The Gadaa System
Many scholars agree that like other African societies, the Oromo people have their socio-political and religious philosophy that distinguish them as a nation and at the same time connect them with others African traditional societies. “Gadaa refers to any period of eight years during which a class stays in power” (Ife 2001: 22). The Oromo Gadaa System, (GS) is prominent democratic system in African socio-political philosophy (Jalata 2002; Bulcha 2012). According the Legesse (1973), GS is very complicated; therefore it is very hard to get anyone who knows all aspect of it. Jalata (2002) and Asmerom Legesse (1973) pointed out that the people have been developed their political, social, cultural, economic, and Mucha (2011) religious philosophy in which they have been practicing justice seeking system and peacebuilding mechanisms for centuries, even before the western democracy. Bokku (2011) stated that the Oromo GS is one of the Oromo people contributions to black civilization.
GS is a democratic governance system, developed by the Oromo people and practiced since at least 16th century (Jalata 2002; Melbaa 1999). There are also some scholars who contend that GS started before 12th century. For instance, Bukku (2011) and Tenna Dewo (2009) argued that the Oromo people developed and started to use GS 250 years ago. In fact, Bulcha and Jalata recognized that 16th century was when the people were seen using GS by non-Oromo as they were expanding their territory and establishing Gadaa centers in various places in Oromia. Particularly, Jalata pointed out that the Oromo did not abruptly start to be led by GS in 16th; it is accumulations of long experiences of the people, yet it is not easy to get specific date and year when they started to use it. However, the Oromo were observed practicing GS in the 16th century.