Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Front page


Optimizing revenue mobilization amid challenges:

Taxation officials upbeat about 2017 objective

Mopa Modeste Fatoing
The monthly coordination meeting of central and devolved services of the directorate general of taxation was held in Maroua from 16 to 18 February 2017
Holding in a context marked by a sustained drop in oil revenue, the entry into force of the Economic Partnership Accord EPA with the EU and an ever threatening security challenge in some parts of the country, taxation officials brainstormed and strategized on ways and means of meeting their 2017 objective which encumbers the Directorate General of Taxation to mobilize FCFA 1,843 billion that is, 1,719 billion of non-oil revenue and 124 billion from oil companies, for the financing of the 2017 state budget. It should be noted that in 2016 the DGT was tasked to mobilize a total of 1719 billion including the 150 billion from oil revenue.
                Admitting the uphill challenge, giving that the 2017 objective has witnessed an increase of 128 billion compared to that of 2016, taxation officials remained upbeat that if the new orientations and innovations put in place by the Minister of Finance, AlamineOusmaneMey and his colleagues of the CEMAC sub-region, are implemented to the letter then there is no reason they should not attain the 2017 objective and even surpass it.
                It should be noted that in 2016 the taxation department mobilized some 1,585 billion of non-oil revenue, surpassing the set objective of 1,565 billion, a net realization of 101.3%.
                Also worthy of note is the fact that while the 2016 performance was remarkable for non-oil revenue, it was not the case for oil revenue, where just 109 billion was mobilized of the 150 billion that was expected.
                Taxation officials attributed the exceptional realization of the non-oil tax mobilization on the strict application of the modernization plan contained in the 2016 finance law which highlights such measures as: broadening of the tax base, improved working environments, more dialogue with taxpayers, better risk management, team spirit, better securization of receipts, automation of procedures among others.

Protecting Wildlife:

MINFOF burns 3 tones of Pangolin scales in public
The ceremony on Friday 17 February 2017, of the burning of Pangoling scales, was part of events to mark the World Pangolin Day celebrated on Saturday 18 February.
By Rachel NtubeNgwese in Yaounde
Minister Ngole Philip setting tons of pangolin scales ablaze
Some 3000kg of pangolin scales were on Friday 17 February 2017 burnt publicly in Yaounde. The Minister of Forestry and Wildlife, Ngole Philip Ngwese set fire on the sacks and cartons containing the scales, under the watchful eyes of representatives of the diplomatic missions in Yaounde and stakeholder ministries and NGOs.
                Speaking on the occasion, Minister NgoleNgwese said the objective of the public burning is to discourage the hunting and trafficking of Pangolins and their scales. He noted that Pangolins are today one of the most heavily trafficked mammals in the world. And the craving for their meat and scales is driving them closer towards extinction.
                “Unless we act now, we risk losing our Pangolins,” NgoleNgwese warned, noting that after noticing the indiscriminate poaching of Pangolins and the unbridled trafficking of their scales, the Cameroon government uplisted all species of Pangolins in Appendix 1 of the convention of International Trade in Endangered species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
                “According to Article 6 of the Ministerial Order No 0648/MINFOF of 18 December 2006, which classifies wildlife in Cameroon in three categories (A,B,C) based on the level of threats, all species in CITES Appendix 1 are automatically listed in class A, meaning that they are fully protected,” the minister explained, noting that the recent large seizures and confiscation of Pangolin scales by MINFOF agents only seeks to enforce and emphasize this law in order to ensure survival of Pangolins.
                During the ceremony at the esplanade of the Centre regional delegation of MINFOF, Minister Ngole underscored Cameroon’s resolve to play a leading and exemplary role in improving law enforcement efforts to better protect Pangolins.

Tribalism and social injustice:

Beti Minister picks only his kinsmen for gov’t job
BasileAtanganaKouna: Minister of Energy and Water Resources
Water and Energy Minister, BasileAtanganaKouna, has come under scathing criticism after publishing a list of some 135 recruits into the ministry with only eight Anglophones and following it up after with another list of 30 names, most of them from his own Beti tribe.
                The Minister, it was said, first released the list of 135 newly recruited technicians and engineers with Anglophones numbering just eight in the list. While the list of 135 recruits was still being criticized, AtanganaKouna released an additional list of 30 names, with all 30 coming from his Beti tribe.
                The recruited technicians and engineers according to a communiqué made public last week, are expected to be trained on the installation of solar panels in some 166 localities across the country.
                The publication of the list of recruits has since attracted widespread condemnation from Cameroonians. The sidelining of Anglophones in the recruitment comes amidst ongoing protests by Anglophones against what they have described as systematic discrimination and marginalization against them.
                Observers say AtanganaKouna’s action only shows how tribalism and social injustice has since infested and taken a comfortable sit in the Biya system.

Foiled Elective General Assembly:

SDO bans SW Chiefs congress, as Fako Chiefs wash dirty linen
Zang III, Fako SDO
South West Chiefs are yet to come to terms with the SDO for Fako following the latter’s decision banning the holding of their elective general assembly in Limbe last weekend.
                Zang III in an order issued Thursday 16 February 2017 stopped the holding of the general assembly of the Chiefs Conference in Limbe, citing security concerns and internal wrangling within the association.
                Reacting to the ban, the Assistant Secretary General of SW Chiefs’ Conference SWECC, Chief Nfaw Robinson Tanyi described it as “unfortunate”.     
                He noted that the SWECC has persons of value and honour within its ranks including Parliamentarians, senior administrators, Army Generals, General Managers, and Judges amongst others, all of whom are not only peace loving allies of the regime but have always supported and encouraged the President through motions of support in the past.
                “SWECC has never breached the peace of the nation nor participated in public disorder of the kind. Rather, it has served the role of a peace breaker and ally of the government on every step of the way in difficulties, sometimes to the detriment of its own image,” noted the chiefs in their release that was signed by the deputy scribe of SWECC, on behalf of incumbent president Nfon V. E. Mukete.
                “We interpret your attitude to suspend our assembly as unfortunate, untimely and regrettable as this sitting was meant to renew and reinvigorate our executive bureau as well as show to the world that our people have no reason to fear going about their day-to-day businesses.”
                While acknowledging the authority of the SDO in banning the meeting, the Chiefs at once drew his attention to article 11 of their constitution which bars non-members including public officials interfering in the internal affair of their association.
                The Chiefs said the SDO only needed to have read their statutes between the lines and with good will to understand that it hasn’t the interpretation he gave to it. They as well reminded the SDO that the statutes of SWECC supersede that of the Fako Chiefs Conference that inspired his banning order.
                They concluded: “We are indeed very ashamed of the position and interpretation you have given to this article on our activity.”

To give peace a chance:

Nico Halle seeks unconditional release of Anglophone activists
Barrister NtumforNico Halle, Bar General Assembly President
International peace crusader and president of the General Assembly of the Cameroon Bar Association, Ntumfor Barrister Nico Halle, has urged President Paul Biya to unconditionally free leaders of the outlawed Anglophone Civil Society Consortium and others in detention in relation to the ongoing Anglophone crisis.
                NtumforNico Halle made the call on Sunday, during CRTV’s live talk show program press hour.
                “Granting reprieve to all those arrested in the course of the crisis will be one of the surest ways of finding lasting solutions to the lingering crisis that has crippled activities in courts and schools across the North West and South West Regions,” said Ntumfor, who was one among three panelists on the program.
                “If I had my way, I would advise the Head of State, His Excellency President Paul Biya to grant general amnesty to all those facing trial in connection with this crisis. That is what is done elsewhere in situations like this,” Nico Halle prayed, during the one-hour show that was exceptionally anchored from Douala.

8,500 km of tarred roads in Cameroon by 2018

Over the 2017-2018 period, the Cameroonian government is planning to surface a total of 1,615 km of new roads, the Minister of Public Works, Emmanuel NganouDjoumessi, announced during a press conference organised on 14 February in the capital of the country.
                To reach this objective, approximately 1,000 km of roads will be asphalted this year, the Prime Minister, Philémon Yang, revealed while presenting the economic, political and cultural programme of the government for 2017 to the parliamentarians. This was in November 2016 in Yaoundé.
                In this regard, a global envelope of FCfa 461 billion will be injected this year in the road construction, renovation and maintenance works in the country. Some works to be undertaken as part of the emergency plan launched by the government will necessitate FCfa 100 billion,FCfa 12 billion will be transferred to local governments, while the contribution from the budget of the Ministry of Public Works will be FCfa 312 billion.

Anglophone Crisis:

NW MPs advocate a truly decentralized unitary state
Over 10 members of Parliament and Senators of the ruling party CPDM in the North West region have appealed to the Head of State Paul Biya to release all arrested Anglophone activists and hasten the implementation of the 18 January 1996 constitution that defines Cameroon as a decentralized, unitary and one and indivisible country.
This was part of the 10-point resolutions arrived at during a meeting on Wednesday 15 February 2017 held at the Ayaba Hotel in Bamenda, North West region at the behest of elder statesman and former PM, Senator Simon AchidiAchu.
                The MPs acknowledged the efforts already made by President Paul Biya in finding a solution to the crisis, noting especially the putting in place of the Inter-ministerial Ad Hoc Committees which according to them have proposed solutions to some of the problems raised by Trade Union leaders.

Anglophone crisis:

UN beckoned to step in before things get out of hand
Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General
An International Centre for Human Rights based at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, has called on the Secretary General of the United Nations to as a matter of urgency, appoint a mediator to seek solutions to the ongoing crisis in Cameroon.
                The call was made Friday, February 17. The Centre also petitioned the UN Security Council, African Union, as well as the government of the Republic of South Africa that has mediated in many African conflicts to hasten up before things get out of hand in Cameroon.
                “The Centre for Human Rights is deeply concerned about the deteriorating human rights situation in the North West and South West regions of Cameroon, including reported arbitrary arrests, abductions, extra-judicial killings, involuntary disappearances, rape, torture and inhumane treatment of detainees, trial of civilians by military tribunals,” the report reads.
                The report which is coming out exactly one month following the shutdown of internet in Anglophone Cameroon by the government also highlights this aspect of human right abuse. It blames the government of Cameroon for not respecting its own constitution.
                “By its actions and omissions, the government of Cameroon has failed to protect its citizens and as such stands in violation of the obligations imposed upon it by the Preamble to the Constitution of Cameroon which among others guarantees the right to life; freedom from torture; cruel and inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment; right to liberty and security of person; right to fair hearing; freedom of expression; and freedom of association and assembly.”

Memorandum to the PM:

Francophone teachers at UBa fear for their lives and jobs
-In a 6-page memorandum addressed to the Prime Minister, the lecturers are accusing their NW colleagues of sympathizing with the extremists and of instigating students to rise up against thema
By N. Nestor N
Francophone lecturers of the University of Bamenda, UBa have in a memorandum to Prime Minister, Head of government, Philemon Yang said the ongoing strike that has paralyzed educational activities in the North West and South West regions has a “secret agenda and that administrators of UBa from the North West region are sympathizing with Extremists who are against the policy of national unity and integration”.
                In the six page memorandum signed by seven of the lecturers titled “our precarious security situation following the strike order by syndicates of the North West and South West regions,” the French lecturers reveal that their “colleagues have been physically threatened” and that “they are morally depressed when students of English expression ridicule them.
                “With the threats and violence, we simply wish to let you know that our lives and our jobs are in jeopardy” the lecturers revealed.
                They observe that the campus of UBa has been politicized regretting that the “authority of UBa is not doing anything to reverse this stigmatization, intimidation and threats levied on teachers of the eight regions”.
                “…the nature of the strike proves that they [the strikers] have ulterior motives that the government cannot readily satisfy them. Which reasonable government can accept such extremist demands?” the memorandum questions.

Worries on how UB and UBa got involved in the strike
                In the memorandum, the French lecturers ‘wonder’ why the strike involved teachers of higher education whom they claim were initially not signatories to the strike order.
                “We wonder why the SYNES-UB created since 1993 could wait for 2016 for agitations of secondary school teachers before calling for a massive strike against marginalization. The case of the University of Bamenda that directly affects us is equally ridiculous. We wonder why SYNES-UBa could adhere to a strike that they were not an initial signatory to,” the memorandum maintains.
                They claim that the coordinator of SYNES-UBa chapter, Prof Tata Simon Ngenge, whom they say has been taking decisions unilaterally, has been using the union to search for personal gains.
                “The attitude of Prof Tata Simon Ngenge is revealing of the double game that some teachers of North West origin are playing in the ongoing strike”, they insinuate.

11th February:

When King and Queen quarrel on wedding Anniversary
Sisiku Ayuk Tabe
In 2017…people from the grassroots decided to stick together to say “enough is enough”. They are asking for their freedom from this modern day slavery in the grip of the government of the Republic of Cameroon. This was triggered by the Teachers’ and Lawyers’ strikes at the close of 2016… As this stalemate continues, popular opinion on the streets of Southern Cameroons is tilting in favour of outright separation.
…A day of joy for one and a moment of pain and regret for the other.
I. A King and his Queen had a quarrel on their 56th wedding anniversary, on the 11th of February. Below is an excerpt of what ensued:
                King: Happy anniversary.
                Queen: What is happy about this anniversary?
                King: Dress-up, let’s go and celebrate our wedding anniversary.
                Queen: You rejoice today because it is day that you discovered milk and honey in your neighbour’s land, got it for free, claimed it and made it yours. This day reminds me all of our biggest error. Henceforth on every 11th February, starting from today, Saturday 11th February 2017, I will join my children, we will dress in black, we will start the day in prayer, we will pray until noon, have lunch and get back to prayer from 2:00pm until 6:00pm. My people and I have declared this “the day of indoor mourning and prayer”. We mourn the death of a romance which never was and we pray to God to get us out of this marriage. I want a divorce. I have already filed for this divorce. Today, my people and I will remain indoors because we do not want to get out of our houses and be beaten, raped, tortured and killed.
                King: Shall we go and join the celebrations?
                Queen: What is there to celebrate?
                King: Why are you dressed in black and holding a prayer book?
                Queen: I am dressed in black because I am mourning.
                King: Why are you mourning?
                Queen: Because you are killing my people. You are raping our girls, maiming and torturing us. Why are you committing these atrocities on our people?
                King: The people that are being tortured, killed, raped and maimed are not my people; they are your people. Don’t you see how determined they are to force the school year 2016/2017 to be cancelled by UNESCO? I cannot let that happen under my watch.
                Queen: Is that why you got your CRTV to announce over the weekend that schools will reopen on Monday? Look at how you are embarrassing yourself and those of my people that you appointed. Most of them have not done anything for their people for years. They watched your ill-treatment of their brothers and sisters but they accepted it because you have transformed them into house-slaves. God is watching. He will lead us out like He did the people of Israel out of Egypt.
                King: But they asked to be treated as such. I wonder why these young ones now refuse to be cajoled to my side. They are resisting every attempt to bribe them, so that they can bring this strike to an end. I need schools to resume. I cannot have an academic year cancelled in this country, especially after winning AFCON 2017.
                Queen: Why don’t you release all the students who were arrested in Buea and Bamenda so that the Consortium will come back to the negotiating table? By the way, why did you outlaw the Consortium, days after failed negotiations with them? You turned around and arrested its members, to the point where some are now hiding in a Western embassy in Yaoundé? Do you think that anyone would believe your sincerity when you call for negotiations again?
                King: I cannot release all the students because I do not have all of them to release.
                Queen: What do you mean by that? Where are my peoples’ children?
                King: Some have died.
                Queen: We hear that you approved of their murders and that they be buried in mass graves.
                King: I did not kill your people. It was done by the police, gendarmes, and soldiers, especially those called BIR. These my forces of repression have been ordered to ensure that schools reopen and that the courts restart, at all cost. I guess some of them would go beyond the call of duty to satisfy me.
                Queen: Why have you cut off the Internet to the people living in my land since the 17th of January 2017?
                King: So that anything I do there will not be seen by the rest of the world. I will not have these Google-generation children dictate how I run my country.
                Queen: If I knew then what I know today, I surely will not have gone into this marriage.
                King: Why would you not have gone into this marriage?
                Queen: Because over the years, you have changed the marriage from a “monogamy with separate properties” into a “polygamy with all properties belonging to the King”.
                King: Well, this is to show that we are all one and indivisible and you have never complained about anything.
                Queen: When I complain, you pretend not to hear. When my people ask loudly, you term them extremists. For years I have tried to make this work, pretending that these things are not happening. However, the more I try to make it work, the more you take advantage of me.
                King: But why are you complaining now after 56 years?
                Queen: Whenever I try to tell you that you are unfair, you come down on me and my people with force. You have taken away our education system, you have imposed the French civil law on my people, replacing our British common law. You have brought your people to rule over my people in our land, and in your language. You now treat us as second class citizens and increasingly we see ourselves as your slaves.
                King: When did you notice this?
                Queen: Over the years. Each time I watched as you gradually but surely eroded all signs of my peoples’ identity from the face of the earth. You have even placed road signs in our land in your language. The police, gendarme and army speak your language when they are sent to work in my land.
                King: Is that why you are grumbling? I have created a commission of bilingualism and multi-culturalism to take care of that.
                Queen: You decreed decentralisation in 1996 and not much has happened on that front since.
                King: I signed that to please your people and some of my people. I really did not intend to implement it.
                Queen: I have been sad and sickened all these 56 years.
                King: But you have never complained.
                Queen: Whenever my people do, your forces of repression kill our children, rape our girls, torture our people and declare some of them wanted. They have become slaves in their own land. This is killing me but to you it is all a game. You are playing with the future of my people and to you it is only a game. Let’s look at this sector-by-sector:

II. On Resources
                Queen: About 90 percent of the oil of this nation comes from my land but all its revenue are paid into your land. Almost all the workers at the refinery, from those at the gate to the Managing Director, are people from your land. The refinery is on my land but the depots are on your land.
                King: This is the life-wire of the nation’s economy, so I have to personally keep an eye on it.
                Queen: What about the gold, bauxite, iron ore, coal and granites in my land?
                King: I am yet to access these and other resources of the land. When I do, I will naturally manage them as I manage SONARA.
                Queen: What about the timber, as you are deforesting our land?
                King: The same thing, I am not answerable to anyone in this country.
                Queen: What about the agricultural produce that are mostly from my land?
                King: Are you seriously asking me to explain this?
                Queen: Why have you abandoned the natural waterfall in my land that can produce electric power for the entire West Africa?
                King: Because I want you to remain in this marriage. That is also why I carried all the thermal generators away from your region, so that I can decide to switch you off.
                Queen: Is that why you have switched off Internet from my region?
                King: I do not want the world to see what atrocities I am doing to your people. If your people do not get back subserviently into this union, I will charge them with treason, judge them in a military tribunal and sentence them to death or life imprisonment.
                Queen: I want a divorce.
                King: You cannot have a divorce. We are one and indivisible and this marriage will remain for ever.
                Queen: What is happening to CDC and PAMOL?
                King: I am planning to move their HQs to my land.

III. On Education
                Queen: What have you done with the report from the Cameroon Education Forum (CEF) of January 2016? It contained 17 recommendations to address the Anglophone education sub-system.
                King: I have kept in where I always keep recommendations that challenge my thinking, like the memorandum presented by the Bishops of the Ecclesiastical Province of Bamenda in December 2016 – in the trash.
                Queen: Why are you sending your people to my land to teach children history, geography, chemistry, physics, etc. in your language?
                King: Because you and your people accept it and because your people are not admitted into the teachers’ training schools, so they are not qualified.
                Queen: Why don’t you admit them into those schools. My people are about eight million of this country’s 28 million, yet you admit two students out of 132 into the School of Sports, even though the school is situated in my land. Less than 30 of the 250 students in the School of Engineering in my land are my people.
                King: Because you and your people accept it.
                Queen: Why do the Vice Chancellors of Buea and Bamenda allow forces of repression to enter their universities, rape girls, torture students and even kill some?
                King: I appointed them to follow in the footsteps of Dorothy because when a woman decides to be mean, she forgets that every child is born of a woman like her. The forces of repression were invited into each school by the individual VC. In this case, they have to take their responsibility. You should ask them and not even my minister of higher education, talk less of me.
                Queen: We hear that your people are bribing newly self-appointed leaders of the teachers’ trade union to call of the strike. Do you realise that it is not working?
                King: I now realise that the people are bent on waiting for the leaders of the Consortium before they can listen to anyone, even to me. I tried to appease them with the commission of bilingualism and multi-culturalism but no one seems to be swayed by it. Your people are still bent on their strike and the ghost towns. These ghost towns are making me sick.

IV. On Law
                Queen: Why do you place Magistrates and State Councils trained in the Civil Law in courts in my land to judge my people. Our lawyers and people follow the Common Law system. You should know that the Civil Law is diametrically different from the Common Law in principle.
                King: Because the two legal systems are diametrically opposed, I have decided that the entire country will apply the civil law system in all courts.
Queen: So you see nothing wrong in the demands of the lawyers?
                King: The OHADA law code has been translated into your language.
                Queen: Why did your forces of repression arrest Justice Ayah Paul, a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, from his home without a warrant of arrest?
                King: Because he is stubborn and I want him and all of you to know that I dictate the law in this country. I am the law in this land.
                Queen: Is that why they are taking Barrister NkonghoBala, Dr. FontemNeba, ManchoBibixy and all our freedom fighters to your military tribunal?
                King: In this country, I decide which court tries whoever, regardless of what the international human rights laws say.
                Queen: Is it true that you allowed the arrest of 90 year old MolaNjohLitumbe?
                King: I am yet to confirm where that old man is, at the moment, but he was trying to reveal the truth of what happened in the beginning.
                Queen: And what is wrong in what he did or incorrect in what he said?
                King: Now woman! it is either my way or the high way to death.

V. On Governance
                Queen: This our marriage is actually “njomba marriage”. Are you taking advantage of us because this our “come we stay marriage” in which the King refused or neglected to do traditional, civil status or even church blessing is something that was always going to fail?
                King: I have always prepared myself for the worst in this relationship.
                Queen: When we started you agreed that both our peoples will always be represented in the first two positions in this nation. Today my person is the fourth authority in this country.
                King: I understand this lame point of yours but you see, when I took the position of prime minister from the North and gave your people, I had to compensate them with the speaker of the Assembly. By the time I approved the Senate, the Bamelikis were becoming restive and I decided to offer them that one. Things just happened that way!
                Queen: While we are in parliament, where is Hon. Wirba Joseph? Rumour has it that you have arrested him. Is it because of the speech that he made at the House of Assembly last year? Are you saying that even with his parliamentary immunity you still arrested him?
                King: He is at large. We will arrest him on sight. Do you know that he stubbornly organised a rally in his place on Saturday January 14, 2017?
                Queen: When will you ever appoint an ambassador form my land to represent us at the United Nations?
                King: Never. Your people will go and dig out our marriage files, if they exist, and expose us.
                Queen: What about sending any of my people to represent us in the USA?
King: Never, that country is too big and important.
                Queen: To France?
                King: I will not. On second thought, I might because when such a person gets to France, s/he will know who my mentor is.
                Queen: To Nigeria?
                King: Never, too near and could let your people back in, then I might lose Bakassi.
                Queen: Since you mentioned it, what have you done to the people of Bakassi, since they joined us from Nigeria?
                King: The treatment that is being given to you is the same which we are dishing out to them: Bring them in, get authority over their oil and abandon them.
                Queen: Is that fair?
                King: The world is not fair. If you want something, you have to fight for it.
                Queen: When will you appoint a person from my land as minister of Finance?
                King: Never. I give you the director of customs and impose high targets so that he can collect the money, which the minister then makes available to me.
                Queen: What about the armed forces?
                King: Never. Even the few of your people who I appoint as Generals, in return for some huge service rendered, I am now watching very closely. If any of them is sympathetic with this your peoples’ silly cry, I will lock him up.
                Queen: What happened to the Two State Federation that we agreed upon?
                King: I am now considering a Ten State Federation, just to please your people because even I acknowledge that there is a problem in this country. Contrary to some of my over-ambitious people, some from your land, I now agree that there is an Anglophone problem.
                Queen: What is going to be different now compared to all the other times that you have signed your degrees? Ten State Federation is worse than the situation we found ourselves in 1961. That is why I am now filing for divorce.

The illegality of the law to which Consortium leaders are charged

By Barrister Jean AtabongFomeni
Barrister Jean AtabongFomeni
The Consortium leaders (Barrister AgborBalla Felix Nkongho, Dr. Fontem N. Neba and ManchoBibixy) are standing trial before the Yaoundé Military Tribunal for having allegedly committed the following offences—acts of terrorism, hostility to the fatherland, secession, revolution, group rebellion, incitation of civil war, contempt on public bodies and public servants, spreading of false information.
                However, it should be noted that competence of the Yaoundé Military Tribunal in trying the matter rests within the ambit of Section 3(4) of the law organizing the Military Justice in Cameroon (Law No. 2008/015 of 29 December 2008). Section 3(4) provides that, “the Yaoundé Military Tribunal may in the event of exceptional circumstances …which constitute serious threat to public order, state security or terrorism, exercise its powers throughout the national territory.”
                Sadly, most of the above offences attract the death penalty. They are embedded in Sections 102 (Hostility against the fatherland), 103 (Other felonies punishable with death), 111 (Secession), 112 (incitement of Civil War) of the Cameroon Penal Code, and Section 2 (Acts of terrorism) of the Law on the Suppression of Acts of Terrorism. In summary, the above provisions condemn to death whoever commits the above offences.
                Conversely, the Constitution of Cameroon is against the death penalty. Cameroon is one of the countries with a Constitution that protects, promotes, and guarantees the rights and freedoms of every citizen. It is not an exaggeration, therefore, to say that this Constitution, uprooted from a sound moral background, meets with the universally acceptable standards of Constitutions, particularly in the domain of Human Rights.
                In fact, its preamble states that, “every person has the right to life, to physical and moral integrity and to humane treatment in all circumstances. Under no circumstances shall any person be subjected to torture, to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment”.

Inter-urban bus transport:

70-seater buses transformed into ‘highway taxis’
Overloaded Vatican Bus 4365 of Sunday February 19-2017
It is now a common phenomenon in most inter-urban travel agencies where drivers who ply the roads both by day and night and in complicity with loaders commonly called ‘motorboys’ make several stops along the highway to pick up extra passengers who will not be accounted for in case of road accidents.
                In most of these vehicles some kitchen chairs are placed at the middle of the bus to allow these extra passengers sit, some even sit on stairs of the vehicle no matter the inconveniences caused by this practice.
                Buses with 70 places end up having 80 and even more. This reporter approached a ‘moto boy’ who works for a travel agency whose name is withheld, he said what they obtain from this practice is fully theirs.

As 7th edition ends:

Yaounde to host another PROMOTE in two years
By Rachel NtubeNgwese in Yaounde
The sixth edition of the international exhibition fair for enterprises and partnership dubbed PROMOTE ended on 19 February 2017 in Yaoundé with participants and visitors treated to several innovations in business opportunities for young entrepreneurs. According to Prime Minister Philemon Yang who officially opened the exhibition fair last February 13, over 900 enterprises from more than 11 countries took part in the fair.
                Amongst the foreign participants at the fair was the Italian deputy minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation, Mario Gairo, who was guest speaker at the opening.
                In his message, he noted that Italy’s participating in the fair went beyond just classical assistance to Africa, to promoting economic partnership, favoring exchanges and establishing joint ventures and transferring technology.
                Acknowledging Cameroon’s interesting business potentials, he underscored Italy’s intention to create new businesses in Cameroon through joint ventures, with a view to providing more employment and apprenticeship opportunities for Cameroonians. 

I do not intend to leave Cameroon

-Hugo Broos
Hugo Broos
Cameroon head coach, Hugo Broos has denied allegations circulating in the social media that he will leave Cameroon for the BafanaBafana of South African.
                Broos is one of the 60 candidates who applied for the top job the South African Football Association, SAFA unveiled.
                In an exclusive interview with Radio France Internationale, RFI, Hugo Broos said, a manager contacted him that the South coaching place was free and after asking him if he could introduce him, he said he could go ahead.
                “There was only one contact with a manager. He said the South African team’s coaching place was free. He indirectly asked me if I was interested. He asked if he could introduce me. I said, well, go ahead, there’s no problem, but there’s only that. I do not intend to leave Cameroon,” Hugo Broos stated.
                According to the Belgian coach, even if the South African offer is interesting, he will still remain Cameroon’s coach.
                “Even if the South African offer is interesting, i will still remain Cameroon’s coach. But there is not even an offer. There was no offer, but there is interest. This is quite normal since we won the CAN 2017. So it’s quite normal, it seems to me, that other countries or clubs think of me,” Broos noted.
                He added that, “that does not mean there are contacts or offers. There is nothing at all for the moment; not even from South Africa! The only thing that happened was that a manager introduced me to the South African Federation. And he is not even my manager”.

CAF Presidency:

Zuma backs Hayatou against Cosafa
Caf President IssaHayatou with the President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma
The Confederation of African Football (Caf) announced that South Africa's President, Jacob Zuma, had pledged his full support to Caf president IssaHayatou ahead of African football's upcoming elections.
It followed a meeting on Saturday morning when President Zuma received Hayatou at his residence in Pretoria.          The meeting came just six days after the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) announced it was endorsing Hayatou's rival Ahmad Ahmad as a Caf presidential candidate.
                South African Sports Minister FikileMbalula, South African Football Association (Safa) President Danny Jordaan and MamelodiSundowns President Patrice Motsepe were also present at Saturday's meeting with President Zuma.
                South Africa's MamelodiSundowns, winners of the African Champions League, were scheduled to host the continent's Confederation Cup winners, TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo, later on Saturday.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Monday front page


Anglophone Crisis:

Biya descends from his pedestal, extends olive branch to Anglophones
President Biya has pledged more concessions to Anglophones
- The President has promised to make more concessions to the striking teachers and lawyers, when negotiations reopen anytime soon
- But the President also maintained that because the right to education is inalienable, gov’t will take all measures to ensure that children in NW and SW go to school
- Analysts say the President, in this address, has presented Anglophones with a golden opportunity that history will not forgive them if ever they missed out on it
By Ojong Steven Ayukogem in Yaounde
President Paul Biya has once again reiterated his willingness to address the grievances raised by Anglophone teachers and lawyers, if only to seduce them to call off their sit-in strike that has already lasted 3 months and counting.
                After the president hammered on the very worrying Anglophone crisis, promising government’s readiness to pursue frank and fruitful dialogue with the lawyers and teachers trade unions, in his state-of-the-nation address on 31 December 2016, he has once again dwelled on it in his traditional address to the youth, on the eve of 11 February, the day dedicated for the Youth in Cameroon. President Biya used almost half the time of the speech to ruminate on the Anglophone crisis.
                Like in his year-end address on 31st December 2016 when the president revealed that he was very touched by the events in NW and SW to the extent that he could not be indifferent to them, Biya again reiterated to the youths that: “As we prepare to celebrate your Day, I cannot fail to mention the challenges faced by your brothers and sisters in the North-West and South-West Regions…..Due to the strike actions initiated by some trade unions, classes have been disrupted in these regions for several weeks now. I ordered a constructive dialogue between the Government and the trade unions concerned in order to find consensual solutions to the problems raised. These negotiations, which took place within the framework of the ad hoc committees set up to that end, helped to define the issues and determine ways and means to address them…..The Government has already taken some actions to implement the recommendations made by the committees I have just mentioned. Other actions will follow soon.”
                As soon as the President ended his 15-minute speech on Friday, a keen listener wasted no time to remark: “If these are not the words of someone who is ready to make concessions, then what are they?”
                The listener noted that “President Paul Biya is not known to usually address acute and burning issues in his public utterances. If anything the President will stay mute and allow time to take its toll on the problem, believing in the notion that every revolution withers with time.”
                Our interlocutor however noted that “this time around, perhaps in acknowledgement of the seriousness and legitimacy of some of the grievances, and maybe given the rapidly decaying nature of the crisis, the president has seen the compelling need to come down from his pedestal and personally implicate himself in finding a lasting solution to the crisis.”
                In his message to the youths, President Paul Biya also noted that it has not been very easy to find lasting and consensual solutions to the crisis this, because, what started as purely technical grievances gradually but surely metamorphosed into purely political demands, rendering negotiations more complicated than was expected and making efforts by government to look inadequate.

Trial of the year:

Agbor Balla
AgborBalla and Co. to appear before military court today
At least 100 lawyers including 5 Batonniers, have indicated their willingness to join the defense team of the leaders of the now outlawed Consortium.
By Ojong Steven Ayukogem in Yaounde
The Military Tribunal in Yaounde will witness an unusual crowd today, Monday 13 February 2017, when hearing opens on the matter pitting the leaders of the defunct Consortium of Anglophone Civil Societies against the state and people of Cameroon.
                Barrister Nkongho Felix AgborBalla, Dr. FontemNebaAforteka’a and ManchoBibixy, will be brought to court today, from their cells in the Kondengui Prison, to answer to charges of terrorism, rebellion against the state, breach of the constitution, inciting the populations to rise up against the state and its institutions among several other terrorism-related charges.
                Balla and Co. were supposed to have appeared before the Military Judge on 1st February. But the matter was postponed to today.
                Despite the postponement, over 100 lawyers still stormed the premises of the Military Court on that fateful Wednesday. Led by Former Bar Council President, Senior Barrister Bernard AchoMuna, the lawyers said they came to ascertain that the case had been postponed and if so to know the reason for the sudden postponement.
– Paul Biya
Being part of the president’s message to the Youths on the eve of 11 February 2017
My dear young compatriots,
In recent years, I have continually urged you to spare no effort to overcome the obstacles that could stand in your way.
                I also encouraged you to use your resourcefulness, your creativity and your courage, to secure your future.
                I think I have been understood by many of you, like our dear INDOMITABLE LIONS, whose remarkable victory at the recent Africa Cup of Nations brought great jubilation to our people.
                The new feat achieved by the Indomitable Lions barely a few weeks after the equally remarkable performance of our Women’s National Football Team in a similar competition, confirms the vitality of our youth and demonstrates to the world that “impossible is un-Cameroonian”.
                During these two competitions, we all admired the talent, courage and patriotic commitment of our young footballers, as well as their capacity to unite in order to defend the national flag.
                This determination to serve the Republic is also celebrated day by day among our defence and security forces, as well as vigilante groups which are fighting in unison to protect our country from the Boko Haram terrorist sect.

My dear young compatriots,
                Your enthusiasm to join the defence and security forces at this moment bears eloquent testimony to your attachment to the peace and stability of our country, as well as your burning desire to serve your fatherland.
                You demonstrate similar commitment in your various activities which contribute to our country’s inexorable march towards emergence.
I would like to congratulate you on that.

My dear young compatriots,
                As we prepare to celebrate your Day, I cannot fail to mention the challenges faced by your brothers and sisters in the North-West and South-West Regions.
                Due to the strike actions initiated by some trade unions, classes have been disrupted in these regions for several weeks now. I ordered a constructive dialogue between the Government and the trade unions concerned in order to find consensual solutions to the problems raised. These negotiations, which took place within the framework of the ad hoc committees set up to that end, helped to define the issues and determine ways and means to address them.
The Government has already taken some actions to implement the recommendations made by the committees I have just mentioned. Other actions will follow soon.
                These efforts notwithstanding, there have been lingering difficulties, especially owing to the emergence of political demands by extremist and separatist organizations. Preaching hate and violence, these organizations have committed or caused serious atrocities against citizens and damaged their property, as well as public buildings and utilities. They have embarked on a campaign of intimidation, threats and violence to disrupt the normal conduct of business and school activities.
                Faced with this situation, the Government had to take measures to maintain order, protect citizens and their property and hand over to the judicial authorities those who committed or were suspected of committing these criminal acts. This necessary action will continue, in compliance with the laws and regulations of the Republic.

Anglophone crisis:

IssaTchiroma’s ordeal with BBC radio
IssaTchiroma, Cameroon Minister of Communication and gov’t spokesman
The Minister of Communication and spokesman for the Biya regime, IssaTchiromaBakary has said that there are no taboo subjects in Cameroon even as the strike action in Anglophone Cameroon is on-going.
                Tchiroma made the statement in his response to questions from BBC radio, in their program BBC World Service for Africa, recently.
                Tchiroma told the BBC that whatever demands Anglophones are presenting can be addressed on the dialogue table, and nothing is forbidden.
                “If Anglophones want federalism, secession, there is no problem; let them come let us dialogue.”
                When asked why the government is not listening to Anglophones, Tchiroma said, the government is ready to dialogue but the Anglophone groups are not ready.
                “We are ready to listen, the government is there to solve problems for its people; we are ready to entertain every problem. If Anglophones have a problem let them come let us sit round the table and we are going to find a common solution through dialogue and consultation,” Tchiroma said.

Expected denouement:


Consortium disintegrates, leaders go separate ways

Tassang Wilfred in his video message on internet
While Tassang Wilfred is now preaching total separation from his hide out,
AgborBalla, in Kondengui, has kept to his two-state Federation stance
The run-away President of the Cameroon Anglophone Teachers Trade Union, CATTU, Tassang Wilfred, who was also one of the leaders of the now outlawed Anglophone Cameroon Civil Society Consortium, has said that the Consortium has moved from its initial stance that was Federation, to a completely different position which is the independence of the state of Southern Cameroons.
                Tassang made the statement in a video he posted on the internet, from his hide-out. The video easily went viral on social media.
                Tassang says he is disappointed with the exaggerated force being used by the government on Anglophones, stating that because of government’s refusal to dialogue and its violent moves against Anglophones, it is clear that the two Cameroons can no longer live together.

SOUTH WEST FORUM

2 February 2017-02-06  Mountain Hotel Buea
The Buea Declaration
We, the People of the South West Region, comprising the traditional and political leaders of all shades of opinion; and also comprising women, youth, trade union, educational and civil society organisations; as well as members of the Bar Association and other professional bodies,  believers in the Almighty God,  who ordained our origins in this promised land;
                Assembled in Buea in a representative Forum of the South West People, on the 2nd of February 2017 under the guidance of our Almighty God;

                - Considering our republican and patriotic stand of a one and indivisible nation, which has been the long-standing position of the Southwest People;

                - Jealous of its unity in diversity, and against the backdrop of disruptive and unconstitutional attempts by negative forces, to blackmail the institutions of the State, as well as the peace and stability reigning in our region and throughout our country;

Crisis in NW and SW:

NW Fons reaffirm “Cameroon is one and Indivisible Cameroon”
-Urge Biya to act fast in engaging frank dialogue with Anglophone leaders 
North Fons
Members of the North West Fons’ Union, NOWEFU have in a strongly worded Memorandum cabled to President Paul Biya, prescribed honest and frank dialogue as the only way out of the lingering Anglophone crisis.
                In the Memorandum issued Tuesday in Bamenda, NOWEFU members said they have been very worried and disturbed about the ongoing crisis in the North West and South West Regions of the country.
                The slow but sure destruction of the cultural identity of Anglophones as can be seen in the Education and Legal systems, NOWEFU said, was preoccupying and that the group could not be indifferent to such actions.
                They said they are confident that the birth of the All Anglophone Conference , AAC; the Southern Cameroon National Council, SCNC  and  other secessionist movements, including the yearly 1stOctober Syndrome are all born out of the frustrations Anglophones have been going through since joining French- Cameroon after a UN organized plebiscite.
                In the Tuesday Memorandum signed by the President General, the SG and the treasurer-general of NOWEFU, Senator FonTecheNjei, FonZofoaNdofoa III and FonTekouh Simon respectively, the custodians of NW tradition recounted that: “In an earlier Press Release signed by the Fons on November 2, 2016, we clearly opted for dialogue as the only way to solve problems, while also condemning all acts that undermine the unity of the State of Cameroon. We still believe, that the only way forward is to sit down and discuss honestly.”

“Schools resumption depends on parents, not the church”


-Catholic Bishops
Bishops of Bamenda Ecclesiastical Province
Leaders of the Cameroon Baptist Convention, CBC and Presbyterian Church in Cameroon, PCC and Bishops of the Bamenda Provincial Episcopal Conference (BAPEC) have jointly issued a statement on the current socio-political atmosphere in the NW and SW Regions. The declaration comes at a time many Anglophones were seeing church authorities as being complacent with Government.
                The press release dated 9 February 2017, a copy of which got to our newsroom, opens by explaining that the Executive President of the CBC and the Moderator of the PCC went to meet the Archbishop of Bamenda and by Divine providence, found that the Archbishop was in session with Bishops of the Bamenda Episcopal Conference (BAPEC) and together, albeit without any intention of creating a permanent structure or association, they came up with the following statement;

Reception at Unity Palace:

FruNdi urges Biya to personally resolve Anglophone crisis
Fru Ndi
Social Democratic Front, SDF National Chieftain, John FruNdi has said that he didn’t mince words on how the ongoing Anglophone crisis could be resolved when he held brief discussions with the Head of State, Paul Biya on Wednesday, at the Unity Palace.
                Speaking to CRTV television, John FruNdi said he made his position known to President Paul Biya that the current impasse in the Anglophone Regions of the country can only be resolved through meaningful and sincere dialogue. He said he equally urged the President to step in and personally handle the crisis.
                Fielding other questions during the interview, the SDF chairman said he was disturbed by the current crisis in the North West and South West Regions that has led to the killings of several individuals.
                “I came here to congratulate the Lions for their brilliant performance and to say that all Cameroonians are proud of the achievement…..But i came here with mixed feelings. I am rejoicing because the Lions have won and raised the flag of Cameroon high. But at the same time in the North West and South West Regions, the administration has pushed children to a point where that flag is not being respected again…..I just talked to Minister IssaTchiroma over there and told him that he should not dabble into things that he knows nothing about. He cannot stand up to say that there is no Anglophone problem,” fired the SDF Chairman.

Anglophone Crisis:

Franklin Bayen writes to Tapang Ivo Tanku
Franklin Bayen
“Mind your glass house as you play with stones”
Dear Tapang Ivo Tanku,
Listen to me carefully and read over this many times:
1.            Your frequent calls for violence on the families of free citizens whose stance on issues is different from yours may expose your innocent family in Cameroon to retaliation. I’m thinking of your beautiful sisters and your mother. You have just placed fresh calls this morning for the homes of people who hold views contrary to yours to be located. You want their wives and children to be targeted. That’s simply outrageous! That’s a call for extra-judicial mob justice;
2.            It would be a crime against humanity for any institution (especially the government) or groups of individuals to victimize your family because of your political views, but equally:
a)            It would be a common law crime for anyone or group of individuals obeying your HIGH COMMAND ORDERS to target any family because of the democratic choice of their parent or sibling;
b)           If anyone is arrested or killed while executing the HIGH COMMAND ORDERS for violence you are sending out daily with a relish, they are common law criminals, not political victims;
3.            If for nothing else, listen to me for old times’ sake, listen to the one colleague who always stands by you when others have gotten pissed off. Listen to the one who gets scorned by other colleagues because I stick my neck for you, glorifying your salutary professional and academic exploits as if I don’t have mine nor can pursue more (yes many said so when I reported your departure for the Fulbright fellowship on our journalism forum and others said so to me when I recently profiled you and Mark Bareta). You have also stood by me in my hours of distress. So, we have watched each other’s backs as comrades, beyond just colleagues;
4.            Take note, I am not by this urging you to drop your guard in the line you’ve chosen to follow in our noble struggle to redeem our people. We are in the same struggle but are at variance over strategy. Fight on for our people. I am fighting on. I won’t let up, whatever the attacks I face from standers-by clapping for dance styles in a time of war;
5.            It is your democratic right as it is mine to dig our heels in the sand in our different positions. I won’t infringe on yours, but if you believe I ever cared one bit, please hid my call: do not endanger your family by endangering other people’s families;
6.            Those families also have families and loved ones who can retaliate and plunge you and yours into a cycle of violence. I’m not sure you dream for an Ambazonia of death squads; (calls for the blood of “traitors of the divine cause” which muslims call “fatwa”, may be easily pronounced but can never be completely withdrawn. The fatwa called on British Indian  author of “satanic verses” salmondrushdi in the 1980s by Ayatollah Komeni, still stands and any muslim who finds him even today (30 years on) may kill him in the name of Allah though the Ayatollah is long dead);
7.            I also remind you that AgborBalla and NebaFontem who signed to authorize you to speak on their behalf are probably under legal liability for your blood utterances. Their families are also watching;
8.            Brave men like you and I defeat fear of repercussions including death when we engage in battles like this for our people, yet we have no right to expose others – be they our own families or rather, especially our own families – to danger;
9.            Let’s carry our ant-infested faggots on our head but let’s not carry them home so that our families suffer ant bites they did not invite;
10.          I hereby call on comrades of our struggle to bear witness and to share responsibility for their complacency and for encouraging my young friend and colleague down a suicidal road, exposing his family to danger’
11.          I also call our journalism colleagues to witness;
12.          I make this call for no other reason than my outrage at the increasing dangerous rhetoric in Tapang’s utterances against others because their actions on the ground threaten his wishful stimulus response outcome;
13.          I make this call out of concern for a younger friend, colleague and comrade at other fronts;
14.          Now, over to you facebook Lovers of Tapang Ivo. Show him some LOVE! But support him here and provide protection for his family in Cameroon.

May God protect us all
Franklin Bayen



Three reported dead in Ndop violence

-Fon escapes, his Palace set on fire
News Courtesy Cameroon Journal, Ndop
Violence erupted again in Ndop on the morning of Friday 10 February, leading to the death of at least three people, reports said.
                According to the reports, the new skirmishes escalated when the population staged a march to the palace of the Fon of Bamunka, FonNjoya, to inquire from him if it is true that he had taken bribe from the government to cajole his subjects to send their children to school.
                The population also wanted the Fon to explain why he had to brand Bamunka people as “stubborn and should be taught a lesson by the police.” This was after the violence earlier on Thursday that led to the death of one person and the arrests of scores others.

Yaounde:

Two arrested with illegal Zebra skins
Two people were arrested on 27 January 2017 by wildlife officials of the Centre Regional Delegation of Forestry and Wildlife for trafficking in 3 zebra skins, a leopard skin and several pieces of carved ivory. The two were arrested during an operation carried out in collaboration with  police officers from the 10th police station in Yaounde after the suspects had ferried the products inside a black car  to the Nlongkakneighbourhood in Yaounde. As they pulled clear and stopped shortly before transactions could presumably begin, they were approached and questioned by a team that thoroughly searched the car and found two suspiciously bulging bags inside the boot of the car. The Last Great Ape Organisation (LAGA) provided technical assistance during the operation.
                According to sources close to the investigations, the zebra skins came all the way from Tanzania and the operation is assumed to be the first ever arrest operation involving the zebra in the country. They say the suspects, aged 42 and 32, worked as a team of at least three. The third member of the gang who is the supplier, furnishing wildlife products, is still at large. One of the traffickers sells several art objects in front of a popular bank opposite the CNPS head office in Yaounde. The second trafficker is said to be a sculptor who carves ivory among other products.
                Cameroon is not a zebra range state and has no populations of zebras  existing in the wild and  observers say the arrest demonstrates the extent of the illegal trade in skins which spans thousands of miles and across several countries. This is done by a professional network of buyers, smugglers and sellers who all collude for common purpose and aim, to make as much money from the illegal trade as possible but who also have little concern about the threats posed to wildlife species on the continent today.

Woman, 45, found dead in B’da

The lifeless body of a lady by name BishieRelindis, 45, was this morning found at her home at the Fish Pond Hill Road, above the Bamenda Food Market. No one is certain of the cause of her mystery death.
                Bishie a mother of two and an apprentice at a decoration workshop at Fish Pond Hill lives by herself. Her close friends said she return from the village two days ago after a short visit, complaining of cough and catarrh. This they said persisted up to Sunday evening when they went out to watch the finals of the AFCON between Cameroon and Egypt.  She left for home still not feeling fine after the match.