Sunday, 27 November 2016
Teachers/Lawyers to continue strikes until Y’de shows good faith
By Nestor Njodzefe in Bamenda
Prime Minister Philemon Yang, crestfallen after failed outing in Bamenda
Teachers Trade Unions and the Common Law Lawyers have resolved to continue with the strike initiated on November 21 and October 11, 2016 respectively after a meeting they had with Prime Minister, Philemon Yang ended with no satisfactory solutions to both teachers and lawyer’s problems.
On Friday, November 25, PM Yang purportedly on the instructions of President Paul Biya was in Bamenda to meet with authorities of Common Law Lawyers and confederation if teachers trade unions and associations (SYNES,TAC, CATTU, PEATTU, BATTUC, CEWOTU) and talk them out of the strike.
It is also reported that he was also dispatched as a son of the region to thaw the tense atmosphere that had reigned supreme in Bamenda after the street protests that brought a lot of uncertainty and unrest.
Philemon Yang who was accompanied by a strong delegation from Yaoundé and assisted by North West Governor Adolf LeleLafrique and his closs aides also met some traditional authorities, the clergy, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Bamenda, Prof. Nkuo Theresa Akenji and the leader of the Social Democratic Front, Ni John FruNdi.
Teachers resolute to continue strike until solutions come
According to a press release made public after the lengthy and animated discussions between the Prime Minister and leaders of the concerned trade unions, it was agreed amongst other things that a “new institutional framework to look into the problems raised by the Anglophone teachers trade unions will be put in place by Wednesday, November 30 2016.
The new institutional framework to “meet and work in Bamenda for the convenience of the majority of the members” according to the release “will be enlarged to include Anglophone stakeholders” and its report is expected to indicate timelines for implementation with resolutions arrived at expected to be “submitted to His Excellency, the Prime Minster, Head of Government within a week of deliberations”.
Regarding conditions for the suspension of the strike, it was agreed that when “at least one other request is fulfilled on or before November 30” then shall the strike be suspended.
While talking to The Median, Tassang Wilfred Executive Secretary General of CATTU called on parents to keep their children at home while advising them not to heed to manipulations from some quarters to allow their children take to streets. He also reassured them that the dateline for the registration of the GCE and CAPIEM exams that is expected to end soon will be extended.
CPDM hirelings deny there’s an Anglophone problem
Five government ministers last Thursday turned a press conference in Yaounde into a huge joke when in their effort to explain government’s response to recent events in “Southern Cameroons” all denied there is an Anglophone problem in Cameroon. These New Deal lackeys gave their listeners the impression the memory of the CPDM regime is defective; it only chronicles convenient events, while deliberately avoiding those it finds unpleasant, no matter how recent. But the grievances of Anglophones are objective and legitimate, and the buck stops at President Biya’s desk!
By Ojong Steven Ayukogem in Yaounde
These New Deal diehards say there is no Anglophone problem in Cameroon
If there is one thing Cameroonians unanimously concede to Biya it is his ability to have kept Cameroon together and in peace in spite of the cultural and other objective diversities. But today no one can boast of or be sure of peace and stability anymore. And the future does not seem to promising.
Recent happenings in the country are pointer to the very discomforting fact that the ship of state is gradually but surely gliding into murky waters. And instead of the authorities taking urgent measures to redirect the boat towards the right path, they have opted to play the ostrich. (We are told that when confronted by a prey, the ostrich buries its head in the sand believing that it is protected. But it fails to realize that it only exposes the rest of its body and especially its usually filthy posterior.)
It was no wonder therefore that five government ministers shamelessly told Cameroonians on Thursday that there is no Anglophone problem in Cameroon. And they said so after announcing that the streets and people of Bamenda are on fire; that courts in NW and SW are literally dysfunctional and have virtually grounded to a halt; lawyers of the English expression have boycotted the courts for weeks running and are being brutalized and maimed in their chambers and on the streets by brutal, gun-totting soldiers; pupils, students and teachers of primary, secondary and university institutions are staying at home in the Anglophone regions while their ‘brothers’ across the Mungo are going about their studies normally etc etc. These CPDM hatchet men find nothing wrong with these unfortunate events in Southern Cameroons; the only reading the make of it is simply that Anglophones want to secede.
Embarrassingly and shamelessly even Prof. Fame Ndongo, who has made harmonization of university education his major agenda at the Higher Education Ministry, also made bold to say in public and to journalists for that matter that he has never talked of harmonizing academic programs in Universities in Cameroon. In his selective amnesia, Fame Ndongo failed to recall that in the past recent months he has convened several meetings and granted several interviews to journalists to explain why harmonization is imperative and inevitable for state universities in Cameroon.
That Fame Ndongo should publicly pronounce today that he has never heralded the harmonization of university studies and concludes that “iln’ya pas un problem Anglophone au Cameroun” simply smacks of bad faith and intellectual dishonesty. Somebody said the Minesup may be suffering from “ndongolaria”.
And this is not all! That the Minister of Justice Laurent Esso so easily transformed himself into a law professor overnight as to bully eminent and internationally acclaimed Anglophone lawyers in public (several of the lawyers his seniors in the law profession), under the guise of teaching them legal procedure and practice, was intriguing; it portrayed how dialogue in Cameroon has been transformed into a spectator sport where only one party has the onus to talk, while the other party must stay quiet and only applaud intermittently, if the need be.
Maybe one could condone the Minister of Communication, IssaTchiromaBakary, who was only playing his role as the self-acclaimed New Deal propagandist (somewhat like Joseph Goebbels of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany or Saddam Hussein’s gulf war propagandist, Ali Triky). IssaTchiroma used the occasion of Thursday’s press conference to reduce the tension among the Anglophones and to explain, even if unconvincingly, the reason for government’s vaulting insensitivity to the plight of Anglophones in Cameroon.
Yet, there is no gainsaying that Tchiroma’s proven ability to transform serious issues into laughing matter and his penchant to reduce his action from the sublime to the ridiculous, has easily made him an indispensible asset to the CPDM regime. Even though Tchiroma’s audience hardly takes him seriously whenever he talks, he has still succeeded to implant himself somewhat as a veritable therapy for the frustrations of Cameroonians.
Why we snubbed Fame Ndongo’s invitation
SYNES-UB considered Fame Ndongo’s invitation as ‘fantasmagorique’
At a General Assembly held to discuss among other issues the impending strike action billed to start on Monday 21 November 2016, members of the general assembly of Synes-UB chapter noted that:
1. There was a deliberate misinformation in some quarters to make the demands of Anglophone teachers in Cameroon look like they were designed to expel their Francophone colleagues from the University of Buea. The GA dispelled this falsehood, pointing out that the goal of the strike was to draw government's attention to years of neglect and distortion of Anglophone cultural values and the grievous consequences Anglophones have suffered. Our colleagues are only passive subjects in the ongoing abuse of Anglophone educational values and can, therefore, not be held responsible for what is obviously a systemic problem. The GA held that it was time to set a transparent framework that will put an end to further abuses in the future and restore equity, fairness and respect for excellence.
|Teachers and residents joined in with the lawyers' protests|
At least 100 people have been arrested following days of protests against the use of French in courts and schools in English-speaking parts of Cameroon.
By a Correspondence in Bamenda
At least 100 people have been arrested following days of violent street protests in Bamenda, The Median can state. The street protest by the populations, mainly traders and commercial motor-bike riders in Bamenda was the fallouts of separate strikes called by Anglophone Teachers Trade Unions and Common Law Lawyers Unions.
The placards-carrying protesters complained about perennial bad roads in Bamenda and very high prices of market stalls, apart from water scarcity and incessant power outages.
Teachers and lawyers for their part were protesting against the slow but steady erosion of the English sub-systems of education and justice. They condemned the use of French in courts and schools in English-speaking parts of Cameroon.
At least one person was shot dead on the first day of the protests, while at least 10 others were admitted to hospital with four in critical condition, the BBC reported.
Several of the arrested persons were being treated with bullet wounds in hospital in the NW region's main city, Bamenda, the BBC report said.
Common Law Lawyers are opposed to the employment of court workers who do not speak or understand English and the application of British common law.
Common Law Lawyers to meet in Kumba
By Johnson Batuo
Cameroon Common Law Lawyers will meet in Kumba, Meme Division, in a forth night to evaluate their strike action, The Median has learnt. The disclosure was made at a meeting of Meme lawyers association, MELA, in Kumba, on 18 November 2016.
The planned Kumba meeting of Common Law Lawyers was first slated for early 2017. But because of new developments and the vexing insensitivity of the government, the lawyers have resolved to meet in Kumba in a week’s time.
The Kumba meeting is aimed to also map out new strategies for a way forward.
The laeyers will use the meeting to discuss the outcome of two separate meetings that their leaders held in Yaounde with Anglophone MPs and the US Ambassador to Cameroon.
The meeting of the Meme Lawyers Association MELA on Friday 18 November 2016 was held despite the communiqué by the Meme SDO proscribing MELA.
Where will AtangaNji hide his head?
The Prime Minister, Head of Government, Philemon Yang has said that the declarations of the minister of special duties, Paul AtangaNji, on the Anglophone problem, engage the minister alone and not the government that he heads. Justice Minister, Laurent Esso and communication Minister, IssaTchiromaBakary, have all disavowed AtangaNji. Even the people of Bamenda including teachers, lawyers, the clergy, John FruNdietc have all vomited AtangaNji.
By Ojong Steven Ayukogem in Yaounde
|Minister Paul AtangaNji spoke for himself and not for the government|
The minister of special duties at the presidency, Paul AtangaNji, who doubles at permanent secretary of the National Security Council, should certainly be ill at ease and really uncomfortable with himself at this time, following the public disengagement of the government from his rather misguided, ill-thought and inopportune verbal outburst over the recent events in Anglophone Cameroon.
AtangaNji in an interview relayed on CRTV radio on Thursday 24 November 2016, said among other things that there is nothing like an Anglophone problem in Cameroon and that contrary to what some people want the public to believe Anglophones enjoy privileged treatment in Cameroon and from President Paul Biya.
Minister AtangaNji, whose academic and other credentials are still a mystery to many Cameroonians, said the violent protests in Bamenda were sponsored with funds from the diaspora. The minister whose name has repeatedly been cited in the much-talked-about Campost financial scam and whose file is reportedly jealously kept at the special criminal court, SCC, affirmed that he has evidence of money transfers (remittances) from abroad to some leaders of the Anglophone protests.
AtangaNji brandished Anglophone lawyers and teachers as misguided individuals who cannot be taken seriously by any right thinking person. He said the teachers and lawyers are simply being manipulated by I don’t know who.
MINAS launches activities in Yaounde
The minister of Social Affairs, Mrs Pauline IréneNguene on Thursday 24 November 2016, made a press outing to officially launch activities for the 25th edition of the International Day for people with disabilities (PWDs), to be celebrated on 6 December 2016, at the Yaounde multi-purpose sports complex
By Rachel Ntube in Yaounde
|The MINAS, Mrs Pauline IréneNguene|
Making her statement to the battery of journalists drawn from the national and international press, Minister Pauline Irene Nguene said this year’s edition of the ‘JIPH’ will be celebrated on the theme: “Achieving 17 sustainable development goals, for the future we want.”
She said according to WHO statistics, people with disabilities represent about 15% of the World’s population (about 1 billion people). “These PWDs suffer multiple forms of discrimination and marginalization and often do not benefit adequate education and professional training to enable them get appropriate jobs that can guarantee their livelihood and independence, apart from a full, effective and equal participation in society like others,” noted the Minister, who added that the theme for the 25th edition of the JIPH was well chosen by the UNO because it makes imperative the integration and participation of people with disabilities in society and seeks to enable them to fully enjoy their rights as enshrined in the 17 SDGs notably the right to good education, decent employment, poverty eradication, access to infrastructure, industrialization etc.
It should be noted that Cameroon fully adheres to the dictates of the SDGs. This is evidenced in president Paul Biya’s declaration at the rostrum of the 71st UNO General Assembly in New York, on 22 September 2016, when he said: “The SDGs are the first international programs to be given consideration as far as development in all its ramifications is concerned: security, economic, social, human and environmental.” Paul Biya continued that: “The unanimous ambition of all governments is to eradicate poverty from all segments of society, without leaving out anyone.”
Police officer molests teacher who failed to heed strike call
By Johnson Batuo
One of the trump cards of the Biya’s administration in the continuous marginalisation of Anglophone Cameroonians has been the unwillingness of some Anglophones to come together and speak with one voice.
The Anglophone teachers’ strike which started on Monday 21 November 2016 has revealed that though there are some Anglophone black legs who do not adhere to the strike, the strike action has the blessing of the majority of Anglophones.
Some principals and Directors of public Institutions in Meme division, especially in the administrative headquarters tried to frustrate the strike action by threatening and bullying the teachers and administrative staff under them. Some of these principals understandably did not want to bite the finger that feeds them.
Bike rider’s arrest ignites zenophobic chants in K’ba
Bike riders in Kumba chanted “Francophones must go….. “francophones must go”, following the arrest of one of their colleagues by a gendarme officer.
By Johnson Batuo
|Commercial motorbike riders are often lawless and careless|
The arrest of a commercial motorcycle rider by a gendarme officer in Kumba Wednesday 11 November 2016 led to chants of “francophones must go” and “Yaounde must go” by some okada-men who later besieged the gendarme brigade at Buea road.
The incident erupted following arrest of an okadaman around Town Green by a gendarme officer for allegedly blocking his passage way. The median gathered that the gendarme officer attempted overtaking when the okada man was overtaking another vehicle.
We further gathered that after successfully overtaking the bike rider, the gendarme officer arrested him, seized his bike and impounded it at the station.
SDO bans sale of newspapers in K’ba
By Johnson Batuo
As the Anglophone teachers and common Law Lawyers strike action gathers steam, the Meme Administration has banned the sale of newspapers in Kumba, The Median has gathered. The decision was taken on the occasion of a security meeting that took place on Thursday 24 November 2016.
The move is a security measure intended to forestall mob actions in Meme division. It should be noted that the main newspaper kiosk in Buea Road Kumba has become the converging point for all persons seeking more information about recent happenings in the country. Commercial motorcycle riders, taxi-cab drivers, farmers, civil servants, security men, SCNC activists etc usually converge in front of the kiosk to read the headlines of recent publications. It is understood that the crowds in front of the kiosk has grown geometrically ever since the lawyers strike began.
Anglophone policemen suspected of sympathizing with strikers
By Johnson Batuo
Instead of seeking a lasting solution to the Anglophone problem in Cameroon, created by the intransigence of the francophone-dominated Biya regime, the government has allegedly accused Anglophone security officers, especially the police of encouraging the teachers and lawyers who are today championing the Anglophone course, The Median was reliably informed.
According to an inside source in the Meme public security, who spoke to The Median on condition of anonymity, the security heirarchy of the South West region, equally dominated by Francophones, has sent grim messages to Anglophone security agents in Kumba accusing them of encouraging or fanning the flames of the teachers and lawyers strike action and warning that severe sanctions await any security official who is discovered to be helping the strikers.
The source revealed that he eavesdropped a telephone conversation between the southwest regional head and a Meme security chief in which the former bullied, intimidated and threatened the latter.
“The SW security boss shouted at my boss as if talking to his wife or child,” our source told us, further noting that francophone security officers have been assigned the task of monitoring the movement and activities of their Anglophone counterparts.
We created SCNC for dialogue, not secession
- Says Dr. Simon Munzu, former CPDM bigwig
|Dr. Simon Munzu|
Dr. Simon Munzu was a CNU/CPDM bigwig as early as the mid 1980s up to the mid 1990s. He was former charge de mission of the central committee of the CNU under Ahidjo and later the National Secretary for Economic and Social Affairs in Biya’s CPDM. Munzu was one of the heroic trio (Anyangwe-Elad-Munzu) who convened the historic All Anglophone Conferences, AAC-1 and AAC-2, in Buea and Bamenda, in 1993 and 1994 respectively, during which two Southern Cameroons founding fathers, Foncha and Muna, with tears dripping from their eyes, admitted publicly that they blundered in negotiating the reunification arrangement with La Republique. Munzu was also co-founder of the Anglophone National Council, ANC, that later became the SCNC. Because of his commitment to the Anglophone cause he resigned from the CPDM party and from his job as Professor of laws at the Yaounde University. In 1995 Dr. Munzu joined the UN systems where he works until today as an international public servant. He spoke to The Median’s syndicated columnist, Douglas A. Achingale. The interview makes for compelling reading.
*Good afternoon Doctor Munzu and thank you for accepting to receive us here in Limbe at such short notice.
-Good afternoon, Mr. Achingale. I have to admit that your request for a meeting and press interview came to me as a surprise. It’s been a while since I returned to Cameroon following my retirement a year ago from service with the United Nations. I chose to settle here in Victoria (also known as Limbe), where I’m living my life quietly, away from public view and, especially, from media attention.
*Indeed, not much has been heard about Dr. Simon Munzu since the holding of the famous AAC 1 in Buea on 2 and 3 April 1993, AAC 2 in Bamenda from 29 April to 1 May 1994, and the intense national debate on constitutional reforms of that period. But we still recall your memorable appearance and outstanding performance as guest on CRTV’s ‘Cameroon Calling’ in the morning, ‘Dimanche Midi’ in the afternoon and ‘ActualitéHebdo’ in the evening, all on the same day, Sunday, 23 May 1993. Many Cameroonians still remember the political shockwaves that you sent throughout the country at the time. So, where have you been in nearly 20 years?
How time flies!!!!! You are right. Publicly, I have not been on the national scene in Cameroon since September 1995 when I commenced my career as an international civil servant with the United Nations. My first posting was as a United Nations Volunteer (UNV) with the UN Human Rights Field Operation in Rwanda (UNHRFOR) which I subsequently headed, from August 1997 to June 1998, as interim Chief of Mission. I worked in the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) office in Rwanda as Programme Manager from July 1998 to February 2001 and, from March 2001 to September 2004, as Senior Policy Adviser on Human Rights at UNDP headquarters in New York. I returned to service in the field with the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), first as Director of the Human Rights Division of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) from September 2004 to May 2011 and then as Director of Political Affairs in the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) from May 2011 until my retirement in August 2012.
*We understand that you were first a member of the CPDM before you started your fight for the secession of former Southern Cameroons. Was it out of frustration that you did so?
-I did not, repeat, not start a fight for the secession of Southern Cameroons. Together with others, we started a fight for an end to discrimination against Anglophones and for the recognition of their rights as full citizens of this country. These are, and remain, legitimate objectives that we fought for and would continue to fight for as long as the need to do so persists. That does not require the secession of Southern Cameroons, and I have never, repeat, never been an advocate of the separation or secession of the Southern Cameroons.
In the 20 years since Barrister Sam Elad, Professor Carlson Anyangwe and I launched the struggle for the achievement of these objectives by convening the first All Anglophone Conference (AAC I) in Buea in April 1993, noticeable progress has been accomplished towards the mitigation of discrimination against Anglophones and the recognition of their rights as full citizens of our country, Cameroon. The efforts in this direction should continue because a great deal more remains to be done in this regard.
*What about your previous membership of the CPDM?
-Yes, I was once a member of the CPDM. I joined the youth wing of the CPDM in 1969, when the party was known as the Cameroon National Union (CNU). I was 19 years old and a high school student in the Cameroon College of Arts, Science and Technology (CCAST) in Bambili, which I attended from October 1968 to June 1970. I travelled to England in January 1971 to pursue higher studies in law that lasted from 1971 to 1981 and culminated in my graduation as a Barrister-at-Law from the Inns of Court School of Law and call to the Bar at the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple in London as well as my obtaining a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) degree and a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree from the University of London and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in law from the University of Cambridge.
When the CNU established a section in the United Kingdom in 1972, i was a pioneer member of the Section and, from 1972 until I returned to Cameroon in January 1982 I held a succession of posts in the executive of both the UK Section and the South of England Sub-section of the CNU.
In May 1983, in his capacity as National President of the CNU, a post that he maintained after resigning in November 1982 from the office of President of the Republic, Mr. AhmadouAhidjo appointed me as Chargé de mission within his political team in the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the CNU, cumulatively with my duties as lecturer in law at the University of Yaounde. I successively served under two Political Secretaries, Mr. Felix Sabal Lecco and Mr. François SengatKuo. In 1990/1991 President Biya who had succeeded Ahidjo as National President of the CNU (renamed CPDM in 1985) modified the composition of the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the party. He abolished the post of Political Secretary and established that of Secretary-General as head of the National Secretariat, to which he appointed Professor Ebenezer NjohMouelle. He also reshuffled the Secretariat, promoting me to the post of National Secretary for Economic and Social Affairs.
It is, therefore, as National Secretary for Economic and Social Affairs in the National Secretariat of the CPDM Central Committee and a member of the CPDM delegation that I took part in the deliberations of the historic Tripartite Conference convened by President Biya in Yaounde from 30 October to 18 November 1991. It is also as a representative of the CPDM that the same Tripartite Conference selected me to join the 11-member Technical Committee made up of seven Francophones and four Anglophones and chaired by Professor Joseph Owona, which was charged with drafting a new constitution for Cameroon.
*That’s amazing. So why and when did you quit the CPDM?
-Remember that the three ‘parties’ to the ‘Tripartite Conference’ were the government, political parties (comprising the ‘presidential majority’ and the opposition) and so-called ‘independent personalities’. At first, the Conference decided that political parties, including the CPDM, would have three representatives on the Technical Committee for the Drafting of the Constitution. Initially, it was Secretary-General Professor NjohMouelle who was designated to represent the CPDM on this Committee. The other two members nominated by other political parties were Francophone. This meant that all three political party representatives were to be Francophone.
The leaders of three opposition parties based in the South West province (now regions) objected to this. They demanded that at least one political party representative should be an Anglophone. To satisfy their demand, NjohMouelle stepped down and proposed me, CPDM National Secretary for Economic and Social Affairs and an Anglophone, to replace him as the CPDM’s representative on the Technical Committee. This was unanimously accepted by the Conference.
But MolaNjohLitumbe, the Chairman of the opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) with headquarters in Buea, came up with yet another demand. While acknowledging my Anglophone credentials, he asked that the Anglophone party representative should come from the ranks of the opposition and not those of the CPDM. As a compromise, the Conference chairperson, Prime Minister SadouHayatou, raised the number of party representatives from three to four and asked opposition parties to propose an additional Anglophone party representative for the Technical Committee. Mr. Litumbe promptly nominated a member of his party, Barrister Sam EkontangElad, to the applause of the Conference. This brought to four the number of Anglophnoes on the 11-member Technical Committee: Minister Benjamin Itoe representing the Government, Sam Elad and Simon Munzu representing political parties and Carlson Anyangwe as ‘independent personality’.
During the floor debate at the three-day Tripartite Conference, all Anglophones who addressed the Conference, whether of North West or South West origin, elderly or young, traditional rulers or civil servants, men or women, and whether attending the Conference as delegates of the Government, of the ruling CPDM and its allied parties, of opposition political parties or as the so-called ‘independent personalities’, raised the issue of the ‘marginalisation’ of Anglophones in the conduct of public affairs and called attention to the fact that Anglophones were treated as ‘second class citizens’ in their
Populations envisage solidarity fund
By Johnson Batuo
As the Anglophone teachers strike gathers steam, some concerned Anglophone parents have mooted the idea of setting up a fund to pay the striking teachers, The Median has gathered.
We further gathered that the fund is intended to encourage the teachers to carry on with their strike action indefinitely. We however could not establish when the collection would start and how the funds would be distributed.
According to one of the Anglophone parents championing the cause, the idea was hatched in an in camera meeting of some concerned Anglophone parents. He further hinted that other meetings have been scheduled by the group before selling the idea to the public.
Three people were arrested in Batouri in the East Region on November 21, 2016 for illegal possession of a live chimp they had caged and loaded in a van for transportation to Bertoua to sell.
The three men were arrested by wildlife officials of the Kadey Divisional Delegation of Forestry and Wildlife in front of the home of the owner of the chimp. They had converged to make arrangements and payments for the transportation of the chimp. The three included the owner of the car, driver of the car and the owner of the chimp who claimed on the spot that he had been with the chimpanzee for twelve years.
They were stopped and rounded up by wildlife officials working in collaboration with the Batouri Gendarmerie Territorial Brigade in a swift move that left them surprised.The owner of the car was visibly the more surprised of the three as tried he to explainghy he was there.
This did not deter the arresting officers as they quickly got them into the car they were to use for the transport of the chimp and into another car that brought in the gendarmes. Shortly after the arrest the Kadey Divisional Delegate of Forestry and Wildlife, BangyaDieudonne explained that ‘It is a chimpanzee that had been captured by someone and kept for a long time in detention and he was preparing to go and sell the animal somewhere”. The operation was carried out with the technical assistance of The Last Great Ape Operation (LAGA)
|Ebolowa ivory traffickers arrested|
Two people were arrested in Ebolowa during a crackdown carried out in Ebolowa by the South Regional Delegation of Forestry and wildlife. The first suspect, a 50-year-old man was arrested as he attempted to sell two elephant tusks that had been carved into art objects alongside several other ivory statuettes. Investigations by law enforcement officials continued when they realized that he was not alone in the deal. This enabled the arrest of a second suspect, a 61-year- old man who is considered to be the supplier of raw ivory tusks to the first trafficker who is also a carver.
The arrests that were carried out with the gendarmerie is the fourth operation involving traffickers of carved ivory, that has been done by wildlife officials within two weeks in different towns including Dschang, Melong and Yaounde. The operations fall within the framework of government’s drive to track and arrest traffickers of protected wildlife species within the country and this is done with technical assistance from The Last Great Ape Organisation (LAGA).
The two suspects have a long standing relationship in trafficking and have been collaborating to successfully grow a flourishing ivory business according to prior investigations. One of the traffickers owns a restaurant where they receive clients including traffickers for business discussions and curiously enough at the time of his arrest, an ivory statuette was visible in the restaurant. This may have served as an ad slot for the traffickers or a lead to inform potential traffickers of another business ongoing at the restaurant. Sources contacted that spoke on condition of anonymity were baffled at such a high level of exposure without taking necessary concealment measures known to be of prime importance to ivory traffickers. The relationship had been very fruitful up to their arrest the same sources say.
They two are presently held in custody in Ebolowa and the first hearing of the case took place at the Court of First Instance on November 15, 2016 with both suspects present in court. The magistrate handling the matter adjourned to November 22, 2016. If found guilty they both face up to 3 years imprisonment and or a fine of up to 10 million francs. The 1994 wildlife law governing the sector stipulates that if found in possession of a part of a protected wildlife species you are presumed to have killed the animal. The legal department is playing a major role in the prosecution of wildlife cases in the country and the judiciary in Ebolowa has been collaborating in the effective arrest and prosecution of the suspected ivory traffickers.
Kumbo Council wins 2nd Feicom award in row
By Njodzefe Nestor
|Mayor NjongFonyuyDonatus of Kumbo|
Kumbo Council in Bui division of the North West region has again emerged victorious at The Special Council Support Fund for Mutual Assistance, FEICOM, National Award for Councils’ Local Development Best Practices.
She won the second edition of the Regional Prize for Northwest launched in partnership with the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-HABITAT, worth FCFA 2 million after presenting ‘The Mayor’s Day Program’ as a best practice.
During the maiden edition of the award in 2012, kumbo council emerged victorious with ‘The One Child-One Tree’ Project.
According to the specifications of the award a project will be identified worth that amount, which FEICOM will subsequently finance. It is worth mentioning that funds from the previous edition were used by Kumbo Council to supply 60 benches, the head teacher’s table, chair and cupboard of Government Practicing School Kiyan-Kumbo.
By Boris Esono in Buea
|Officials pose with participants|
The campus of the Pan African Institute for Development, PAID-WA, Buea on Thursday 17 November 2016, hosted a 3-day training workshop on “Citizenship and the Preservation of Peace”. Organized by the Yaoundé Institute of Citizenship and Politics in collaboration with the Africa Network against Illiteracy and Human Rights Abuse, ANICHRA
Speaking during the event, the Executive Director of ANICHRA, Dr. WilibroadDze-Ngwa enjoined participants to be propagandists of the virtues of peace and the love for ones country as the hallmarks of the exemplary citizen.
“The success of this seminar cannot be determined immediately; it is only when the participants would return to their various communities and institute what they learned here that we would have achieved our goal,” Dr. Dze-Ngwa opined.
At a time when Cameroon is confronted by countless number of challenges such as the Boko Haram terrorist insurgency, it behooves every citizen to not only be a vector of peace in their communities but should be their neighbour’s keeper.
AU chairperson explains 2063 agenda to Y’de Varsity students
By Rachel NtubeNgwese
The chairperson of the Africa union commission NkosazanaDlaminiZuma was on an official visit to Cameroon to present the union’s new vision for the development of the African continent known as the agenda 2063.
The agenda she said was adopted as a collective vision and roadmap to speed up actions to eradicate poverty, promote growth and regional integration for the next fifty years.
Upon arrival, she was received at the university of Yaoundé 2 campus by the minister of higher education, the rector of the university of Yaoundé 2 Ibrahima Adamou and a delegation of the pan African university in Yaoundé. Professor Fame Ndongo in his welcome message appreciated the visit and expressed the constant political wish of Cameroon to re-enforce ties with the African union. He hailed her female leadership under which Cameroon was granted the privilege to host the headquarters of the pan African institute which he announced will in the nearest future boast of a permanent campus.
Her visit did not leave the students of the University of Yaoundé 2 indifferent. Their enthusiasm was expressed through the numerous questions they addressed to the chairlady with regards to the role of youths and women in the realization of the new African dream as expressed in the new agenda.
Most importantly, the mobility of students within African institutions was accorded particular attention not only as a tool to foster education but as a major challenge to regional integration.
The chair lady frowned at frontier protectionist policies of some African states and the in ability of students to access visas easily. she equally condemned the inability of African states to take advantage of the vast water bodies especially the seas and oceans which if well exploited through the development of fleets will help foster regional integration and enable Africa better take advantage to develop the blue economy.
The agenda 2063 as was presented in the arts building of the University of Yaounde 2 by the chair lady of the African union commission puts together all frameworks and new ideas that will warrant the celebration of another 50 years of existence of the African union. The main objective is to attain a prosperous, peaceful and integrated continent in the next fifty years.
Samuel Eto'o played for Barcelona from 2004-09
Spanish prosecutors are seeking a prison term of more than 10 years for former Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o for alleged tax crimes committed when he played for the Catalan club.
In addition to a sentence of 10 years and six months, prosecutors are also demanding a fine of $15.1 million for the four counts of tax fraud for supposedly defrauding Spain's tax authority of almost $4 million from 2006-09, according to court documents released Thursday.
Prosecutors are seeking the same punishment for the player's representative at the time, Jose Maria Mesalles Mata.
The administrator of a company that facilitated the deals, Manuel de Jesus Lastre Abreu, is facing more than six years in prison and a fine of $2.3 million.
Prosecutors also want Eto'o to relinquish any possible fiscal incentives for a long period.
Eto'o and his lawyers could not be immediately contacted for comment, but in the past the player denied wrongdoing, saying he was not directly involved in his tax matters.
South Africa & Cameroon in semi-finals
South Africa thumped Egypt on Friday to reach the women's Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals, alongside Cameroon.
BanyanaBanyana's 5-0 victory made them runners-up to Group A winners Cameroon, who beat Zimbabwe 2-0 also on Friday.
AndisiweMgcoyi hit the opener - South Africa's first goal of the finals - with NothhandoVilakazi, Refiloe Jane, Jermaine Seoposenwe and Linda Motlhalo also on target in an impressive win.
Cameroon's victory came courtesy of a brace by Michelle HenrietteAkaba.
The Indomitable Lionesses - hosts of the tournament - went into the game assured of their place in the last four and were comfortable against Zimbabwe as they kept up a 100% winning record.
In contrast, South Africa knew only a win would take them above Egypt, who started the match in second place with a two-point cushion over their opponents.
Banyana totally dominated the first half in terms of possession and territory and got their reward on 28 minutes when Mgcoyi scuffed home.
The Cameroonian-born centre-half, who played a pivotal part in North Toronto Soccer Club’ s performance in the 20016-football season, was voted in the league’s best XI in his first year.
North Toronto Soccer Club’s skipper, Niba Macdonald is the main defender in the league’s best XI system of 3-4-3.
The 22-year-old centre-half is coming off the back of successful football season after leading his side to appear among the top five in the League1 Ontario. Also, as captain, he did not only lead his side to victory but scored some vital goal to see that hi side win games.
Niba, a former player with the University of Buea and Cinyodev FC Buea was once named the best player in the University of Buea during the 2013-2014 season.
Speaking to Lions4life.com on phone, Niba expressed his joy and also prays that this will open new doors for him in other major leagues in and out of Canada.
“Giving the fact that it’s my fist year playing this league, I’m very much satisfied with the outcome of my performance and that of my team, North Toronto Soccer Club. This is because it is our first-year partaking in this league.
Being part of the XI is an awesome achievement because it’s going to serve as a perfect opportunity for MLS, USL scouts to give me a chance in their more competitive leagues”, Niba said hopefully.
Wednesday, 16 November 2016
What Manner of Lawmakers?
Cameroonian MPs have consistently demonstrated that they are a breed of gutless politicians, loud in empty talk and weak in making decisions that advance the public interest. But never before have elected officials held up our country to ridicule in this manner. Our MPs have caused considerable embarrassment to the country. They are a disgrace to this nation! It’s a shame.
The failure of the National Assembly to immediately accede to the demand by the SDF for a parliamentary probe of the recent Eseka train crash that killed hundreds of Cameroonians is disappointing and unacceptable. It is an annoying dereliction of duty by anybody’s standards and indeed an insult to the Cameroonian people. It is completely silly; a scandal of grand magnitude and a distressing irony of the way things work in this country.
But it is pertinent to ask: what is really important to our MPs? Something must be responsible for this kind of logic-defying indecision; if there isn’t, let someone tell us.
Our lawmakers need to be reminded that they have been elected, some insist selected, to defend the interests of the Cameroonian people.
All 180 parliamentarians individually earn a net salary of FCFA 871,000, in a country where the official basic minimum wage is FCFA 37,000. MPs are also allocated FCFA 8 million each to purchase cars; ironically called “non-refundable car loans.”
And that is not all; these useless bunch of money-eating hand-clappers are also entitled to FCFA 1.2 million sitting allowance for each ordinary session. Multiplied by the statutory three ordinary sessions per year, it amounts to a total FCFA 3.6 million. Besides other fringe benefits like all-expenses-paid trips at home and abroad; free hotel accommodation and subsidized medical care.
It is even more annoying considering the fact that Bureau members and Parliamentary Group leaders earn far higher stipends and have more juicy financial entitlements. Adding to the advantages reserved floor members, the House Speaker gets a non-refundable car loan of FCFA 60 million; the deputy speaker is entitled to FCFA 50 million; the five vice presidents each get FCFA 45 million, Questors FCFA 40 million each; Secretaries FCFA 35 million while the Secretary General of the National Assembly gets FCFA 40 million; all these only to buy their cars.
SDF wants parliament to probe
|SDF Vice Nat. Chairman, Hon. Joshua Osih|
The opposition SDF party has tabled a petition for the National Assembly to put in place a parliamentary commission of inquire to investigate and establish responsibility for the 21 October 2016 train accident at Eseka that killed hundreds of Cameroonians.
SDF filed the petition at the opening of the November session of parliament, on Thursday 10 November 2016, through Hon. Joseph MbahNdam, who is one of the several Vice president’s of the Assembly.
SDF wants a parliamentary probe of the train tragedy, even after the party’s NEC had already put in place a separate commission of inquiry during its meeting of 5 November 2016 in Bamenda. The commission comprises of SDF Senators, MPs, jurists and members of shadow cabinet.
It was however intriguing that the request from the SDF was not immediately supported by the majority CPDM MPs in the National Assembly.
Elimbi Lobe trims FruNdi to size, advocates a more qualified Anglophone candidate in 2018
The resigned former SDF Wouri official says that he stands firmly for an Anglophone to become the next president of Cameroon, but he is not for SDF Chairman John FruNdi, who is not only pathologically corrupt but is unfit to rule Cameroon. Elimbi Lobe made these and other scathing remarks in a one-on-one with Vision4’s Ernest Obama on Friday.
By Tanyi Kenneth Musa in Yaounde
|SDF Chairman FruNdi, taking jabs from erstwhile partisans|
Former assistant secretary for communication of opposition SDF party has said that the National Chairman of the SDF party is very corrupt and unfit to be president of Cameroon. Elimbi Lobe, who only recently announced his resignation from the SDF, was speaking in an exclusive interview with Vision4 Television’s Director of Information, Ernest Obama, on Friday, 11 November 2016.
Answering a question as to why he resigned from the SDF, Elimbi Lobe explained that the party had diverted from its initial objective which was the pursuit of political power in Cameroon. The firebrand and loquacious former SDF diehard wondered aloud how a party that claims to be yearning to govern Cameroon would field candidates in only 65 parliamentary constituencies out of the available180.
“This means that even if the SDF won all the 65 seats she ran for, she would still have fallen short of the needed 90 + 1 seats needed to form a government,” noted Elimbi Lobe, who noted that today SDF occupies only 18 seats in parliament, down from 47 seats in 1997.
Elimbi Lobe notes further that the performance graph of SDF’s natural candidate for presidential elections, John FruNdi, has witnessed a frightfully steep drop in successive elections. He recalled that in the early 1990s when FruNdi inspired hope for change among the Cameroonian electorate he earned an encouraging 37% of the presidential votes. But in the last presidential election in 2011, FruNdi scored barely 10%. Elimbi extrapolates from FruNdi’s sharply sloping political graph that the SDF Chairman would simply drown, if ever he insists on being the SDF candidate in the 2018 presidential election.
Apart from the SDF’s dismal showing iin Presidential and parliamentary elections, Elimbi Lobe notes that out of 380 councils in Cameroon the SDF controls only 39, with a paltry 900 councilors out of a total 10.000 and more.
“How can a political party with such discouraging and telling statistics claim to be pursuing power?” wondered Elimbi Lobe.
Asked why he continued to militate in the SDF even when the party had the bleak picture he is painting, Elimbi said he stayed back because he thought the party needed fresh ideas to make good the bad situation.
“Unfortunately, a small group of very corrupt and greedy FruNdi yes-men from the North West region have tightened their grip of the SDF and are unwilling to accept any proposal for change. This group of unscrupulous and shameless individuals has shoved aside the initial objective of the party and have turned the party into a business enterprise where the share holders are only desperate for immediate profits.
CavayeYeguie wants social media banned
-Says social networks are not different from terrorist organizations that are only out to destabilize society.
By Rachel Ntube in Yaounde
The President of the National Assembly has said that social networks are not different from terrorist sects like Boko Haram and ISS and may bring about the same kinds of sad consequences on the country like Boko Haram. CavayeYeguie was speaking at the solemn opening of the November session of the National Assembly on Thursday 10 November.
“How can we ignore the deplorable activities of this new category of insidious terrorists, who have inundated and crowded the cyberspace in Cameroon of late? I am talking here of the phenomenon of social media,” Cavaye remarked, noting that the social networks have become a veritable source of disinformation, intoxication and manipulation of public opinion.
Cavaye likened postings on social networks to missiles fired at unsuspecting populations. He called for vigilance of all because according to him just every person can be the target of misinformation by social networks.
Cavaye urged the powers that be to devise mechanisms by which those using social networks to instrumentalize public opinion can be tracked down and punished. He said freedom of expression should have its limits otherwise it becomes ‘liberticidal’.
The outburst by the Assembly Speaker was however taken with mixed feelings by MPs. While some say Cavaye had a point others dismissed him as being anachronistic with the changing times.
AgborTabi’s ghost haunts Manyu CPDM
Observers say latter-day Manyu political leaders are yet to jump for the opportunity and occupy the space created by the death of Prof. Peter AgborTabi (RIP). And the existence of a power vacuum gets more and more evident and disturbing by the day, especially in a Division that was once the bastion and fortress par excellence of the CPDM party in the South West and Cameroon.
By Essan-EkoninyamEkumtambe in Yaounde
Prof. Peter AgborTabi (RIP), still greatly
missed by Manyu CPDM militants
After a recent parliamentary tour of Manyu Division by Senator Chief Tabetando George Ndiep-Nso turned out to be a fiasco, it was the turn last week in Mamfe, of the Minister of Special Duties, Victor MengotArreyNkongho to also recieve a political slap on the forehead. Militants of the four sections of Paul Biya’s party in Manyu literally boycotted their new political leader, when they snubbed his invitation for them to come out in their numbers and join him in celebrations to mark President Biya’s 34th Anniversary on 6 November 2016. The seats that were provided under the canopies erected in the precincts of the Mamfe grandstand, remained deserted for most part of the anniversary event.
And this was not before the organizers of the dual events (the All Manyu Development Forum in Tinto, Upper Bayang on Friday, and Biya’s 34th Anniversary in Mamfe on Sunday) had failed to put their act together and bring Roving Ambassador, Roger Albert Milla to Manyu, as was earlier announced. It emerged that Manyu sons and daughters could not put together the package (perdiem and other logistics) requested by Roger Milla, if he was to make the Tinto journey.
This was intriguing, and telling, given a Division that easily raised FCFA 75 million for voters registration some time ago. It should be recalled that few weeks ago Roger Milla was taken to Batibo by the elite of the arguably less endowed Momo Division and their one-year-old Minister, Justice Mrs. Rose MbahAchaFomundam.
That is why after the failed outings by the two Manyu political heavyweights, political commentators in Manyu wasted no time to note that the leadership vacuum created by the untimely demise of the “emblematic Manyu political general,” Prof. Peter AgborTabi, has become clearly evident and even disturbing.
“Mr. Journalist, you can see for yourself that Manyu CPDM is still badly missing Prof. Peter AgborTabi, many months after he quit the stage. Where are those people who use to claim that AgborTabi was blocking them from rising to crowd the top? AgborTabi has vacated the stage and created space for them. What is it that is now blocking them from rising to the occasion? Why are these so called Manyu political leaders still unable to remobilize and galvanize the people of Manyu like AgborTabi use to do?” wondered a senior and very concerned Manyu elite, who speculated that “it may take some time for Manyu to have another political leader of AgborTabi’s ilk.”
Mbonge elite craving for separate division
By Johnson Batuo in Mbonge
|Senator Otte Andrew Mofa|
The CPDM section president for Meme II, Mbonge has said that Mbonge sub-division is too big to be a sub-division. Senator Otte Andrew Mofa has therefore fired an appeal to government to consider creating a separate and fully fledged division in Mbonge. He was speaking during the Joint Section Conference of CPDM Meme II holding in MbongeMarumba on Saturday 5 November 2016.
Addressing the hugely attended conference, Senator Otte boasted that Mbonge is not only the biggest sub-division in Cameroon in terms of land mass but also has one of the biggest populations. Besides, Mbonge has the highest number of registered voters (32.000) of all subdivisions in Cameroon. Mbonge’s voter registration figures only compare with that of some regions of the country, Senator Otte noted.
With these figures he wondered why Mbonge cannot have a division of her own.
“Mbonge needs a separate division in Cameroon,” Senator Otte cried out.
Programmed to coincide with the 34th Anniversary of Biya’s Ascension to power, the joint section conference provided a rare occasion for the recently reconciled militants of the 48 subsections in CPDM Meme II Mbonge to commune with their hierarchy.
By AkereMuna (of Lincoln Inn London) Barrister at Law
Senior Barrister AkereMuna, a source of
inspiration to Common Law Lawyers
Forcing learned gentlemen of the law into the streets robed in their wigs and gowns is something no government should wish for. Lawyers are the defenders of those who without power, and the watchdogs of the rule of law. Citizens, who are witnesses to such a spectacle, will immediately feel fragile, and the existence of the rule of law in any country immediately be questioned.
As pictures of lawyers flooded the social media last November 8, 2016, and as I saw lawyers in the streets of Bamenda armed only with their ideas, their professional paraphernalia and the request for dialogue, I wondered about the kind of denial that causes a few to think that because they shut their eyes nothing is happening; and that because they close their ears nothing is being said.
The fact that I can relate without any strain to the frustration of the Common Law practitioner convinces me to conclude that, the effects of cultural diversity in a country on the behavior of its citizens are complex and powerful.
The time has therefore come for our nation to put into place a new paradigm for the management of our cultural diversity. That is the price we must pay to find true unity we seek and through it the strength for which we clamor.
From the dawn of the federation of Cameroon, the biggest challenge that hung over it like the “Damocles Sword”, was and has been the management of our diversity.
Passionate Southern Cameroonians who had the vision of a United States of Africa, thought that maybe a United Cameroon was just the place to start. They felt the shackles that were constituted by a legacy of different cultures could not be allowed to stand in the way of the re-unification of peoples torn apart and dispersed by a war they did not start and had nothing to do with. A war which caused the colonizer to suddenly discover in Africans the virtue of valuable partners for the purpose of war but at the same time maintaining them as second class citizens for the purpose of colonization.
The Federation that was born guaranteed the protection of diversity. It did so through its constitution. A Bilingual Nation, Federated States with their own Parliaments and Governments, a President and Vice President, one from either culture. Inherited laws, practices and customs maintained in either state of the federation and several other guarantees.
So the Common Law Lawyers had a Bar freely elected and independent, the civil law jurisdiction had no bar and were under the control of the government whose prerogative it was to appoint lawyers.
Under the seduction of a 100% increase and even more in salaries West Cameroonians made the chant “going federal” their mantra. Yes, salaries were doubled even tripled, and some people moved to Yaounde. Arrears were paid on the new salaries and people carted away tons of money.
Anglophone lawyers refuse to be intimidated, vow to continue with street protests
-Activities completely grounded at NW and SW Courts
-Journalists, Teachers, Political Parties pledge their solidarity
By Boris Esono in Buea
|Common Law lawyers marching for the rights in Buea|
At least 50 lawyers were last Thursday 10 November 2016 arrested in Buea, South West Region, when gun-tooting soldiers and riot police pounced on Common Law Lawyers who had taken to the streets to protest what they described as government’s insulting indifference to their plight.
The lawyers of the South West were queuing up with their colleagues of the North West Region who earlier on Tuesday 10 October 2016 also staged a similar street protest that heavily armed soldiers also dispersed using water cannons and tear gas.
The gun-totting riot police and gendarmes had manned strategic locations from Mile 17 right up to the police roundabout in Buea. They pounced on the lawyers as they got set to march on to the Buea Appeals Court to hand their Memorandum to the Procureur-General.
Some brave advancing lawyers were ruthlessly beaten up by the trigger-happy soldiers. Others had their wigs and gowns seized and torn to pieces. Yet others were arrested and detained, while others who were still coming up from Limbe and Muyuka were halted at Muea and Mile 17. Some sought refuge in people’s houses and hotels as they watched their colleagues being molested by the soldiers. The lawyers did not conceal their indignation.
“It is surprising and even shameful that in a country that claims to be democratic and respects the rule of law lawyers are beaten up and brutalized in public like common law criminals. It is simply incredible what is happening in our country. But things cannot continue like this,” lashed out one of the lawyers, Sesekou Barrister Ebi Stanley.