Sunday, 13 December 2015

Front page


Divide and rule:




How gov’t protects thieving military magistrates
They received huge sums of money from the state treasury which they allocated to themselves. However, they are walking free today while the paymaster general who instructed that they be paid is in jail
By Tanyi Kenneth Musa in Yaounde
Laurent Esso
Investigations by The Median have revealed that some magistrates in uniform are amongst the most corrupt public servants in Cameroon. When they have the means, they dip their hands in the state treasury with impunity. However, probably because they have guns and other destructive weapons at their disposal, they are highly protected by the powers that be.
                Such is the case of a number of them who were paid a whopping sum of 6 billion FCFA as emoluments from the 2009 to the 2013 financial year, which they allocated to themselves. It later on came to the notice of government authorities that the allocations, some of which were as much as 25 million FCFA each, were unduly made. Otherwise put, the military magistrates did not deserve the money they received from the public treasury.
                As a consequence, Emmanuel MbiaEnguené, the paymaster general for Yaounde at the time, who ordered the payment of the money to the military men of law, was arrested and sent to the Kondengui central prison where he is currently languishing. In the meantime, the dishonest military magistrates are walking free!
                Observers see this as a clear case of travesty of justice as they argue that the men in uniform and not the paymaster general should be behind bars.

The senate flouts the constitution



AYAH Paul ABINE, Supreme Court of Cameroon.
AYAH Paul ABINE
It is now a notorious fact that the Camerounese senate refuses every year to defend their budget before the national assembly on the pretext that they are the upper chamber of the House. Unbelievable misconduct by persons said to be HONOURABLE!
                Cameroun is truly at precarious cross-roads today! Just a timid whirlwind and it could be plunged into the abyss of fatal chaos. Delicately sustained only by a flimsy legal string; and having traversed sporadic inroads through to wanton comportment of riddance, it is as if the present generations have arrogated to themselves the right to be final…
                Cameroun, without doubt, has never been the bedrock of the rule of law. But things have dangerously degenerated into the point where even the judiciary appears to be on the verge of declaring themselves irrelevant! That is of course only a logical queue-up, subsequent to the shameless breaking of the law by the very law-makers: the senate trampling underfoot with hollow majesty the country’s constitution – the fundamental law of the land…
                But who can bring their minds to this outrageous conduct of the so-high? As if they have reversed their much-talked-about “the truth and the good example (coming) from the top”! Dumping the constitution in the waste basket in manner most irresponsible!

“Father” against “son”?



MebeNgo’o quizzed on embezzlement scandal
Edgard Alain MebeNgo’o
He has not been formally accused, but the President of the Republic who ordered the interrogation does not understand how a suspicious financial operation would be carried out by a senior military official without the knowledge of the Minister of Defence at the time
By Tanyi Kenneth Musa in Yaounde
The current minister of Transport Edgard Alain MebeNgo’o seems to be in for trouble. Barely two months after he was dropped from his position as minister delegate at the Presidency in charge of Defence, he was interrogated on an issue that has to do with the swindling of hundreds of millions of FCFA while he occupied his former post.
                Dependable sources at the Presidency have told The Median that the amount in question is 315 million FCFA put at the disposal of the Interregional Coordination Centre for Maritime Safety in the Gulf of Guinea, headed by Senegalese born Col. AbdourahmaneDieng. This money, specially withdrawn by the Presidency of the Republic, was meant for Cameroon’s participation in the putting in place of the said centre.
                What is problematic, we were told, is the fact that the amount was not transferred in its entirety to the centre. Rear Admiral Jean Mendoua, the marine chief of staff, through whose hands the passed, is reported to have reserved 232 million FCFA for his cabinet and handed a paltry 77.757 million FCFA to Col. Abdourahmane for the centre he heads. Where the remaining 5.249 million went, no one can tell.
                If MebeNgo’o has been implicated in the matter, it is because he was minister of Defence when the operation took place.

Ineffective occupation:



Bakassi – Cameroonian territory, Nigerian occupants

- Symbols of Nigerian occupation still very conspicuous: population, currency, efik and ibibio languages etc

- Under-populated schools; ill-equipped health facilities, empty gov’t offices, abandoned projects etc

By Ojong Steven Ayukogem with field reports
The Cameroon government must rethink its development policy on Bakassi or risk fighting another border war with her western neighbour some day. The population of Nigerian nationals in Bakassi is so overwhelming to be overlooked or ignored, while the symbols of Cameroonian occupation are anything but glaring. The factors that prompted Nigeria to claim ownership of the oil-rich peninsular are still very present, and this may only give another “Abacha” enough reason to march an army of occupation on Bakassi any time in the future, observers have warned.
                Ever since ownership of the peninsular was transferred almost on a platter of gold to Cameroon in 2009 and this, not before the end of a costly nine-year border war that culminated in the UN-negotiated Peace treaty and the famous Green-Tree Accord, government appears to have folded its arms thinking the struggle is over.
                 Even as the Cameroon government claims she is directing huge financial investments to Bakassi with the view to bringing meaningful development to the area, critics say the effort is for the most part in speeches and half-measures. In fact, these investments have not been marched with a determined and sustained political will to make Bakassi truly attractive and commodious for Cameroonians.
                 Observers say the government has not done and is not doing enough to ensure that Bakassi is effectively populated by Cameroonians: And this has only created space that the more daring Nigerians have rushed and filled up.
                The water-logged nature of Bakassiterritory, and perhaps the reccurrent attacks by sea pirates from Nigeria makes the place dreadful to most Cameroonians. Despite the coveted natural endowments that Bakassi is credited with, Cameroonians are still not attracted to the place.

A road to Bakassi will do the magic



       -Mrs. Ndoh Bertha Bakata, Special Adviser at the PM’s Office
You are the president of the committee in charge of follow up and coordination of priority projects in Bakassi. How are these projects fairing?


Mrs. Ndoh Bertha Bakata, Special Adviser

to the PM and Focal Point for Bakassi
The government is doing its best to realize priority projects in Bakassi. But as you know there are many difficulties that are hampering this very enormous effort. The first among them is accessibility to the area. While it is expensive and at times frightful to get to Bakassi through the high seas, it is also not very easy by road. When it rains the roads are virtually impassable. And the very long rainy season in the area only makes things worse. In the past years and even this year Bakassi has witnessed virtually no dry season. However, we have continued to advice the government to do something about the linking roads to Bakassi. I have personally met the minister of public works with the problem. The Prime Minister is also aware and he is very concerned about this worrying problem of accessibility especially as the government wants Bakassi to be populated by Cameroonians. The advice we give is that if Bakassi can be accessed easily by road, people would be encouraged to go there and even settle there, why not?
Contractors complain of very high cost of transporting building materials to Bakassi. Have you also advised the government to make additional financial allocations to cover this extra cost incurred in doing projects in Bakassi?
That has been our cry. We have explained the situation to the various ministers concerned. We have drawn their attention to the fact that it is much more costly to do projects in Bakassi than in the urban towns. If a classroom has to be built in Kumba for example it will not be the same like for Idabatou. In Akwa and Isangele it could be a little bit less because one can get there by road. But to carry materials through the high seas to Idabatou is very difficult and costly. So we are trying to negotiate with the ministers concerned to consider raising the price for building projects in Bakassi to about double what it is today.
There are so many abandoned projects in Bakassi; there are those that were started and later abandoned and others that never took-off at all. Are you aware of this? If yes what is being done to curb the phenomenon

RE: Divisive antics mar CPDM reorganization



Hon. Lifaka was honest & independent - Says insider
Convivial atmosphere at the Nguti grandstand,
which served as a makeshift polling station
I read with keen interest your article in issue No. 174 of Monday, 7 December 2015, captioned: “After reorganization exercise: CPDM emerges more disunited, vulnerable...,” and which ultimately left me open-mouthed. I have no issues with reporters reporting hard facts, however discomforting, because that is what a good journalist, and I think you are one, should do in the first place; but citing happenings in Kupe-Muanenguba, Tombel especially, to exemplify and buttress your assertion is openly biased, utterly unbalanced, and it irks the insider that I was. Worse still, your gross misrepresentation of our Divisional Chair, Honourable Emilia MonjowaLifaka’s role is repulsive indeed and smacks of liberal smear reporting. Following is my insider view of what went on in Tombel, in contradistinction with your article, which is flawed on several counts.


The Buea Meeting of Sunday, 6 December 2015     
                Rumour alone could have made believe that the meeting was called to cancel elections in Tombel. Even I, Divisional Chargé de Mission for that exercise, did not know why we were convened to Buea on that day. So, all the reasons that were advanced were mere speculation. Of course, some people could have intentionally sent the rumour going viral, as it did, so as to cause confusion where there was none. And you unfortunately fell for it. 

          Participants   
                That meeting was not open to whoever thought they could attend. It is not like people came and mounted pressure on us. Only list leaders were invited, and they alone were heard. No other persons had access to the meeting venue, and the uninvited persons I saw actually stayed in the shadows.

  Honourable Emilia Lifaka’smanoeuvres
                Nothing could be further from the truth than your: “… the president of the divisional supervisory committee, Hon. Emilia MonjowaLifaka was said to have manoeuvred, albeit unsuccessfully, to ensure that the Mayor of Tombel, Madam Rose Ngassa, wins as WCPDM Section President. Reports said because Hon. Lifaka and the SDO for Kupe-Muanenguba, HaddisonKwetong had been corrupted by Rose Ngassa, they did everything to get Ngassa’s list to triumph. Lifaka reportedly travelled to Tombel on three separate occasions to make sure things worked out for Ngassa. But her efforts could not stand the mobilization capacity of the “unity list”…Observers question why Hon. Lifaka did not pay even a single visit to Nguti which was also within her sphere of control!” This is a good example of what responsible journalism is not and do allow me point out the following:
                Our schedule of activities planned visits to Tombel, just like Bangem and Nguti, to gauge progress of activities;
               If you were to watch videos of our two (not three) visits to Tombel, you would see women, supporters of Njumbe Florence (winner) and Rose Ngassa alike, without exception, dancing for joy at polling stations whenever the Chairlady’s moving words clicked with them. Her presence was reassuring, they knew she was there for all of them, and did not hide it. So it is preposterous to state that Hon. Lifaka’s efforts could not stand the mobilization capacity of the unity list;  
                 If you really cared for the facts, you would have understood that there was no way our team could have been in Kupe-Muanenguba without having links with the administrative authorities of the Division, who were expected to provide us security in the first place;

Cameroon should co-host Nations Cup



(An open letter by Marafa Hamidou Yaya)
In a difficult economic context marked by a fall in the price of crude oil and exceptional military expenditures linked to the fight against Boko Haram, Cameroon, in its 2016 draft finance law, looks forward to allocating 550 billion FCFA, that is, 13% of its budget to “the construction of infrastructure necessary for the hosting of the 2016 Africa Cup of Nations (for women) and that of 2019 (for men).”
                Specifically, there are plans to build new stadiums of 60 000 and 50 000 places in Yaounde and Douala respectively at a cost of 150 billion FCFA each; to rehabilitate the Omnisports stadiums in Yaounde, Douala, Bafoussam and Garoua (158 billion FCFA); to refurbish the outer parts of the Limbe and Bafoussam stadiums (20 billion FCFA); as well as to rehabilitate road and hotel infrastructure around the towns concerned.
                Do we, could we make this expenditure, this investment which has no future, which will greatly benefit foreign companies and which – since we are seeking China’s aid to realize it – will only increase our debt? No.
                It is more than 1 billion dollars that we will spend for the organization of these prestigious events. This will mean a deficit of 4.5% of the state budget. In addition, given the delay in the advancement of the projects, it is very likely that the final bill will be made heavier by the recurrent failures to keep within the budget in projects of this nature. Just for this reason, the expenditure would be unbearable.
                But it is even more so if we consider that it is depriving government resources, which is already dwindling, of our vital and interdependent priorities which are education and security in the face of repeated Boko Haram attacks which cause a climate of unbearable insecurity in our country and the sub-region.
                It is not only about the means to put at the disposal of our courageous gendarmes and soldiers engaged in battle for quite some time now. The 550 billion FCFA allocated to the two AFCONs is more than the budget for education (basic education, secondary education and higher education put together) in 2016, which comes up to 499 billion FCFA.

Instead of AFCON investments:



Marafa urges gov’t to prioritize education   
In an open letter made public recently, the VIP Kondengui inmate posits that spending 550 billion FCFA on the building and rehabilitation of infrastructure meant for the organization of the 2016 and 2019 Africa Cups of Nations would be a misplaced priority. To him, this money should be spent on the thorough education of Cameroonian children who need it very badly
By EssanEkoninyam in Yaounde
Marafa Hamidou Yaya
MarafaHamidouYaya is one high-profile prisoner in Cameroon who gives the impression that he truly has the running of the country at heart. In a letter released from his Kondengui prison cell last week, the former SG at the Presidency of the Republic and minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralization considers the budget allocated to the building of infrastructure necessary for hosting of the 2016 and 2019 Africa Cups of Nations (AFCON) as being exorbitant and wasteful. He suggests that the money be directed to the educational sector.
                The said budget, meant for the construction of new stadia in Yaounde and Douala, for the rehabilitation of existing ones in Garoua, Bafoussam, Douala and Yaounde and for the refurbishment of road networks and hotel infrastructure in the towns concerned, is to the tune of 550 billion FCFA. Marafa sees this amount as unbearably high for the purpose for which it is meant and as it “is more than the budget for education (basic education, secondary education and higher education put together) in 2016, which comes up to 499 billion FCFA.”
                Given that “education is one of the most efficient and important vectors in the fight against extremism,” the prisoner posits, the money should rather be pumped into that sector. He says this is imperative at a time when extremism is the order of the day in and around Cameroon. Hear him: “Our soldiers can defeat Boko Haram, but only education and employment will permit a lasting defeat of extremism.“ To him, education should be made compulsory for every Cameroonian child up to the age of 16.

Biya appoints permanent CPDM



Adamawa Region
President – MohamadouAbboOusmanou
Members – BoroTheophile, AboubakarySarki, KoulsoumiAlhadjiepseBoukar
Charge de missions – OumarouMazadou, KoulagnaKoutou

Centre Region
President – Ndongo
Essomba Bernard
Members – Rose ZangNguele, Baleoken Jean Baptiste, Nguene Pauline Irene, InoussaHamadou
Charge de missions – SamanaNkono, Mbock Andreas

East Region
President – MonguiSossomba Janvier
Members – MbelleNdue Yves, OuliNdongo Monique, Wongolo Bernard, Nya Isaac
Charge de missions – BekoloBekolo Pascal, Meng Jeanne

Far North Region
President – Cavaye
YeguieDjibril
Members – Ayang Luc, Youssoufa Daouda, ZakiatouDjama, Alamine Ousmane Mey, HessenaMahamat
Charge de mission –
Abdoulaye OumarouDalil, Manouda Malachie

National Communication Council, NCC



Peter Essoka Commissioned
PM Yang (M) poses for a snap shot with NCC president,
Peter Essoka (L) and Vice President Janvier Rene Mvoto (R)
Veteran Journalist Peter Essoka has officially taken up command as president of the Cameroon National Communication Council. The sexagenarian was commissioned into office on Thursday, 10 December 2015, by Prime Minister Philemon Yang.
                In his brief installation address in the conference room of his office here, Philemon Yang lauded Peter Essoka and the other members of the NCC for the “commendable job” they have been doing so far to bring sanity and ensure that ethics and professionalism are respected in the practice of journalism in the country. He enjoined the members of the NCC to ensure team spirit in the exercise of their arduous but exalting task.
                The PM described the installation ceremony as marvelous, noting that the NCC is not only one of the most important and powerful institutions in Cameroon today but one whose importance will become more evident in the future.
                Philemon Yang used the occasion to remind media practitioners that though freedom of the press is a legal right for all citizens, it is not a licence for irresponsible journalism.

Towards solving Kumbo Water Crisis:



Governor installs interim Management Committee
Adolf LeleL’Afrique
Efforts to resolve the Kumbo water crisis which saw the Mayor of Kumbo Council, NjongDonatusFonyuy and the Fon of Nso, SehmMbinglo disembowel themselves in a gory public spectacle over who should manage, appear to be at the threshold of a break through as the Governor of the NW region, Adolf LeleL’Afrique has installed a regional management committee to manage the water while waiting for a long term solution.
                In spite of the saber-rattling, which is characteristic of any conflict situation, key players in the conflict appear to be showing more signs of readiness to end the conflict which has divided the population of Nso within and without into factions.
                While installing the committee members made up of some NW security chiefs and some Regional delegates with Ivo Makoge as the leader, Governor Adolf LeleL’Afrique who is the chairman of the said committee called on them to use the laws of Cameroon to put the matter to rest.
                “We are expecting the committee to audit the management of KWA, to audit the procedure, to audit the fiscal situation, to audit the involvement of some stakeholders and propose a long lasting solution to government” noted the NW chieftain.
While waiting for the long lasting solutions, Governor Adolf LeleL’Afrique challenged the committee to implement short term solutions which will bring peace.

Two arrested with four gorilla skulls



Arrested for trafficking in gorilla skulls
Two men aged 60 and 29 were arrested on December 8, 2015 at a check point in Doume in the East Region for illegal possession of 4 gorilla skulls and an elephant tail. The operation was carried by wildlife officials of the Doume Forestry and Wildlife Control Post with support from the gendarmerie and with technical assistance from The Last Great Ape Organisation (LAGA).
                The two who were riding a bike were stopped at the check point and gendarmes who were manning the control post inquired about the contents of the bags they held so securely. . One of them claimed the bags contain his personal belongings including his traditional healing gadgets. Wildlife officials requested for the bags to be handed over for  the content to be examined and when the bags were emptied,  four ape skulls rolled out on to the tarmac. One of the skulls was painted red as it would later be revealed that skulls are painted either for decoration as Chinese like them painted or for use in traditional healing practices or for pure mysticism. The two were quickly arrested and taken in for questioning.

Suicide attacks kill 7 in Kolofata



At least seven civilians were killed Friday in a suicide attack in Kolofata, northern Cameroon, a region where Nigeria's Boko Haram Islamists are highly active, local officials said.
                "A suicide bomber went to a place selling doughnuts and blew up," a regional security source told AFP.
                "We have eight dead at the site, including the bomber," the source said, without stating whether the attacker was male or female.
Another source also confirmed details of the attack and gave the same toll.
                Kolofata, which lies 10 kilometres (six miles) from the border with Nigeria, is located in a region of the same name which has been regularly targeted by Boko Haram extremists. At least seven people were killed in a double suicide attack on the town in September.
                It is close to Kerawa, another town on the Nigerian border where between 20 and 40 people lost their lives in a September 3 double suicide bombing -- one of the deadliest attacks on Cameroonian territory.
                Since July, Cameroon's far north has been hit by a series of attacks blamed on Nigeria's Boko Haram which earlier this year pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group.

Horror in Nkambe:



 Okada rider stabs female student
A man hunt has been launched on an “Okada rider” in Nkambe after he stabbed a female lower sixth student of GBHS Bamenda.
                Sources say the young man whose name The Median got as Nelson aka star boy, “Okada rider” based in Ndu before leaving for Nkambe had told his friends that he would kill someone before the end of the day.
                Late December 10, 2015 night, Nelson allegedly sneaked to Nkambe where he attacked her former girlfriend with the knives. The student sustained severe injuries on her stomach and several others around her body.

Meet Mayor SuilaArunaKidze:



The Visionary at the helm of Nkum Council
Simplicity, sincerity, personal integrity, humility and courteousness are some of the qualities that can propel a man to unimaginable heights. The Mayor of Nkum Council in Bui Division of the North West Region, SuilaAruna has a prescribed amount of these qualities and holds them close to his heart. These qualities are his assets which many say propelled him to the top job of managing Nkum Council, one of the biggest councils in the North West region.
                 “Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal-avoid putting yourself before others and you become a leader among men”.  This famous quote from Lao Tzu is Mayor SuilaAruna’s formula for success.
                His simplicity comes from the fact that he is more a man of action than a man of words. He would prefer not to initiate an action than to initiate and leave it half way. This explains why almost all of the projects under is reign have been a resounding success.
                Everywhere he has visited ever since he was elected mayor, he has been noted for this character mannerism. Aruna’s simplicity at times makes him teach by example. If he thinks his colleague, collaborator and or someone in the municipality do not understand him, he would demonstrate by example. This is a rare quality to find in today’s elected officials.

Joseph Owona summoned by special criminal court



Former long-serving government minister and erstwhile Normalisation Committee Chairman of the Cameroon Football Federation (FECAFOOT), Joseph Owona, has been summoned to appear before the Special Criminal Court.
               
Joseph Owona
The summons, signed by the head of division of the specialised police investigations unit attached to the Special Criminal Court, EnyegueMbolong, convened the former top aide of President Paul Biya to appear before court on Thursday, December 10, 2015 at 9 a.m.
                               According to the summons issued on December 7, 2015, Owona will be asked to give an account of his management of the finances of the Indomitable Lions during their 2014 World Cup expedition in Brazil and the 2015 African Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea.
                Normally, the Special Criminal Court, which prosecutes graft only in cases in which significant amounts are involved, only summons officials it suspects of embezzlement and other corrupt practices.
                Owona’s management of FECAFOOT often drew eyebrows, not only because of Cameroon’s poor performances during his time in office, but also because of the financial scandals that delivered raw meat to the hungry media wolves.
                For instance, during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, in which the Lions lost all their three games, it was alleged that the Minister of Sports and Physical Education, AdoumGaroua, and Normalisation Committee Chairman Joseph Owona almost came to a fistfight in Vitoria, Equatorial Guinea, after openly exchanging insults, following a disagreement over the deployment of finances of the national team.
                It is in this vein that the Minister was chased away from the Golden Tulip Hotel where he was first lodged. He moved out to lodge at Quality Hotel in Vitoria. There are, however, allegations that the minister left the hotel because it was too expensive for him since he took a suite instead of the luxury room he was allocated and had to cough out additional money to make up for the difference.

YayaToure wins 2015 BBC African Footballer award


Yaya Toure

Yaya Toure has been voted the BBC African Footballer of the Year 2015
The 32-year-old Ivory Coast midfielder becomes only the third player, after Nigerians NwankwoKanu and Jay-Jay Okocha, to receive the honour twice.
                Football fans voted for Manchester City's Toure, who first won in 2013, ahead of YacineBrahimi, Pierre-EmerickAubameyang, Andre Ayew and Sadio Mane.
                "I am very proud. To receive this dedication from the fans is unbelievable," Toure told BBC Sport.
                "Also I want to pay tribute to the other nominees. African football is growing up, becoming much better and we have fantastic young players coming through now."
                Toure described all five nominees as "champions".
                He added: "I am delighted and very happy. And as an African player, I want to lead all my younger brothers to be successful in the future.
                "When I was a kid I was always dreaming of being an important player. I have sacrificed a lot.
                "I will continue to try to win a trophy every year, I will fight to win a personal trophy."

Monday, 7 December 2015

Front page


Could government not communicate on Eurobond?

IssaTchiroma, government spokesman
The Cameroon government refuses to communicate. We want to believe that the programme of the ministry of Finance which has just exhausted itself defending the 2016 budget, did not permit it to inform the public on the operation of the Eurobond launched in Paris at the beginning of last month. This is so because it was necessary to inform the public about Cameroon’s first Eurobond transaction, particularly to say how it was arranged and carried out and what the results have been. It is an obligation of transparency which ties squarely with the methods of international financial bodies with which the government has decided to work.
                It is also an obligation of responsibility vis-à-vis a people who, through their national representation, approve the indebtedness of the state. It is a reputable gesture for the government and the finance minister AlamineOusmaneMey in particular, who is a product of the private sector that is credited for rigorous accountability. In fact, it is normal that the publicity that followed the Head of State’s decision to go back to Eurobond does not collapse.
                The government must not indulge in self-delusion: the kind of communication suggested by a financial expert of Babissakana’s standing is very important. Information on international loans must be circulated and made accessible to all interested persons. That is why the press was able to announce the “road show” of the euro-loan before the rest of the operation was made public as it evolved, in Paris, New York, Boston, and London. The results are known today: for a maximum of 1.5 billion US dollars i.e. 750 billion FCFA sought, the government was able to raise just half, at a rate of 9.75% and for a period of ten years.
                It should be recalled that each of the two bond loans of the state for 2010 and 2013 did not have an interest rate of up to 6%. That is why analysts see two problems here:  first is the non-attainment of the maximum amount required, and second is the high interest rate.

Parliament adopts 2016 State Budget


-The budget was adopted on Sunday morning, in a plenary session that lasted over 14 hours
By Mercy Neba in Yaounde
AlamineOusman Mey
The 2016 finance law has been voted in parliament. The law that also contains the state budget for 2016 was adopted early on Sunday morning, during a plenary session that lasted for over 14 hours – beginning at 10am Saturday and ending at 2.30am Sunday.
                The plenary was marked by a presentation of the 207-page report of the finance and budget committee that scrutinized the bill.  The plenary also provided a forum for general debates on the bill during which about 20 MPs asked a barrage of questions to government ministers.
                Some of the issues raised during the question and answer session included imbalance in the distribution of budgetary allocations for different regions; low consumption of the public investment budget; epileptic energy supply; the non construction of roads like the Loum-Tombel-Kumba-EkondoTiti and the Kumbo-Ndu-Nkambe stretch of the ring road; why the NW and SW are the regions with the least number of kms of tarred roads; the protest march by soldiers on the streets of Yaounde; the fight against Boko Haram and the restructuring of Camair-co.

Re: For whom does Peter Essoka really reflect?

Dear Editor,
I read with rapt attention an article titled “For whom does Peter Essoka really reflect?”, written by a certain Douglas A. Achingale and published on page four of the issue no. 173 of Monday 30 November 2015, of your very authoritative and widely read newspaper.
First of all, I congratulate Achingale on his ability to address such a pertinent issue and the skill with which he crafted the write-up. I must admit that it is not every day we find articles so well written in our local newspapers. Second, I hail your courage to publish the article which took to task the “almighty” president of the National Communication Council, NCC.
                To be candid, it is like Achingale stole the idea of penning that article from my mind. I had always planned to do such a piece because Peter Essoka’s “Reflections” are becoming more boring to listen than otherwise. Besides all what Achingale said in his article, Essoka over-personalizes the “Reflections”, making me wonder what his personal life and experiences have got to do with the rest of Cameroonians.
                That, to me, is what lack of inspiration and writing “for the purpose of meeting deadlines”, as Achingale puts it, can do to a person’s writing. The suggestion that he should take his time and present the slot just once a week is a most welcome idea. In that way, Peter Essoka will surely be at his best.

Martin ChomuTumenta:

General Martin Tumenta
 Did Gen. Martin Tumenta die of poisoning?
- Accusing fingers pointing towards France
The head of the UN multinational integrated peace keeping force in Bangui has died in Lagos, Nigeria of what family sources believe to be poisoning. General Martin Tumenta had earlier been flown to the USA from the Central African Republic in poor health condition.
                Doctors put him on chemotherapy thinking it was a cancer. But things got worse and he was later flown to Lagos, Nigeria where he hopped the twig.
                Critics see a French hand in the brigadier General’s death as France was said not to be comfortable with the excessive media coverage of the atrocities committed by French soldiers in the CAR capital, Bangui. It is said in some quarters that the French had even opposed Tumenta’s appointment in Bangui in the first place.
                Also, some observers say the French were instrumental in the hostile press the general suffered in Cameroon whilst he was in Bangui. The local press here did not relent in their onslaught against the general even when he took ill and later left for the USA.

Death of Gen. Tumenta:

Does T. B. Joshua heal or kill?
“Not everyone who calls me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven but only those who do what my Father in heaven wants them to do. When Judgment Day comes, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord! In your name we spoke God’s message, by your name we drove out demons and performed many miracles! Then I will say to them, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you wicked people!’” (Matthew 7: 21 – 23)
By Douglas A. Achingale
It is with surpassing lugubriousness that Cameroonians learned and will always remember the demise on 30 November 2015 of Brigadier General Martin ChomuTumenta, commander of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic, MINUSCA. Intrepid, sedulous and unquestionably serviceable, the 61-year-old native of Babungo in Ngoketunjia division of the North West region was one of only four Anglophones who have ever risen to the rank of General in the Cameroonian army.
                Dependable sources say he took ill and was admitted in a US hospital before being taken to the Lagos-based Synagogue, Church of All Nations, SCOAN, to receive the benedictions of its overseer, TemitopeBalogun Joshua, known for short as T. B. Joshua.
                That the self-styled prophet failed to restore Gen. Tumenta’s health raises a number of questions about his ministry which remains largely popular amongst Cameroonians though. For many observers, the General’s death in the hands of Joshua is a kind of wind that has blown to reveal the anus of a fowl!

Deception
                Many of Joshua’s fans are tenacious of the belief that he cannot be daunted by any difficulty, no matter how gigantic it may be. Tell them Joshua can walk upon the sea as Jesus Christ did, and they will not doubt you. They see him more as God in human flesh. That is why attendees of the SCOAN who claim to give testimonies of how the so-called prophet has done “miracles” in their lives, refer to the Almighty as “the God of T. B. Joshua.”
                And that is not surprising because it is the impression Joshua gives the world. He never says there is a problem he cannot handle. At a time when there is not yet a cure for HIV/AIDS, he claims to cure it miraculously. If a person tells you they can cure this disease, in the way Joshua claims to do, they are undoubtedly insinuating that there is no other ailment or difficulty they cannot put an end to.
                Nevertheless, right-thinking observers – this writer inclusive – argue that most of T. B. Joshua’s claims, utterances and actions are fraught with deception. That is what such observers call the cold truth. For there are many patients who have been told at the SCOAN that they have once more become hale and hearty, but who sooner or later relapse into worse conditions and even give up the ghost.
                Unfortunately for viewers of T. B. Joshua’s propaganda channel, Emmanuel TV, there is no forum where such persons or their relatives can go make their complaints and worries known to the public. Unless you identify someone whose illness has aggravated or who has died, you would remain oblivious of this fact. This writer is saying so with authority because he can cite names of friends and acquaintances in Cameroon who thought they had regained their health shortly after leaving the SCOAN but who later hopped the twig.

CPDM reorganization in Tombel:

Rose Ngassa’s desperate maneuvers flop woefully
- A last minute attempt by the Central Committee to annul elections and impose the beleaguered mayor as WCPDM president met with a stiff resistance from “wounded” militants
- Hon. Emilia Lifaka hailed for steadfastness, objectivity and sense of the general interest
By MesumbeMichealEwang in Tombel
Mayor Rose Ngassa
A belated attempt by the Central Committee of the ruling CPDM party to cancel elections in Tombel and impose the mayor of Tombel, Rose Ngassa as WCPDM section president for Kupe-Muanenguba III, Tombel has been nipped in the bud.
                CPDM militants from all the sub-sections and clans of Tombel, stormed the Buea venue of an emergency meeting, called by the SW regional supervisory committee for the reorganization and mounted a stone-walled resistance to efforts by the head of the regional committee, TalbaMalla, to convince them to accept a consensus arrangement that would co-opt Rose Ngassa into the list of elected WCPDM executives in Tombel.
          The ‘wounded’ militants argued that Rose Ngassa had been beaten in an election that was generally acknowledged as free and transparent; it is only preposterous and an evidence of bad faith on her part to claim that the election was flawed.
                Besides, Tombel CPDM militants recalled that Rose Ngassa had earlier rejected an invitation for her to join a unitary list that took into consideration all the socio-logical representations in Tombel. She reportedly boasted that she was popular and strong enough; that she will constitute her own list and they should allow the ballot box to determine which candidate(s) had the better arguments to run the section.
                It emerged that Ngassa Rose was badly beaten in the election. She scored slightly over 700 votes as against over 3500 votes for her challengers. It is for this reason that Tombel militants held their ground that they cannot negotiate any consensus with Ngassa.
                “There can be no consensus now; it is already too late: We invited mayor Ngassa to join the unitary list that gave due consideration to all the socio-logical components in Tombel but she shunned us; she turned down our invitation. She boasted that she would beat us in free and fair elections. The ballot box has decided. So, let Rose Ngassa accept the verdict of the ballot box. Let her be humble and concede defeat,” fired the spokesperson for CPDM women in Tombel, whose name we could not get by press time yesterday.
                The Median learnt on good authority that Rose Ngassa’s case could hardly even prosper at the Buea meeting this because her hope of getting the president of the KupeMuanenguba divisional supervisory committee, Hon. Emilia MonjowaLifaka to defend her, met with an adamant, objective and uncompromising Lifaka, who stood her grounds that as far as she was concerned “the election in Tombel was peaceful, free, fair, transparent and democratic.”
                Hon. Lifaka explained that she took particular interest in the reorganization exercise in Tombel because she understood that the stakes were high especially giving the metropolitan nature of the town.
                She mustered strong that in defiance of the difficult access roads, she still was able to make it to Tombel on two separate occasions just to make sure there was no problem with the reorganization there. “And in fact, there was no problem”, she affirmed, stating that she had actually validated the election results in Tombel as well as those in Bangem and Nguti.

After reorganization exercise:

CPDM emerges more disunited, vulnerable
-Divisive antics, exclusion, corruption, scores settling, tribalism, buying of votes etc combined to mar elections at grassroots of Biya’s party
By Ojong Steven Ayukogem in Yaounde
Jean Nkuete
When the newly created CPDM Academy headed by Prof. Elvis NgolleNgolle will eventually go operational hopefully, sooner than later, it will have to first of all school the barons of the party on the values and tenets of party discipline, priority of the general interest, respect for hierarchy and perhaps, moral rectitude. This, because the on going renewal of internal organs of the party has given the public the impression of a CPDM party whose policy makers are the first to break their own rules and even the instructions of their national president, Paul Biya.
                Judging from the petitions and complaints of irregularities that have continued streaming into the secretariat of the Central Committee in Yaounde and which this newspaper either stumbled on or had copies sent to its newsroom, it is evident that the ruling party has emerged from the reorganization exercise more divided, disoriented, weakened and vulnerable. Some militants are even calling on opposition parties to hurry and take advantage of the situation.
                In many sections of the party militants are now spoiling to either sanction the party during forth coming elections or quit the party and join ranks with the opposition outright. At least this is what reporters of The Median gathered from irate militants, after listening to their utterances both in private as well as in public.
                Also, many militants of the CPDM have accused the leaders of their party of blatantly and deliberately sowing seeds of discord within the ranks of the party. The militants regret that the reorganization exercise has been characterized by divisive antics and at times incredibly corrupt practices by some of the so called resource persons sent from the central committee to monitor and supervise elections in the field. Some militants say after the reorganization exercise they are left with the unshakable conviction that their party is more rotten at the top than at the grassroots; that the resource persons sent to oversee the affairs of the party at the grassroots are anything but exemplary and clean.
                “We expected the teams from Yaounde to show a high sense of responsibility, morality, impartiality, strict respect for the presidential circular and the guidelines of the SG of the Central committee. Unfortunately what we have seen on the field is the exact opposite,” observed a militant, who opted not to be named. He noted that contrary to the instructions in the presidential circular, what obtained on the field was utterly shameful: “resource persons holding nocturnal meetings with particular candidates, buying of consciences with money and near total absence of transparency and disregard for the principles of democracy.”

War against indiscipline:

BetiAssomo purges EMIA of fraudsters
Among the names expunged from the list of those admitted into the school were those of children and relations of some CPDM regime barons
By Tanyi Kenneth Musa in Yaounde
Joseph Beti Assomo
Recent actions by the minister delegate at the Presidency of the Republic in charge of Defence, Joseph BetiAssomo, are indicative of the fact that things may never be the same again in the said ministry. The most recent of such actions is the expunging of the names of a handful of fraudsters from the list of candidates who passed the written and physical education part of the recent entrance examination into the Yaounde military academy, EMIA.
                At press time, The Median was not clear on the exact number of candidates whose names were dropped from that list. But this newspaper was reliably informed by more than one source that the candidates in question were children and relatives of some big shots of the regime. They are reported to have used their positions and financial strength to influence the results.
                BetiAssomo did not end at flushing out the names of the fraudsters from the list; he also ordered an enquiry on the matter and insisted that the culprits must be brought to book.
                Critics have hailed this decision of the new Defence strongman, terming it valiant and unprecedented. “BetiAssomo’s looks do not match his actions,” a gendarme officer having the rank of ‘maréchal de logie chef’, BengonoAnicet, told The Median. “When he was appointed minister of Defence we thought he was too womanly for that position. But we are now seeing his courage and bravery. Never judge a man from his looks.”

Public service:

PM Yang orders retired civil servants to go
By EssanEkoninyam in Yaounde
Yang Philemon
A circular signed recently urges members of government to make sure retired persons leave their respective services at the right time
Retired state agents who are still in active service may be spending their last days in office. A circular recently signed by Prime Minister Philemon Yang and addressed to members of government calls on them to identify and flush out such persons from the services of their respective ministries.
                In the circular, the PM points out that it has come to his notice on many occasions that the rules governing the retirement of civil servants are no longer systematically respected in some administrations, and this causes them to be discriminatorily applied. This situation, he goes on, constitutes a flagrant violation of the functioning rules and principles of the management of the human resources of the state as contained in the general statute of the public service as well as the different particular and special statutes.
                Philemon Yang reminds the ministers that any manoeuvre aimed at delaying the retirement of a state agent or prolonging their stay in the public service is an infringement on the directives of the President of the Republic. This directive is contained in the general instruction given by the latter wherein ministers must see to it that civil servants placed under their authority and are due retirement must effectively quit the services on time, if they are having a duty post, and temporarily replaced by their collaborators.

Cameroon army stuns Boko Haram

- Kill at least 100 terrorists and frees over 900 hostages
The Cameroon army claimed Wednesday to have dealt a major blow to Nigeria's Boko Haram Islamists, killing at least 100 fighters and freeing over 900 hostages in a three-day operation last week.
The claim, which could not be independently confirmed, came on the heels of twin suicide attacks by Boko Haram kamikaze in the town of Waza in the far north of Cameroon. Nine people including three suicide attackers reportedly died in the attacks, according to Cameroon government spokesman IssaTchiroma.
                "A special clean-up operation from November 26 to 28 against Boko Haram in the border area with Nigeria neutralised more than 100 jihadists", IssaTchiroma told a press conference in Yaounde.
                Cameroon’s Defence Minister Joseph BetiAssomo also later confirmed the toll in a separate statement broadcast on national radio.
                The surprise attack by Cameroonian forces enabled them to release almost 900 hostages, seize large supplies of arms and munitions as well as black-and-white Islamic State IS flags, the statements by both officials said, without providing details on the identities of those freed.
Worthy to recall that Boko Haram swore allegiance to IS in March 2015.
                The ministers attributed the success of the raid to cooperation between Cameroon security forces, the multinational task force against Boko Haram based in Mora, Cameroon and Nigerian forces.
                No independent confirmation of the government press outing was immediately available from the battle front, which is inaccessible to the media.
                Some security sources reached by telephone confirmed that the raid took place but were unable to confirm the figures released in the government statement.

Nine dead in suicide attacks in Waza
                Since July, Cameroon's far northern region has been regularly targeted by suicide bombers believed to be working with Boko Haram.
                Late on Tuesday, nine people were reportedly killed in twin suicide attacks in the small and once popular tourist town of Waza, said a security source who asked not to be identified.
                The victims included civilian vigilantes trained by the community to guard Waza against attacks, the source said.
State radio confirmed the attacks, saying the two suicide bombers were women who killed four people when they blew themselves up. A further two people died of their injuries.
                A third suicide bomber was shot dead before detonating her explosive.

Chief NkemayangVsNdi Eugene and SoneBayen:

Limbe Court dismisses case on technical grounds
- Apparently undaunted and dissatisfied, Chief Nkemayang files in yet another suit
By Essan-Ekoninyam in Yaounde with reporting from Limbe
The legal battle pitting Chief FoanyiNkemayang Paul, and Ndi Eugene Ndi and Franklin SoneBayen has ended with a non-suit or dismissal by the Limbe Court of First Instance. But just before the learned judge passed the ruling on 2 December, an agent for a bailiff served Ndi and Bayen fresh summonses within the court premises to report to the Limbe Gendarmerie Brigade for another interrogation.            
                No reason was stated on the summonses but Nkemayang boastfully told Bayen’s lawyer that he prompted the summonses to reopen the same legal file for a retrial of Ndi and Bayen for defaming him.
                Contacted for comment, Bayen said, “It looks like Nkemayang has not said his last word. I may only comment later. But Nkemayang knows I never wrote anything about him. He knows better than me because he’s been in this thing for decades, that if he is convinced that Eugene Ndi’s story is untrue, the law requires that he submits a rejoinder stating his side of the story even before taking any legal action and he knows better than me that any truth in his side of the story will do him more good than his resort to legal battles that may only be more damaging.”
                For his part, Ndi Eugene said he could only be happy that the court dismissed the case. He however refused to comment further, saying he has not had time to settle down after the court ruling especially as Nkemayang has brought a fresh suit against him. By press time yesterday, we did not succeed to get Chief Nkemayang on phone. He also did not reply to the SMSs we sent to him.

Scandal in Y’de:

Lecherous priest weds officially!
Not only did the marriage not last long because he kept many mistresses, he was also suspended from his duties by the bishop of Obala who, together with his collaborators, were shocked and horrified.
By Tanyi Kenneth Musa in Yaounde
Wonders, they say, shall never end. A Yaounde-based reverend father, Pierre Lebon Noah, aged about 30, officially tied the nuptial knots in April 2015 with a former classmate of his of about the same age whose only name The Median got as Sylvie. However, the latter was obliged to storm out of the marriage not long after because of what she discovered to be her husband’s excessively lecherous activities.
                Reliable sources told this newspaper that after they separated in 2002 in a secondary school in Nkometou in the Centre region, Pierre Lebon Noah and Sylvie met again only ten years later while the former was a seminarian in Otélé still in the Centre region. They fell in love and decided in 2013 to get married, barely months to the priestly ordination of the bloke. During the long vacation of that year, we were told, Noah attempted to pay Sylvie’s bride price, but her parents would not accept. That did not however cause the would-be couple to shatter their plans.
                The Median further learned that Noah was consecrated deacon in June 2014 and posted to Batchenga, and that on 8 December of that year he was ordained priest. All of which did not however change their plans as he and Sylvie finally wedded on 14 April 2015 in a private residence in the Oyom-Abangneighbourhood, before one of the deputy mayors of the Yaounde I council. Pierre Lebon Noah’s profession on his national identity card on the day of his wedding, we were informed, was “student”. Meantime, the newly-wedded couple installed their love nest in the Nkolmessengneighbourhood still in Yaounde.

Maiden edition of south west cultural festival underway in K’ba

By Ajongakou Santos in Buea
Grace Ewang- SWR Delegate of Arts and Culture
The maiden edition of the South West Cultural Festival has officially opened in Kumba, the chief town of the Meme Division. The epic cultural showdown comes after over eleven months of preparation.
                The cultural jamboree which brings together elite of all divisions of the South West region including Fako, Ndian, Meme, Kupe-Muanenguba, Lebialem and Manyu and all other communities represented in the region, will run from December 5 through December 12, 2015.    
                According to the South West Regional Delegate of Arts and Culture, Ngoh Grace Ewang, the festival will showcase the luxury and cultural diversity of the region. She howled at the fact that there has been nothing so far in the form of events to showcase the rich culture of the people of the South West, one of the finest in the nation. Hear here; “this Cultural Festival is like our National Identity Card. It tells who we are. We don’t speak but simply show those things that make us unique. The South West Cultural Festival is therefore a forum to explain who we are”.

Kumbo Council Wins REDD+ Project

By Njodzefe Nestor
Group pix after validation of project note
Kumbo council has been selected amongst six other councils in Cameroon to partake in the REDD+ Project according to a letter signed by the Minister of Environment, Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development S.E HELE Pierre on Nov 20, 2015.
                This comes at a time when more than 190 nations are gathering in Paris to discuss a possible new global agreement on climate change, aimed at reducing global greenhouse gas emissions and thus avoiding the threat of dangerous climate change.
                The project promoted by the Government of Cameroon supported by the French Development Agency, AFD, and the German Development Agency, GIZ and worth over FCFA 2 billion is expected to promote reforestation, mitigate the adverse effects of climate change and also to bring meaning development to Kumbo judging from the financial package that goes along with it.
                Kumbo council was amongst ten lucky councils pre-selected from the 360 councils in Cameroon who were requested to manifest the interest to participate in this project and submit a file expressing their ability to implement REDD+.
                The journey to this success all started in May 2015 with a 5 day workshop with the 10 shortlisted councils in Bana, West Region of Cameroon. Kumbo Council and Positive Vision Cameroon, a consultancy firm that was selected to design the project then plunged into fied work and elaboration of the Project Idea Note and Terms Of Reference for the feasibility studies
                Councilors of Kumbo Council sitting in an extra ordinary session on August 20, 2015 validated the draft project idea note and terms of reference for the REDD+ Kumbo Council pilot project aimed at reducing the poverty level from the current 48 percent in the municipality to below 10 percent through their effective participation in the management of the Council’s forest.

Limbe market women stand up against administrative excesses

By NwoFuanya in Limbe
Limbe market women
Against all expectations and to the chagrin of government officials, women in Limbe, Fako division of the south west region have stood u against what they term excesses of the Fako administration in the fight against Boko Haram. This was during a one day campaign to end administrative detention and torture that took place on Wednesday 2 December 2015.
                The campaign that brought together women from different background, especially market women popularly called buy’amsellam’ as well as men who sympathize with women when it comes to issues of rights was organized as part of the annual 16 days to of activism to end violence against women. This year some civil society organizations in Limnbe notably the Community Initiative For Development Communication, CODEC, the Association for the Protection of Women and Children’s Rights, Pro-People and other organization s came together to campaign against what they call the excessive abuse of authority by the administration and the abuse of women’s rights.

Ebola vaccine trial:

“B’da people are not guinea pigs”
  - Researcher tells gov’t 
Ebola is very scary, and so what we need on this issue is a properly convened press conference, where Cameroonian biomedical researchers in the areas of immunology, molecular biochemistry and microbiology or other relevant fields from many institutions in the country (for transparency; and not just simple clinicians from the ministry or scientists from few places) are duly invited to be present, ask questions and help educate the population appropriately. We shouldn't be in a hurry to start testing, without appropriate sensitization and education. People usually believe their brothers and sisters more.
                A vaccine trial in itself is not a bad thing. In fact, it is an essential step in getting the final product to populations at risk (Cameroon was at risk, just as the USA was also at risk and could still be at risk tomorrow) and so trials need to be encouraged, whenever they are properly and transparently and publicly done.
                But what is frightening and needs to be further checked in this Cameroon Daily Journal newspaper report is the mention of an experimental "non-replicative" challenge infection later on in humans.
                To quote the journal: "The minister of public health, Andre Mama Fouda announced on October 30 that in carrying out the clinical tests, volunteers will be injected with a dose of the Ebola virus after getting a dose of the vaccine. There are no guarantees that the vaccine will prevent them from getting infected by the killer virus but the minister pointed out that the experimental vaccine does not contain any virus capable of reproducing itself in the human body and so cannot lead to infection."

China pledges $60bn to develop Africa

China has announced $60bn (£40bn) of assistance and loans for Africa to help with the development of the continent.
                President Xi Jinping said the package would include zero-interest loans as well as scholarships and training for thousands of Africans.
                The Chinese leader made the announcement at a major summit between China and Africa in Johannesburg.
                South Africa's President Jacob Zuma welcomed the deepening partnership with Africa's biggest trading partner.
                He said that China and the African continent each made up a third of the world's population, bringing with it the possibility of new markets and production possibilities.
                The two-day Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (Focac) is the second time China has brought together African leaders since the forum was launched in Beijing in 2000.

Marc Kabore is new Burkina Faso strongman

Roch Marc Kabore was proclaimed the winner of the presidential election in Burkina Faso and will become the country's first new leader in decades, the Independent National Electoral Commission said on Tuesday.
                The election of the former prime minister represents a pivotal moment for the West African nation, which has been ruled by leaders who came to power in coups for most of its history since independence from France in 1960.
                Kabore served as prime minister and head of the National Assembly under President BlaiseCompaore, who was toppled by an uprising in October 2014 after 27 years in power. Kabore split with Compaore early last year and formed an opposition party.
                "My first thought is to recognize the honor of this high office and to feel the weight of its great responsibility," Kabore said in a speech to thousands of his supporters after being declared winner.
                Provisional results from Sunday's election showed Kabore won 53.5 percent of the vote to defeat former Finance Minister ZephirinDiabre, who scored 29.7 percent, and 12 other candidates, the electoral commission said. Turnout was about 60 percent. The outright majority means there will be no run-off.
                "This election went off in calm and serenity, which shows the maturity of the people of Burkina Faso," BarthelemyKere, president of the electoral commission, told a news conference.