Sunday, 30 July 2017
OusmaneMey nails four corrupt tax collectors
-The fraudsters are accused of jointly pocketing over FCFA 1 billion of revenue recovered from taxpayers
By Tanyi Kenneth Musa in Yaounde
The minister of finance has uncovered a crime syndicate in his ministry comprising of a well-seated network of thieving tax collectors, who siphon recovered tax revenues into their private pockets instead of the state treasury.
AlamineOusmanMey on 26 July signed decisions sanctioning four members of the crime network that are found essentially in strategic posts in the directorates of taxes and treasury. The four croocks are alleged to have stolen state money to the tune of about FCFA 1.3 billion.
According to the minister’s decisions, one of the alleged fraudsters is a certain YaoubaAmadou, a tax controller working in the Extreme North region.
Yaouba, who was indicted for “gross misconduct and violation of professional ethics,” has been suspended from taking part in any activities in the Finance ministry for a period of four months.
Another victim of Alamine’s sledge hammer is PelagieEyinga Blanche, a contract worker in the taxation administration, who before her sanction occupied the duty post of interin tax collector (receveur des impots) at the divisional tax centre in Sa’a in the Centre region. Dame Pelagie was relieved of her functions as receveur.
CPDM gov’t vindicates NsoFon, spites SDF mayor
By Gideon Wirsuiy in Kumbo
|SehmMbinglo inspecting Kumbo water catchment|
In what can be interpreted as reaffirming the authority of the Nso Palace over the SDF-run Kumbo council, the CPDM government has ruled in favour of the palace as the de facto manager of the Kumbo water project.
Authorities of the Supreme State Audit last week handed over the keys of the Kumbo Water Authority, KWA, to the NsoFon, SehmMbinglo. This was at the end of an audit they carried out on the management of the water project.
For over a year now the management of the community water project had been the bone of contention between the Nso palace and the Kumbo council.
But denizens of Nso who spoke to The Median said that by handing the keys of the Kumbo Water Authority to the Nso Palace, the government has ruled in favour of the latter in the long-drawn altercation between the NsoFon and the Kumbo Mayor, NjongDonatus, over who manages the water.
However, reacting to the development, some denizens of Kumbo, supposedly loyal to the Mayor, said the ruling of the CPDM government in favour of the Palace, could not be otherwise giving that the CPDM party must make such overtures to the Fon, if they expect him to help the party in its usually fruitless efforts at wooing the populations of Nso to its camp. It is believed that for the CPDM to gain control of Nso, the intervention of the Fon will be instrumental and indispensable.
Yet, whether SehmMbinglo will be seduced by this gesture of the CPDM government cannot be known now; it will be known only later on, perhaps, in 2018 when the electorate would be convened for the multiple elections in the country notably council, senatorial, parliamentary, Regional and Presidential elections.
NW private higher education institutions set for lectures by October
By Njodzefe Nestor
Private Higher Education Institutions in the North West region have resolved to resume lectures in October 2017 for the 2017/ 2018 academic year, breaking the spiral of silence that has surrounded school resumptions by these institutions lately.
This is one of the resolutions made by the Association of North West Private Higher Education Institutions, ANOWEPHEI that met in Bamenda on July 24, 2017 to “evaluate the impact of the current socio-political impasse in the North West and South West regions on Private Higher Education Institutions in the region”.
The association in a declaration signed by Dr Nick Ngwanyam of St. Louis University Institute Of Health And Biomedical Sciences (UNIHEBS) who signed on behalf of other proprietors equally called on Administrators of Private Higher Education Institutions in the region to commence preparations for school resumption “as soon as possible’’.
Bakassi teachers take delegate hostage
Some disgruntled teachers of schools in the Bakassi peninsula on Wednesday 26 July 2017, stormed the office of the regional delegate of secondary education to demand the payment of arrears of their salaries. The irate workers took the regional delegate, ApahHor Augustine and his collaborators hostage in their office, promising to free them only upon the payment of their accrued salaries.
According to reports, the policemen guarding the delegation premises where overwhelmed by the clamouring teachers, warranting the delegate to call for reinforcement from the security hierarchy.
The protesting teachers painted a bleak picture of their lot, saying they are made to work under har4sh conditions in Bakassi that lacks neither basic food commodities nor good housing and security.
By Kiven Brenda
The midterm execution rate of projects from January 1st to June30th 2017 of the Bafut rural council in Bamenda, North West region stands at 22.7% realization, down from 29.7% for same period last year.
Out of FCFA 598,269,079 as revised revenue and expenditure, just FCFA 135,126,329 has been collected between this period.
This was revealed during the midterm evaluation Council session of the council recently.
This picture is recurrent in most councils in the North west region. Most council representatives are blaming this poor output on the ongoing crisis suffered in both Anglophone regions of the country as some business persons have reluctantly paid their taxes with some denying to pay them at all.
The council’s local revenue stands at 47,252,114 up from 29,645,380 for 2016 since much effort and strict measures were carried out on sand fee collection as explained by Mayor Langsi Abel Ngwasoh in his welcome address.
|Southern Cameroonians protesting against marginalization and discrimination|
Bishops from Cameroon’s English-speaking regions have said a new government commission to look at the rights of the country’s English-speaking minority is not adequate to resolve what has come to be known as “the Anglophone problem.”
The National Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multi-culturalism was set up earlier in the year as part of government measures to resolve the long-standing problem of perceived marginalization of the minority Anglophones (who constitute 20% of the population) by the francophone-dominated administration.
But the bishops are saying the commission is simply fruitless.
“A Commission on bilingualism and multi-culturalism cannot resolve the Anglophone Problem,” said the Bishop of Kumbo and Vice President of the National Episcopal Conference, Bishop George Nkuo.
“It should have been a commission on Bilingualism and Bi-Culturalism,” he said, noting that such a commission would help protect and preserve Cameroon’s bi-cultural heritage.
Cameroon’s bilingual and bi-cultural status derived from its colonial heritage. Initially administered as a German Protectorate in 1884, Cameroon would later be shared with France and Britain as League of Nations Mandates after Germany was defeated in the First World War.
The end of the Second World War and the establishment of the United Nations saw the two parts of Cameroon transition from mandated territories to UN Trust Territories.
In 1960, the northern part of Cameroon administered by France gained its independence. The southern part administered by Britain as part of Nigeria was in 1961 subject to a plebiscite in which they were offered independence by reuniting with their francophone Cameroonian “brothers” or by remaining part of Nigeria.
The results showed an overwhelming desire by English-speaking Cameroonians to reunite with the French-speaking part of Cameroon.
The “marriage” was guaranteed by a Federal Constitution that was ostensibly meant to preserve and protect the minority Anglophones and their colonial heritage. But in 1972 then-President AhmadouAhidjo organized a referendum that dissolved the federation in favor of a united republic, thereby removing the protections Anglophones enjoyed.
“That marked the start of the ‘Anglophone Problem’,” said Professor VerkijikaFanso of the University of Yaoundé.
He said the absence of protective guarantees meant that “the values that English-speaking Cameroonians brought into the union were eroded.”
Fanso said the minority Anglophones have seen their educational and legal systems systematically chipped away by the Francophone majority.
This has recently led to popular uprisings in the two English-speaking regions. The uprisings were initially sparked by disgruntled lawyers and teachers protesting the use of French in courts using the Anglo-Saxon common law tradition (practiced in the English parts of the country) and in Anglophone schools, and it soon boiled over to the general public, with many Anglophones calling for outright secession.
Bishops of the Ecclesiastical Province of Bamenda (their jurisdiction is mostly in the English-speaking parts of Cameroon) have said the problem is a result of the government’s inflexibility.
Nation pays tribute to victims of military vessel capsize
The entire nation observed two days of mourning on Friday and Saturday, as the Minister of Defense paid also tribute to the 34 soldiers and civilians that sank with the military carrier vessel off the coast of Limbe.
By Mercy Neba in Douala
President Biya decreed two days of national mourning in honour of the departed soldiers
Friday and Saturday were observed as days of mourning for the 34 soldiers and civilians who perished in the military boat, The Mundemba, which capsized and sank off the Limbe Coast, last 16 July 2017. The two days of mourning were decreed by the head of state, President Paul Biya.
Thus the national flag flew at half-mast throughout the national territory throughout Friday and Saturday, while some people wore black dresses and avoided any form public feasting for throughout the two days.
Meanwhile, the defense forces also dedicated Thursday and Friday as days to pay tribute to their departed colleagues. A wake keep was organized at the military base in Bonanjo, Douala, Thursday, while the minister of defense presided over a tribute ceremony at the same venue Friday.
Joseph BetiAssomo decorated posthumously both the 11 soldiers that had been recovered from the sea waters, and the three others who survived the accident.
The decorations followed a funeral procession that gave needed solemnity to the event.
BetiAssomo presided over the solemn event as inconsolable parents, children, wives, loved ones and friends spent time wailing and sobbing in visible expression of their desolation.
Case against Anglophone leaders adjourned to August 31
-Prosecution witnesses unable to identify suspected terrorists
|Bar. AgborBalla keeps beard in protest against solitary confinement|
Hearing on the matter pitting Anglophone leaders, Barrister Felix AbgorBalla, Dr. FontemNeba, ManchoBibixy and twenty five (25) others against the state of Cameroon, will resume on 31 August 2017. The Judge of the Yaounde Military Tribunal adjourned hearing to this date, when she suspended court proceedings on Thursday 27 July.
The last hearing of the matter Thursday, turned stormy and quite interesting when witnesses for the prosecution could not identify even one of the accused persons, except for the father of what is now known as the coffin revolution, ManchoBibixy.
It was the first time the witnesses were appearing in court since the case opened in March 2017.
The seven witnesses, all uniform officers, were presented to the court by the commissioner of government at the military tribunal.
But when granted the opportunity to say what they new about the events in Bamenda, neither of the two witnesses could point at any of the 27 accused as persons who took part in the mob action that disrupted the CPDM rally of 8 December 2016 at the Bamenda commercial avenue.
But this was not before Lead counsel for the defense, Barrister Ben Muna had wondered aloud why the state is sending its witnesses only now, and after the case has been going on for almost seven months now.
The presiding judge, Colonel AbegaMbezoaEkoEko, upheld a motion by the councils for the state urging Hon. JospehMbahNdam, SDF Member of Parliament to withdraw from the defense panel of the defendants. The judge agued that MbahNdam’s status as MP of the nation does not permit him to hold brief against the same nation.
A visibly dissatisfied but unruffled MbahNdam accepted to withdraw, but not before he had staged a futile protest against the motion.
“I have been acting as one of the defense counsels in this case since it started seven months ago and neither the prosecution nor the presiding judge has ever opposed to my presence. It is intriguing that i am asked to leave only today. However, I will withdraw,” MbahNdam said.
|Three new members have joined the Electoral board of Elections Cameroon|
The ceremony was witnessed by some so-called top CPDM officials including cabinet members led by Prime Minister Philemon Yang, members of the diplomatic corps, the Speaker of the National assembly and the President of the National Commission for Bilingualism and Multiculturalism.
During the event the Attorney General of the Supreme Court, Luc Ndjodo outlined the mission of Elections Cameroon before reminding the new members of the need for them to uphold moral integrity, a patriotic spirit and the sense of impartiality in the discharge of their duties.
Every Cameroonian minister is a potential prisoner
|Marafa Hamidou Yaya|
MarafaHamidouYaya does not know how to stay quiet. If he is not writing letters, he is either writing books of granting interviews. In a recent interview French language newspaper, Germinal, the Kondengui prison inmate delves into many hot topics including the state of Cameroon’s prisons, his deteriorating health situation, Cameroon’s porous justice system, the country’s poor governance record, Boko Haram’s terrorist attacks, the Anglophone problem, amongst others. The interview makes for enriching reading. Read on…
Good morning, Mr. Minster. If we may ask, would you like to be referred to as Mr. Minister or Mr. Marafa or Mr. Prisoner?
Irony for irony, I would respond to you: I am Marafa by the grace of God; while I became minister and prisoner by the will of one man. But Mr. Minister is suitable for me, for I assume, with pride, the honour of having been one at the service of my nation. Moreover, this is even more suitable because in Cameroon the title of minister is synonymous with potential prisoner.
What is your state of mind, your present morale after slightly above five years of incarceration? And your state of health which has deteriorated and sometimes caused you to consult doctors? Is there a relationship between your different visits to hospital and your detention condition?
It is a tough and long test for my family, my friends who support me and myself. But I have a steel mentality and a calm conscience. As for my morale, it is sometimes overwhelmed by a deep feeling of injustice and inner anger given that I’m in prison without having committed a crime or an offence, and also given that I’m maintained here despite the judgment of the United Nations, of April 2016, demanding my release. But, very quickly, my combativeness takes precedence. My state of mind is positive, I believe in my destiny at the service of Cameroon. Of course, if my health so permits.
Generally speaking, what is your appreciation of the detention conditions in Cameroon’s prisons?
According to the International Observatory of Prisons (IOP), Cameroon, with a detention density rate of 296%, occupies the second position in the world just after Barbados (302%). This rate which brings back the number of detainees to the functional capacity of penitentiary establishments in our country masks the big disparities according to prisons. In Kondengui and New Bell, this figure is largely above. They are, for a prisoner, inhuman detention conditions for which no one is prepared. Beyond moral considerations, overpopulation in prison is also a public health problem. In fact, prisons are incubators of illnesses such as AIDS, tuberculosis and hepatitis C. Suffice it to consider the number of detainees infected by these viruses who leave the prison daily on permission or after serving their various terms – a UNAIDS report in 2007 put the prevalence rate of AIDS in Cameroon’s prisons at 12%! – to understand that overpopulation in prison is a factor of propagation of this illness in the country.
In Kondengui, I have seen young people detained for months in the midst of hardened criminals for floating bounced cheques. Upon release, some of them become dangerous criminals and carriers of serious transmissible diseases, thus posing as a great danger to the society. Prison is a matter for everyone. Cameroon has to review its criminal and penitentiary policy! This goes from criminal policy (prison must be the ultimate punishment) to the creation of arrest houses (for accused persons awaiting judgment) and to the construction of new detention centres.
Within the framework of the search for solutions to improve on detention conditions, I had proposed, in 2004, that the responsibility of penitentiary administration be withdrawn from the ministry which I was heading and given to the Ministry of Justice. In fact, it seemed logical to me that those who were in charge of announcing punishments should equally be those supervising their execution. But I realise that my proposal was in vain.
Perhaps there should be an innovation and test of assigning the management of prisons to private service providers.
Had you ever imagined, before your arrest, taking into account the services you rendered to the regime that you served loyally for many years, that you could one day find yourself behind bars, due to the manoeuvres of the persons you served? Put differently, were you surprised by your arrest?
I had said it before that the Operation Sparrow Hawk was diverted from its initial purpose which was to fight against corruption by means of an independent law, and was transformed into an instrument of political intimidation and scores-settling. Every minister in Cameroon, despite their reputation and honesty, knows that they can be thrown into jail at anytime, for political reasons disguised more or less in a legal affair. And no matter whether they are innocent, a part of public opinion will see it as a just sanction just because they participated in government. In my case, the famous “you-were-a-pillar-of-the-regime” is enough to justify an expiatory sanction.
If you make abstraction of all what has been said and written, will you understand why you are here?
I was imprisoned and I am being maintained in prison strictly and exclusively for political reasons. The UNO demanded the release of Pierre DésiréEngo, he is free today. The UNO demanded the release of Michel Thierry Atangana and Mrs. LydienneEyoum, they are free today. Despite the demand of the UNO for my release, despite all international calls in my favour, I remain a prisoner. Proof, if need be, that my case is of another category.
After the different verdicts pronounced in your disfavour, what is your view of justice in Cameroon?
My case was judged by three courts. First of all, the Mfoundi High Court which sentenced me to 25 years in prison for “intellectual complicity of embezzlement of public funds”, a crime which does not exist in Cameroon law. Then, by the Supreme Court which annulled the judgment of the High Court and reduced my sentence to 20 years. The decision of the Supreme Court clearly establishes that its specialized section, before which I appeared on 17 and 18 May 2016, had sentenced me two weeks before judging me! Finally, I was judged by the United Nations Labour Group for Arbitrary Detention at the end of a contradictory procedure of many months, and after the examination of thousands of documents furnished by both state lawyers as well as mine, it made a decision demanding my immediate release, and even a compensation for my prejudice.
My view of justice in Cameroon is not different from that of my compatriots or that of the international community. In the 2016 Mo Ibrahim index…our justice system is classified on the criterion of its independence in the 42nd position amongst 54 African countries. This saddens me, for most of our judges are of high quality but they do not have the means to resist pressure from the Executive. But I do not despair that some of them decide to raise their head, following the Malagasy example.
Should we despair for our justice system? How do we make it truly independent from the Executive?
Has it ever occurred to you to request presidential pardon? Why?
No. Presidential pardon is not a right. It is granted, it is not requested for.
Recently, you told a colleague that you are a prisoner of the system and at the same time Mr. Biya’s prisoner. This means that it is not only because in 2011 you advised Mr. Biya to not be candidate in the presidential election that you are paying dearly. Do you know other persons in the regime who want your head? Could we have an idea of these persons and their motivations?
What I said [to your colleague] was meant to place me above these persons, be they those who want to maintain themselves in power or those who want to accede to it. I was calling to question the global system for which all of us are responsible. That said, my imprisonment is clearly rooted in a context of a war of succession which is worsened by rivalries between partisans of a status quo who are preserving their perks, and those who, more ambitious but less talented, have been reduced to vile expedients whose purpose is to make the justice system an instrument to discard every serious potential competitor.
For all the years that you spent beside the President of the Republic, in your capacity as his close collaborator, did you fear his conception of supreme political power?
His manner of exercising power points to two things: on the one hand, it points to his character – thoughtful, prudent, conservative, naturally suspicious (the events of 1984 accentuated this trait), pessimistic as to human nature, secret, mystical up to the point of occultism, engaging, jovial; and on the other hand it points to institutional practice which he inherited from his predecessor and which enabled him to subscribe to a tradition made of tribal and religious affiliations, violent repression of anti-government manifestations, etc.
Why, in your opinion, can his governance not permit Cameroon to take off in such a way that foreign observers can believe that the emergence promised for 2035 is not just a political slogan?
In fact, the concept of Emergence, reechoed by many African countries, covers a corpus of (10) neoliberal rules referred to as the Washington Consensus, and which States must respect in their development plan and budget if they want to obtain finances from the IMF and the World Bank. Emergence is less a project than a reformulated conditionality. These rules envisage notably: the privatization of government enterprises, the elimination of barriers to the entrances and exits of markets, the liberalization of exchanges, etc.
So, is the project of Cameroon’s emergence which, less ambiguously, is the Strategy for Growth and Employment, on a good footing? “A country that is emergent, democratic and united in diversity” is the formula that summarized the vision of the Development of Cameroon by 2035, presented by Prime Minister Philemon Yang. True it is that clear progress has been made in economic growth since the beginning of the 2000s, but it can also be realized that the objectives set by the government for the intermediary period 2010 – 2020 are already unattainable. Be it infrastructural development (energy, buildings, public works, transport, information and communication technology, urban and housing development, water hygiene), modernization of the productive apparatus, or human development (health, education, professional training). On all these points, we are late in relation to our road map or other countries like ours such as Côte d’Ivoire.
A democratic country? Let’s not play with words. The recent case of Gambia teaches us that a democratic country is not a country in which a President is elected by a majority but one in which the citizens can get rid of him/her without the risk of going to jail or losing their lives. Democracy implies alternation. Peaceful alternation.
Finally, a country united in diversity? The Anglophone crisis is very symptomatic of progress to be made in this area.
How will the Society of Confidence that you promise Cameroonians bring solutions to the multitude of problems that affect them?
Only a Cameroon that has regained confidence in itself will be able, head high, to take this triple challenge:
1) the challenge of economic development at the service of the real interests of the Cameroonian people. Presently, we don’t have the least capacity to negotiate with international institutions. We are simply playing games, we claim to believe that their recommendations will be effective, and they claim to believe that we are a democracy.
2) the challenge of a true democracy. The Society of Confidence will be based on the constitutional principle of alternation at the summit of the state, at the end of one or two mandates – a thing that will keep our country out of voluntary slavery.
3) the challenge of national unity. The Society of Confidence will enable the putting in place of a sincere decentralization policy which is the indispensable tool of national cohesion.
Where are you with this Society Project?
The project is advancing. In one way or the other, I hope that the main proposals of the Society Project will be debated during the next presidential election.
In your recent work, “Le choix de l’action” (The Choice of Action), you write that Cameroonians “want to believe in their future, and all that this declining regime offers them is the tragicomic spectacle of its inaction”. Who bears the responsibility of this inaction which is denounced at length?
Enough of subterfuge. This inaction is the consequence of lack of goodwill of the Executive. Why has a country which is able, in the heart of the economic crisis, to raise 500 billion FCFA to build football stadia, not made available for decades the necessary means, which are even more modest than those raised for the next AFCON, to construct a second bridge on the Wouri, a road and railway leading to the North, a highway linking Douala and Yaounde, or a road linking Douala and Lagos, whereas we can travel from Abidjan to Lagos in one day. Lack of political will is the only explanation. Our country has become one that suffers, and only reacts under pressure or constraint.
CRTV GM announces salary cuts
CRTV General Manager broke the news to workers last Friday 26 July 2017 in a Press Release which indicates that the state-owned broadcaster shall witness drastic salary reduction in the coming months.
The release signed by Charles Ndongo has had diversified interpretations and is making headlines around the country as well as on social media.
NCSAPD launches its activities for 2017
Authorities of the National Civic Service Agency for Participation in Development NCSAPD, have announced that some 1620 conscripts and pioneer volunteers would be trained this year. They made the announcement at a press conference in Yaounde last week
By Pamela NtubeMbong-Ewane
|The Director General of the National Civic Service Agency, MrTaossi, talking to journalists, as the ADG, Mr Esua John listens from behind|
Some 1620 youths comprising 1000 conscripts and 620 pioneer volunteers will be trained by the National Civic Service Agency for Participation in Development, NCSAPD, in 2017. The announcement was made by the Director General of the Agency, Mr. Taossi, at a press conference at the headquarters of the Agency in Yaounde, on Friday. The press conference marked the start of activities of the NCSAPD for 2017.
Speaking to journalists at the press conference, the DG of NCSAPD said this year’s training will be unique and timely because it is coming in the wake among others of the socio-economic upheavals in the North West and South West regions, the nefarious activities of Boko Haram in the Far North and rebel incursions in East Cameroon.
“Our training seeks to imbibe in the youths the spirit of patriotism, citizen consciousness, resilience, moral rearmament and self-reliant development. Our aim is to prepare these youths to become peer educators in the schools and communities from where they were selected,” said Taossi, adding that the professional and capacity building training that will be given to the pioneer volunteers will also help them to become self-reliant developers in their respective societies.
It should be noted that during the 45 days of the training, the 1000 conscripts will be edified on such courses as civic education, sports and physical education, culture and solidarity, patriotism, peace and national integration, first aid and civic protection, ICT and environmental conservation.
By Fongoh Primus in Mbengwi
Youths of Momo Division in the North West region will soon benefit from CFAF 102 billion “Special Youth” three-year plan promised by President Paul Biya said in his Youth Day address on 10 February 2016.
A delegation from the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Civic Education, Yaounde was in Mbengwi, Momo Division on Thursday July 27, 2017 to lay the groundwork for the implementation of the plan.
Paul Biya said in his Youth Day address said the plan is expected to support 1.5 million young Cameroonians aged between 15 years and 35 years, in various areas of interest such as agriculture and digital economy".
In a meeting with the concerned stakeholders, the team revealed that the origin of the three years special youth plan put in place by the Head of State is to solve the problems of unemployment, underemployment, immorality, irregular migration, banditry, alcoholism, delinquency, lack of patriotism among others.
As disclosed by the delegation from the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Civic Education the beneficiaries are to be accompanied in the process by youth programs such as the National Youth Organisation, National Civic Service Agency for Participation in Development, National Volunteering Program, National Youth Integration Fund, PIAASI, PIFMAS, YIASP, PEA-JEUNES, PAJER-U and PARI-JEDI.
B’da Hemodialysis Centre Receive Hemodialysis Kits
By Kiven Brenda
|Patient on dialysis session|
Kidney patients of the Bamenda Hemodialysis center at the Bamenda Regional hospital have received some 1000 dialyses kits from the Ministry of Public Health. These kits are composed of devices and solutions like syringes, the dialyzer (artificial kidney) concentrate, tubes and various liquids that are not reusable.
These patients who recently staged a protest over failure of dialysis machines that resulted to two deaths, were all smiles on Monday July 24, 2017 as they enjoyed the kits handed over to solve their problems for a period of two months as indicated by the Director of the hospital, Kinge Thompson.
He said this was an emergency supply and that “a huge consignment is coming that would be able to take us through the year”.
Four suspects arrested
By Doh Bertrand Nua in Kumba
The Divisional Officer, DO of Ekondo-Titi, Edwin NkenyaNgwana and the Lobe Brigade Commander Adjoudant Chef Ediage have in a joint attempt arrested four out of the six suspected armed bandits that robbed Lobe Cooperative Credit Union of FCFA 36.4 Million two a week ago. The four arrested suspects include; Eyong Simon Kenda, the gang driver, Sarah, the Lobe Credit Union Accountant considered as the chief organizer of the theft, the night watchman and NguteNkwencha Rudolf, Pupils Inspector of police from the Mutengene Police College.
According to the Divisional Officer Edwin NkenyaNgwana when the bandits arrived the town they started by attacking the house of the accountant, Sarah and later moved to the Lobe credit Union Office where the doors. He revealed the doors of the Credit union were not properly locked alongside the safe in which the money was kept. He noted even the safe of the credit union was locked only on with a single lock instead of two as it has always been the case.
Sources close to the credit union revealed that they saw people around the credit union with police uniform and as such the considered them to be police men in their normal night patrols. We gathered that the police uniform that was used by the bandits we gathered was provided by the pupil’s police inspector, NguteNkwencha Rudolf, in order to fasten the operation.
The DO revealed after the arrest of one of the suspects, Eyong Simon at his residence at Bogongo I, he disclosed that the gang had been in his house for three days mapping out strategies together with Sarah the Union accountant. He exposed the said Sarah is a girlfriend to their gang leader, Tegha Gideon a native of Bogongo.
Media practitioners schooled on peace journalism
By Doh Bertrand Nua and Boris Esono
Journalists in Kumba in Meme Division have been urged to bear in mind the importance of peace preservation when covering elections. The call was made on Wednesday, 26 July, by Prof. Steven Youngblood, Director of the Center for Global Peace Journalism, who doubles as editor of The Peace Journalism Magazine.
He was speaking at a one day seminar to train journalists in Kumba on peace and electoral journalism. Youngblood underscored the importance of fact-oriented, peace-oriented, people-oriented and solution-oriented journalism as a means of good elections coverage.
Prof. Youngblood also edified media men on their choice of language when reporting elections and how they can keep away their news media and they themselves from efforts by political elite to compromise their editorial lines for purposes of scores-settling.
He revealed that from the exchanges he had with journalists on the field, Cameroon seems to be a difficult media environment for effective journalism practice. But he at once expressed the hope and optimism that after such exchanges journalists here can be able to start adhering to the global principles that govern peace journalism practice.
- Jose Mourinho
Pre-season matches against star-studded Real Madrid and Barcelona were good preparation for the rigors of the Premier League even as they demonstrated the Spanish giants' superior level, Manchester United coach Jose Mourinho said Wednesday.
With a goal from Brazilian striker Neymar, Barcelona defeated Manchester United 1-0 on Wednesday, handing the Red Devils the first defeat of their US Tour.
It came on the heels of a penalty shootout victory over Real Madrid after the teams drew 1-1 in their International Champions Cup friendly match.
In terms of sheer talent, Mourinho acknowledged, Real Madrid and Barcelona have the edge.
"I think at this time, the best players are in these two clubs," he said. "We have to accept that as a reality. For us to play against both in a pre-season without any kind of pressure was very good for us.
"Both played with their best team -- (it's) very, very good for us to measure against them," he said, but added: "There is only one (Lionel) Messi. There is only one Neymar.
Blessing or curse to Cameroon?
Cameroon will be hosting the first edition of the tournament that has been moved from January-February to June-July and has been expanded to 24 teams, according to new CAF decisions.
Before the CAF symposium in Morocco, Cameroon is said to already been behind schedule and is facing the prospect of having to pull out. Cameroon’s unpreparedness to host the competition in 2019 was a hot topic of discussion.
This was, however, clarified when the Minister of Sports, Ismael BidoungMpkatt, made it clear that the nation was ready to host the continent’s prestigious jamboree come 2019.
“I would like to reassure national and international opinion that the Government is fully committed to fulfilling CAF’s specifications and, to date, no CAF mission has reported any delay in preparations,” said the Cameroon Sports Minister, BidoungMpkatt.
With the teams in the competition increased to 24 and Cameroon Government behind schedule in the level of preparedness, this will lead to the Government borrowing more money from foreign bodies in order to meet up with the standard of hosting the event.
Cameroon has already borrowed so much money from financial bodies abroad for these projects. This will push the already indebted country into more debts as they have an image to protect. According to the Government in its initial bid, the competition was to take place in the cities of Garoua, Bafoussam, Douala and Yaoundé.
Limbe now benefits from the changes by being one of the cities to host the tournament come June 2019.
With, at least, six stadiums needed instead of four for the 2019 tournament, competition will take place at the Omnisport Stadium in Bafoussam, LimbeOmnisport Stadium, Roumde-Adjia Stadium in Garoua, AhmadouAhidjo in Yaounde (ready) and the Japoma and Olembe Stadia still under construction.
However, one of the worries for Cameroon preparedness is the construction of the two new stadia; Olembe and Japoma in Yaounde and Douala, respectively.
The construction of these two stadia, a dual motorway linking the economic capital and the political capital, are all ongoing at a snail pace.
Nevertheless, the Italian Company, Piccini, that won the contract for the construction of the 60,000-seat capacity stadium in Olembe has reassured authorities that the football infrastructure will be ready by October 2018
Sunday, 23 July 2017
If Biya’s generation has failed, on which generation should Cameroonians depend for their political destiny?
The 39-year-old President Emmanuel Macron has defied all the rules governing politics and is poised to remake the face and shape of French politics. There is absolutely no reason a Macron cannot ascend in Cameroon. The country is blessed with a large number of young people waiting for just the opportunity to excel. But for a Cameroonian Macron to emerge, the gerontocrats in charge must, of course, allow it. And the youth must muster the confidence, the competence, and the courage required to take the baton. But, too many of the old guard are deeply sunk in delinquency and political cannibalism -destroy the youths from rising to crowd the top - to either show good example, or create an environment conducive for youth leadership development.
At this critical point when the country is structurally fragile from Anglophone separatist agitations, giving rise to negative and frightening prognostications, Cameroon needs a new crop of leaders who are endowed with the gift of steady application, imbued with the ability to control events rather than drift with the tides, and who in range of vision and depth of conception, tower above their contemporaries. Cameroon needs young leaders of iron resolve, indomitable courage and sharp intellect with acute and exceptional sense of history to lead this nation out of the doldrums. Such youths abound in their numbers but are choked by a warped and corrupt recruitment process, run by so-called “godfathers” with dubious connections and access to the corridors of power, who think they have an exclusive right to nominate people for appointment to all offices in the land.
Cameroon is blessed with a vast array of highly competent, globally acknowledged distinguished professionals; persons of honor and integrity. There is, therefore, no reason Cameroon cannot be governed with the best hands except for the wrong disposition of the appointer. The consideration for appointments to high public office may be discretional to the President but Cameroonians bear the brunt of such poor choices any time he hires the wrong set of people. That is why his right to hire must be exercised with circumspection and great introspection. When he makes the wrong choices, it is the nation that suffers for it. Biya owes Cameroonians good governance as a matter of obligation and social contract. So, his right to appoint is curtailed by the right of Cameroonians to be well governed. Because ultimately, the Cameroonian people pay the salary of the President and his appointees and they are the ones who must be satisfied with their performance.
The current Anglophone separatist agitation is partly a rejection of a system which rewards mediocrity with the appointment of parvenus, political jobbers, sycophants, court-jesters and opportunists who see their appointments as an invitation to “come and chop” instead of an opportunity to serve. Anglophones by their upbringing cannot be enthused by the hackneyed mantra that youths of today are the leaders of tomorrow. The more serious questions to ask are: what quality of youth? Which future? If Biya and his generation have failed, on which generation should Cameroonians depend for their political destiny? Is it the generation that succeeds Biya’s failed generation? Is it a generation that has been cut off from meaningful participation in the running of national affairs by the greed and primordial interests of the president’s generation? Is it this generation onto whom no values seem to have been passed by older generations? A generation that has been abused, demoralized, instrumentalised, onto whom has not been bequeathed any moral armament to tackle tribalism and corruption?
In line with the spirit of collective responsibility, the young and the old are useful for any positive transformation and development of man and society. Age is not a hindrance to socio-economic and political development, just as the ideas of progress are not exclusive to any generation. It depends on the persons in question; which is why today’s youth will ignore the older generation to their own peril. But the old guard, who see themselves as kingmakers, should stop trying to become kings themselves. In one phrase, their role should be that of selfless mentoring and purposeful succession management, rather than shrewd manipulation for self-preservation and personal aggrandizement.
Whilst a systemic failure signposts the leadership deficiency quotient of Biya’s generation, it is also obvious some like AbdoulayeBabale, David Abouem a Tchoyi, Garga Haman Adji, Joseph Owona, Dorothy Njeuma, PokossyDoumbe, CavenNnokoMbele, Jean-Jacques Ekindi, Raymond Gwanyalla, turned around the fortunes and prospects of their respective leadership spheres. That Biya has been unable to scout the best and the brightest hands and harness their talents to lift his administration to a commanding height of moral regeneration and socio-economic progress is a regrettable personal failure. After many false starts, dashed hopes, and perennially low expectation, it’s time to reset the national agenda. And this can only be done by a new kind of leadership. Such leadership must be driven by a sense of urgency to correct the contradictions in the land, to infuse hope and purpose in the citizens. It is a different culture of leadership that will galvanize the country in a totally new direction, and place emphasis rightly on the interest of the Cameroonian people, not the temporary occupants of high offices. Questions remain as to how we can get the right kind of leadership at all levels.
To the station managers,
- CRTV Bamenda
- Radio Evangelium
- CBC Radio Bamenda
- Abakwa FM Bamenda
- Full Gospel Radio Bamenda
- Radio Hot Cocoa Bamenda
- Ndefcam Radio Bamenda
- Afrique Nouvelle Bamenda
- Radio Evangelium Kumbo
- City Community Radio Kumba
- Bui Community Radio
- Helenkrisss Radio Kumbo
Two bodies found, 34 soldiers still missing
Two bodies have been found out of 34 soldiers who went missing when a military vessel capsized off the Cameroon’s Atlantic coast Sunday, State radio, a military coast guard has reported.
Col. Henri Belinga, commander of the coast guard sector of the elite Rapid Intervention Battalion, BIR, told state radio, CRTV, Friday that harsh weather and strong waves make it impossible for the rescue team to recover bodies and the vessel.
Bafaws claim victory as Minister withdraws six land titles from Mukonje villagers
By Doh Bertrand Nua in Kumba
|Barrister Awuta, defending the Bafaws in the HTTC land dispute|
The former President of Meme Lawyers Association, Barrister Awutah Philip Atubah who doubles as the lead counsel for the Bafaw Traditional Council on the land dispute pitting the Bafaws and the Mukonjes has revealed that all the six land certificates that the Mukonje community has been brandishing around on their ownership of the parcel of land allocated to host the administrative block of the Higher Technical Teachers Training College, HTTTC Kumba and the parcel of land opposite the site extending to the railway station were irregularly and fraudulently obtained.
The legal luminary was speaking at a stormy press conference on Thursday July 20, 2017 at the Ocean City Radio in Kumba to educate the public on the position that has been taken by government vis a vis the land crisis following the gross violation of the laws on the situation.
Barrister Awutah Philip Atubah went on a media offensive explaining that the Minister’s decision to withdraw the land titles comes in line with the irregularities and frauds noticed in the course of obtaining the six land certificates issued the Mukonje community within three months notwithstanding the difficult and cumbersome nature of obtaining a land certificate.
Hear him “the law provides that any person who can show prove of the effective occupation of land before 1974 when the land tenure ordinance came into law has a right to use such land and may apply for a land thereon” while adding that prove of possession of the land can only be done by showing evidence of crops planted and structures so that an assessment is then done to see how you have developed the land before a land certificate is been issued” clarified Barrister Awutah.
He lamented the fact that this was never done because to him Mukonje has never been in effective possession of the land. Barrister averred the irregularities tie to one of the reasons why the Minister’s letter says Mukonjefrauded by pointing to developments of third party to be theirs thereby convincing the Kumba III land consultative board to make an assessment decision in their favour.
He went further to explain that “another element of irregularity which the minister pointed was the fact that the assessment report of the Kumba III land consultative board which recommended the issuance of land certificate came out two months after the land certificates were already out which means the land consultative board went and visited the land after the land certificates had already been issued.
New Fako SDO challenged to foster peace & security
By Boris Esono in Buea
The new SDO for Fako has been challenged to work in close collaboration with forces of law and order to ensure peace and security in the division. Engama Emmanuel Ledoux was also told to see to it that schools effectively resume on 4 September, for the 2017/2018 academic year.
Installing the new SDO on Tuesday 18 July in Limbe, SW Governor Bernard OkaliaBilai, charged the new SDO to fight illegal importation of fuel along the Limbe coast, fight against criminality and banditry as well as settle chieftaincy and land disputes.
"We are facing provocation and sabotage from some persons who are seeking to disturb the back to school campaign. The SDO should organize himself to make sure that all activities go on in a peaceful atmosphere particularly the land disputes among families and chiefs,” the Governor said.
For his part, the government delegate to the Limbe City council, Andrew MotangaMonjimba, pledged the support of the population of Fako to help SDO to succeed in his duties.
Gov’t procures 800.000 dialysis kits
Kidney patients in the country can now force a smile and heave a sigh of relief following the procurement by government of over 800.000 dialysis kits for the treatment and follow-up of patients with kidney failure. The Minister of Health, Andre Mama Fouda, Friday, handed the kits to officials of the Yaounde Central hospital dialysis centre and those from dialysis centres in other hospitals in the country.
IssaTchiroma blasts Amnesty International
In what can easily be seen as the fiercest criticism of Amnesty International by Cameroon authorities, the spokesperson for the Biya regime, IssaTchiroma, has blasted the international human rights NGO for scheming to destabilize Cameroon and of sympathizing with terrorists. Tchiroma was reacting to accusations by Amnesty that Cameroon is committing unacceptable war crimes and gross human rights violations in its fight against Boko Haram.
“For those of you who were still doubting, it is now evident that the focus of Amnesty International’s report on Cameroon and its security and defense forces, is the propagation of false information and findings which on seek to destabilize Cameroon. The objectives of Amnesty’s campaign are now very clear,” said IssaTchiroma at a press conference in Yaounde Friday.
Tchiroma accused Amnesty of deviating from its avowed mission which is the promotion of human rights, to that of supporting terrorism.
“Amnesty is now playing the role of an organization for the defence of terrorists and terrorist interests in Cameroon. Amnesty’s only aim is to weaken the morale and effectiveness of Cameroon’s defence and security forces that are fighting Boko Haram and are inflicting the greatest harm on the aggressor,” Tchiroma speculated.
A documentary film “Rigobert Song: On the Frontiers of Death” will no longer be aired at the closing ceremony of the 21st edition of the Black Screen Festival on Saturday. The film that was produced by LéonieBwemba has been replaced.
Cameroon Intelligence Report understands the organizers are not settled on what item to bring in. But what we do know is that the announcement not to broadcast the Rigobert Song documentary was made on July the 21st, some 24 hours to the closing ceremony of the Black Screens festival.
While no details concerning the cancellation of this film were given by the Organizing Committee of the Black Screens, an official who requested anonymity suggested that there were major disagreements between the delegate general of the Bassek festival Ba Kobhio and director LéonieBwemba.
Amnesty bashes Cameroon for war crimes, horrific torture
-Says suspected supporters of Boko Haram are subjected to severe beatings, agonising stress positions and
drownings, with some tortured to death
-Highlights widespread torture at 20 sites, including four military bases, two intelligence services facilities, a private residence and a school
-Calls for US and other international partners to investigate their military personnel’s possible knowledge of torture at one base
Hundreds of people in Cameroon accused of supporting Boko Haram, often without evidence, are being brutally tortured by security forces, Amnesty International has said in a new report published on 20 July 2017.
Using dozens of testimonies, corroborated with satellite imagery, photographic and video evidence, the report titled: ‘Cameroon’s secret torture chambers: human rights violations and war crimes in the fight against Boko Haram,’ documents 101 cases of incommunicado detention and torture between 2013 and 2017, at over 20 different sites.
“We have repeatedly and unequivocally condemned the atrocities and war crimes committed by Boko Haram in Cameroon. But, nothing could justify the callous and widespread practice of torture committed by the security forces against ordinary Cameroonians, who are often arrested without any evidence and forced to endure unimaginable pain,” said Alioune Tine, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for West and Central Africa.
“These horrific violations amount to war crimes. Given the weight of the evidence we have uncovered, the authorities must initiate independent investigations into these practices of incommunicado detention and torture, including potential individual and command responsibility.”
Amnesty International wrote to the Cameroonian authorities in April 2017 to share the report’s findings, but no response was provided and all subsequent requests for meetings were refused.
Amnesty International estimates that Boko Haram has killed over 1,500 civilians in Cameroon since 2014, and abducted many others.
“Deciding the life and death of each detainee"
Victims described at least 24 torture methods they were subjected to. In one common stress position, described by detainees as ‘the goat’, their limbs were tied together behind their back before they were beaten. In another technique, described by detainees as ‘the swing’, victims were suspended in the air with their limbs tied behind their back and beaten.
The overwhelming majority of victims were tortured in two unofficial detention sites; the headquarters of the Rapid Intervention Batallion (BIR) in Salak, near the northern city of Maroua, and a facility in the capital, Yaoundé run by the General Directorate of External Research (DGRE), Cameroon’s intelligence services, situated close to the country’s Parliament.
Using architectural modelling, descriptions from former detainees, videos, satellite images and photos, a team of specialists at Forensic Architecture havecreated a 3D reconstruction of the site in Salak and a school in Fotokol converted into a military base.
In Salak, there are two main cells measuring approximately 9 by 5 metres, each containing up to 70 people. Detainees were usually tortured in an interrogation room they called “the DGRE Room”, which is located near the office of a senior officer. The officer was described by victims as providing orders to interrogators, and by one victim as being able to “decide the life and death of each detainee".
Samou (not his real name), who was arrested in March 2016, told Amnesty International about his interrogation in Salak a few days after his arrest:
“They asked me to tell them if I knew members of Boko Haram. That’s when the guard tied my hands and feet behind my back and started to beat me with an electric cable, while throwing water on me at the same time. They beat me half to death.”
Mohamed (not his real name) spent six months in incommunicado detention and was interrogated and tortured several times in Salak. He told Amnesty International:
"The soldiers asked us to confess. They told us that if we did not confess, they would bring us to Yaoundé to kill us. We replied that we preferred to be killed rather than to confess something that we didn’t know about. They beat us like this for four days."
Presence of French and US military personnel at Salak
The report also highlights the presence of US and French military personnel at the BIR base in Salak, and calls for these governments to investigate the extent to which their personnel stationed at Salak, or regularly visiting, may have been aware that illegal detention and torture was taking place on site.
Amnesty International delegates have directly observed French soldiers during one visit there, while more than a dozen former detainees held there between 2015 and 2016 said they saw and heard white, English-speaking men at the base, including some in military uniform. This has been confirmed by photographic and video evidence showing uniformed US personnel, some of whom are stationed there.
“Given the frequent and possibly prolonged presence of their military personnel, the US government and other international partners should investigate the degree to which their personnel were aware of illegal detention and torture at the Salak base, and whether they took any measures to report it to their hierarchy and the Cameroonian authorities,” said Alioune Tine.
Kumba bike riders in stand-off with police
By Doh Bertrand Nua in Kumba
|Irate bike riders mount road blocks demaning release of colleague|
Close to 1000 Commercial motor bike riders in Kumba on Wednesday July 19, 2017 blocked the main highway in Kumba to pressure security officials to release their colleague who was arrested over allegations of being a staunch supporter of the ongoing Anglophone crisis and of advocating the boycott of schools come September.
For hours running, the irate bike riders blocked the Biyaavenue in Kumba which stretches from the Kumba Water Bridge up to the central police station along the Buea Road. They demanded the immediate release of their colleague, Atemkeng Dylan, few minutes after he was arraigned at the Kumba press center.
According to one of the riders, the road block was aimed to prevent the forces of law and order from whisking their arrested colleague out of Kumba to Yaounde. The riders insisted for hours that until their colleague is released they will not open circulation.
The assurance of the Meme SDO, Chamberlin Ntou’ouNdong for them to open up the roads and allow circulation for their colleague to be release met with stiff resistance from the bikers who almost beat up a police officer in front of the SDO. The angry riders refused all pleas and demanded the immediate release of their colleague.
Suspects arrested in connection with the murder of mother-of-three
Mystery is still hovering around the circumstances of the death of MoluaOdilia, a young woman aged 33 years whose lifeless body was found in the early morning on the bitumen not far from Soppo market in Buea. Doctors who appraised the body soon after the discovery revealed that the lady was strangled.
By Doh Bertrand Nua in Kumba
|Remains of burnt GBHS administrative block|
A mysterious fire has completely consumed the administrative block of Government Bilingual High School, GBHS Kumba in Meme division of the southwest region though the school is located at the government residential area with high security concentration. The fire whose cause is still to be made known ravaged the building completely on the night of Tuesday July 18.
According to information that this reporter gathered from a security man on campus the next morning, the two security men who were on duty on that fateful night of the incident have been arrested and kept under gendarmerie custody for questioning as to the cause of the fire.
The fire completely brought down the administrative block which host the office of the principal and extended to the secretariat as well as the toilet. Remains of office equipment such as fans, tables, TV set and office documents burnt beyond recognition could be spotted at the time this reporter visited the scene of the accident.
The presence of a big hole on the wall of the office suggested it might have been used by the perpetrators of the act. The question which many persons are asking is where the security agents of the campus were before the act which completely brought down the school administrative block was done.
Catch-up holiday classes gather steam in SW region
-The classes organized here and there in K’ba, L’be, Buea, Mamfe take place in morning and afternoon shifts
By Doh Bertrand Nua in Kumba
In what can be interpreted as ignoring the calls for schools boycott in September, parents and teachers in the SW in general and Kumba in particular have intensified special catch-up holiday classes to prepare their kids for the 2017/2018 school year beginning September. Some parents who spoke to The Median said they cannot jeopardize the future of their children by keeping them back at home just because of the Anglophone problem.
According to one of the parents in Kumba, Mrs. AgborBessem Florence, the catch-up classes will help rekindle the learning spirit in the children for at least two months before schools resume in September. She regretted that most children have engaged in drug abuse and other distractions that risk increasing their involvement in crime in the near future if they are continuously kept at home against their wish. She iadded that many little girls have become pregnant due to idling around in the quarters for over seven months.