotaan haaji karam geessitan jedheen, poolisoonnis akka mana fincaani jiran itti himan,ajajaan waraana akkamitti osoo hin sakkata’in adda isaani gadi dhiistan jedhee utaale mana fincaani yeroo seenu haajiin waraqata haga harkatti hafe cicciranii alanfachutti jiru. Ajajichi human biraa waamatee osoo asii-achi gara biiroo fidatan.achittis haajiin jalaa hin laafne wal daddarbaa jabaatte keessa shuguxi Haajiin koolti 38 bobaa karaa bitaatin fannifatan lafa buute. Haga hafte ajajichii fi warri isa wajjiin jiran rifatan.sanuma keessa waraqaa afaan keessatti hafe alanshaa turan.guutumaa guututti alanshanii eega liqimsan booda, tooridaan shuguxxi wajjiin bobaa kara mirgaan hidhatan lafa jalaa bu’e.eega iccitiin qabsaa’otaa diina harka seenu dhabuu mirkaneefatan booda “Waan garaa keennaa nu bahe garatti deebifadhe,amma waan feetan fidaa” jedhaniin.