March 5, 2013 § 1 Comment
Against popular expectations, President Biya has billed senatorial elections for Sunday, April 14. Biya made the announcement in a Presidential decree that was broadcast on State radio on Wednesday, February 27. Biya surprised the nation by deciding to organize senatorial elections before municipal elections.
He also made nonsense of the appeal of the leading opposition Chieftain, SDF Chairman, John Fru Ndi, that it was logical for municipal and parliamentary elections to be organised first.
The announcement means that the ruling party will carry the day since the Electoral College for the senatorial election is made up of councilors. In the 2007 council elections, the CPDM emerged with a controversial majority of councils following reports that the polls were heavily rigged.
The news of the election was broken after Prime Minister, Philemon Yang, had convened Fru Ndi and some other political leaders to give them the information before it could be announced.
But Fru Ndi told journalists at his Yaounde Omnisport residence that the Prime Minister did not have the opportunity to break the scoop to them given that before they arrived at the Star Building, the State radio had already broken the news. He said, while traveling from Bamenda Wednesday morning, he delayed at Obala because he was involved in an accident.
Fru Ndi said a motorcyclist who was carrying one person suddenly bumped into his car. The motorcyclist and his passenger died on the spot, Fru Ndi narrated. “That is what delayed me and before I went to the Prime Minister’s Office, the radio had broken the news,” he said. Reacting to the convening of the electorate, Fru Ndi still repeated what he had said several times before: “The SDF will not allow senatorial elections to hold before municipal elections.”
He said if senatorial elections are predicated on the present councilors whose mandate had long expired, it will not have any iota of legitimacy. To him, the 2007 municipal elections were heavily rigged in favour of the ruling CPDM party. He said all the stakeholders were unanimous that the election which was organised by the defunct National Elections Observatory, NEO, was a total mess.
To Fru Ndi, even President Biya, in tandem, with all other stakeholders admitted that the 2007 polls were heavily flawed. Fru Ndi warned that the senatorial elections will not be organised in the present situation if Biya does not sit down with him to explain on what logic he convened the electorate under such messy conditions.
Asked what he would do if Biya ignores his threats, Fru Ndi retorted: “I and SDF militants will sharpen our machetes and come out for a full-blown onslaught to stop the election.” Fru Ndi said, while he was looking for every means for Cameroon to remain peaceful, Biya was instead looking for all avenues to provoke a civil war.
He warned that by convening the electorate for senatorial elections against popular opinion that municipal elections be organised first, Biya was pushing Cameroonians to the wall. With their backs on the wall, they will be forced to fight back, he said. Meanwhile, the councilors that make up the Electoral College for the elections are predominantly CPDM. Following the current dispensation, only a few parties would be involved in the senatorial elections.
The ruling CPDM party has 300 out of 360 councils. The opposition parties have 60 as follows: the Social Democratic Front, SDF- 18, the National Union for Democracy and Progress, NUDP-11 and shares some 9 councils with the CPDM, the Cameroon Democratic Union- 8, the Movement for the Defense of the Republic MDR- 5, the Union des Population du Cameroun, UPC- 2 councils and others.
Although there are conflicting statistics as to the number of councils that each party won in 2007, it is clear that the CPDM has some 10,632 councilors while the SDF has 801. NUDP of Bello Bouba Maigari has 389 councilors. From this premise, it is clear that the CPDM will have an overwhelming majority in the Upper House of Parliament.
According to varsity don and political scientist, Dr. Mathias Owona Nguini, it will be the worst thing to happen because the present councilors were elected in the 2007 municipal elections that were heavily flawed. The election, he said, was fraught with irregularities and widespread rigging in favour of the ruling CPDM. It was due to such rigging that the Supreme Court ordered for a rerun of the polls in certain areas.
One of the areas where a rerun took place was the Lobo Council in the Lekie Division of the Centre Region. Partial elections were equally organised in Douala II, Bafang, Mogode, Matomb, Pette and Mesondo councils. Due to its sophisticated rigging machinery, CPDM still carried the day at the end of the exercise. There is evidence that the opposition parties going in for the race will face a crushing defeat from the CPDM.
For one thing, the law governing the organisation of senatorial elections empowers the President of the Republic to appoint 30 percent of the senators. This means that Biya will appoint 30 out of the 100 senators that will make up the Upper House of Parliament as provided for by the 1996 constitution.
By virtue of last Wednesday’s Presidential decree, campaigns for the senatorial elections will begin on March 30. Candidates for the election have to pay a caution fee of FCFA one million. According to another Presidential decree, each member of the electorate will be paid FCFA 50,000 allowance on Election Day.
- I Will Run For Senatorial Election – Fru Ndi (lebs295.wordpress.com)
July 22, 2012 § 4 Comments
When Daniel Ebale Angounou, a former spy of the Biya regime, published a book titled “Paul Biya le Couchemar de Ma Vie” translated “Paul Biya theNightmare of My Life”, only a few Cameroonians took him serious.
Since Friday, April 4, when the Constitution amendment bill was tabled at the National Assembly, the majority of Cameroonians have not had a wink of sleep due to the frightening presence of combat-ready troops, stationed all over the country.
The most absurd aspect of the whole drama is that the greatest concentration of troops was around the same National Assembly where more than 80 percent of membership belongs to the ruling party. Even after huge sums of money had been doled out to both CPDM and opposition MPS, they were still subjected to such intimidation.
The troop deployment did not end at the premises of the National Assembly. Yaounde and the rest of the country was militarised as though a terrorist attack were imminent. People travelling from the provinces to Yaounde are subjected to serious checks. This is particularly the case of people sojourning from the Northwest and West Provinces. The same kind of harassment has been going on in Bamenda.
Why all this show of force? One of the policemen confided in this commentator that they had been informed of an imminent strike action. In reality, there have been persistent rumours of a strike action, which was supposed to begin last Monday.
Many opinion leaders think a strike action, especially now, would be exposing many people to unnecessary risks, especially as stories abound that the soldiers would not use teargas in the event of a strike action. That they have all been furnished with live bullets and told to consider all those who might stage street protests as terrorists rather than peaceful demonstrators.
SDF Planning A Strike
The SDF is planning a strike to support the determination of the youth to take their destiny into their hands. No details were given about the date and duration of the strike action, The SDF had intended to hold its National Executive Committee, NEC, meeting last weekend, but postponed it to a later date, obviously for fear that it might be misconstrued for a forum to plan street protests. The SDF is seen by government as the only force that can mobilise a majority of Cameroonians for a strike action and so is “keeping an eye on the sparrow”.
One major principle of democracy is the right to peaceful protest by citizens who are not satisfied with government policy or an unpopular decision. Biya himself has admitted that people have a right to demonstrate when dialogue fails. An insider of the regime told this analyst that Biya, despite this declaration, dreads a repeat of last February’s strike action.
One aspect of last February’s strike, which few persons are aware of, is the claim of a certain Rev. X. Kisob, leader of a group called the MATIS whose avowed goal is the liberation of the youth. He told The Post in Bamenda that his movement was responsible for the success of the February strike, boasting that his followers mounted roadblocks close to gendarme posts and even at the entrance to the Presidency.
The “Liberator” claims that Biya was referring not to Fru Ndi and Mboua Massock, but to him when the President said the February strike was the handiwork of “apprentice sorcerers”
His boast has been dismissed by a school of thought, which maintains that the Biya regime masterminded the strike action in order to arrest and jail opponents of the Constitution revision.
But whether the Biya regime masterminded the strike action or not, one thing is clear; last February’s strike action enabled Cameroonians to realise that they were indeed a force to reckon with. The fact that the whole of the country’s military was employed to combat it demonstrates just how formidable people power is.
It should, however, be noted that if Biya cancelled a trip to Geneva last Saturday for fear of another strike action, then there is no gainsaying that far from being the fearless fang, which he wanted the world to see him as, he is indeed a white livered politician and a fugitive in power.
Injecting Section 53(3) of the recently passed Constitution amendment bill in which he is trying to secure immunity for himself, emphasises that Biya is anything but confident of himself. It should be recalled that the former Chilean dictator, Augustu Pinochet, made a similar provision to secure him from future reckoning, but was still tried after he fell from power.
July 17, 2012 § 15 Comments
Marafa Hamidou Yaya was arrested and put on “preventive detention” in April 2012, with Ephraim Inoni, a former Prime Minister.
In the process, we are learning again that it is not free, independent state institutions that are playing their role of investigating, arresting and detaining suspects; it is all at the pleasure of one all powerful man, Paul Biya, President of the Republic. Reason why motions of support to Paul Biya are with us again, praising him for the arrest of Marafa and Inoni – from CPDM MPs, the National Youth Council, Mfoundi CPDM, and more, probably, to follow in the days ahead.
Like for many political parties, “democracy” is also the pet “slogan” of the CPDM, which they included it in the name of their party, but their militants seem to have very little idea of what it means. Party solidarity cannot be allowed to endanger the rights of the individual member whose free will must remain realised and promoted by the party.
Since Marafa published his letters, the CPDM has promoted the politics of personal destruction – visceral, mean-spirited campaigns to destroy him in public opinion – which I find disheartening and bad for the present and future of the country. I know in the jungle of the politics Cameroonians play, the importance of putting one’s self in the place of another – empathy – to experience what they were feeling and to understand their motives and desires, is never as strong in us as in other societies.
In Africa, the individual is not yet liberated from the traditional bonds of community and from the representation of the world as an organic hierarchical totality. This is why we usually hear appeals, like we are hearing from the CPDM to ethnic, religious, traditional or party bonds of solidarity to dampen society’s self-interrogation and self-critique, as characterised by the Marafa letters. To those who spend their time asking why Marafa is only making his revelations today, there is no privileged standpoint from which such revelations can be made; and there is no appropriate moment.
Marafa’s letters indicate that the official political expression we discern in public – motions of support and all – does not necessarily represent popular sentiments. It is those who lost sight of this that were surprised at the speed at which the Marafa letters emerged in the wake of his arrest.
Without focus on the underlying meaning of the behaviour of individuals, it will always be difficult to predict the evolution of a political system like Cameroon’s. I have always known that individuals might find it advantageous to hide their true political sentiments from officialdom, so political values should never be judged on the basis of publicly observable and quantifiable measures of support, since the mere existence of motions and rallies of support do not infer popular support, especially for aging leaders that have spent too much time in power! Indeed, in a regime like ours, true political values are hardly ever expressed in public; the landscape usually looks calm and tranquil when it is rife with subterranean discord.
Newspapers are reporting that, following Marafa’s letters, Paul Biya instructed the SG at the Presidency to open investigations into the bribery allegations linked to the CAMAIR maintenance contract. But the documents on which these instructions are based were available to him since 2001 because they were provided to Cameroon by Advanced Technics Trust Ltd to enable Cameroon to win its case against South Africa Airways, as per the agreement signed between the two parties on 26/06/2001.
This is why another contribution of Marafa’s revelations is the further exposure to the rest of us of the manner the country has been run since Paul Biya took over from Ahidjo in November 1982; he has kept recycling corrupt people in his governments, in spite of his knowledge of their dirty files, and so emboldened them to turn Cameroon into a corruption fraternity in 30 years of his reign. In doing this, he turned government from an expression of leadership, to the service of slaves to a master, as so aptly put by one of his sycophantic university don! He failed to follow the advice that a party leader, like an army officer cannot expect to impose discipline on his subordinates unless he is capable of accepting and working to the same discipline himself; he cannot successfully fight corruption within the ranks of his party and regime, unless he is an example of the incorruptible. This is why we witness daily a curious discrepancy in the behaviour of the CPDM: what they say and what they do seem to always exist in separate compartments!
The CPDM Newspaper, l’Action No. 254 of July 11, 2012, waded into the 32.5 billion case against the government, “after several weeks’ investigation on the whereabouts of the money.” Their conclusions reveal the blurred mindset of the CPDM related to corruption. The paper writes: “Following negotiations, Transnet SAA accepted to pay the sum of 26 million US$ (14 billion FCFA), which Cameroon accepted. The 14 billion were naturally deposited in the account of Cameroon in SGBC central branch in Paris. Part of the money served in the payment of the results allowance, part served to pay bailiffs and other witnesses that helped the commission to assemble its evidence, the rest was transferred to government coffers…”
L’Action further informs the rest of us that account no 00078013914 was opened in SGBC central branch in Paris in the name of the Republic of Cameroon to take care of legal fees. The Cameroon Government obviously put money (how much?) into the account even before the money from SAA was deposited into it. What was the total sum in the account following the deposition of the money from SAA? We need these details of how taxpayer’s money was spent, but l’Action newspaper that carried out investigations “for several weeks,” failed to give us, hoping to clean the image of the CPDM Government and regime without much effort!
The crash of Cameroon Airlines Boeing 737-200 (Nyong) is related to the commissions (bribes) given to Cameroon Government officials to derail the purpose of the contract of maintenance of Boeing 737 and 747 of Cameroon between CAMAIR and Transnet South African Airways because it was effectively the non-maintenance of the planes that led to the crash, and the loss of lives. Indeed, it is the crash and loss of lives that brought the bribery crimes to the fore and caused Cameroon to pursue South Africa Airways for non-execution of contract!
L’Action newspaper does not seem to know that the 32.5 billion have become the microcosm of the budget of Cameroon, and Cameroonians are interested in knowing how each franc of the money was spent. If l’Action newspaper is interested in answering the question “What happened to the 32.5 billion” which constituted the purpose of the “several weeks” investigation, they should know that by now, the rest of us want to know the exact amounts that served each purpose.
Mental health is the ability to adapt to the stresses and misfortunes of life; the ability to cope with anxiety and depression in a healthy way. An outstanding feature of successful adaptation is that it leaves the way open for future growth. Marafa has shown himself to be totally on top of such afflictions; his response through his letters is virtually an exhortation to some of his colleagues who are suffering the same fate as himself to stand up and play the man. He has shown that just as it is usually necessary to sacrifice peace if freedom and justice are to prevail, it may usually be necessary to sacrifice loyalty for freedom and justice to prevail. He has shown us all that in the arduous task of building a new Cameroon, there are many who should not be pigeon-holed; and he has shown that he is a man for all seasons and all reasons.
- Hearing Of Marafa Hamidou Yaya, Yves Michel Fotso Adjourned To July 24 (erasmodelavega.wordpress.com)
- Has Marafa Jump-started The National Conference in Cameroon (newuh.wordpress.com)
- Corruption In Cameroon: A State of the Art (chiefnwaco.wordpress.com)
- Journalist asylum-seeker attempts suicide hours before planned deportation (erasmodelavega.wordpress.com)
April 3, 2012 § 2 Comments
Plans by the controversial traditional ruler of Balikumbat, Fon Doh Gah Gwanyin III, to contest the next parliamentary elections are causing disquiet among senior CPDM militants and officials in the special constituency.
This was very evident during recent celebrations marking the 27th anniversary of CPDM party in Balikumbat. They were characterised by accusations and counter accusations, witch- hunting and insults among the Balikumbat CPDM militants including their member of parliament, Emmanuel Mbanme, Mayor Augustine Wasom, and Fon Doh.
Fon Doh fired off the ructions when he told the CPDM elite of his Balikumbat constituency that they should not pretend that things were rosy among the militants. According to the fon, the CPDM elite of Balikumbat were not on talking terms with one another including him.
Hear him: “Something is wrong in Ngoketunjia II (Balikumbat) which must be redressed quickly. Let’s not waste our time pretending that all is good”.
Fon Doh regretted that ever since he indicated his wish to contest this year’s parliamentary election, a group of Balikumbat CPDM elite met some ministers in Yaounde pleading with them to block him from contesting the election. “These elite arranged with the ministers to send somebody to provoke me to react so that I will be blocked from contesting the elections,” the controversial fon charged.
He boasted that he had been in parliament before and so is endowed with a wealth of experience.
Fon Doh added that some Balikumbat elites accosted the SDO for Ngoketunjia calling other elites’ names including him as those who sponsored the Bambalang/Balikumbat war “because they want positions by giving some of us a bad name in order for us to be hanged”.
He said these same elite go around telling those who care to hear that he had been in prison and so he is a criminal and will go back to prison. He however enjoined his Balikumbat CPDM elite to create another forum for them to trash out things before the 11th hour.
Earlier, the Balikumbat member of parliament, Emmanuel Banme and Mayor Wasom Augustine, without calling names observed that they were elected by the population and they have been doing their job but unfortunately “some one sits in Balikunbat” calling them thieves. Hon Banme said that he has never stolen in his life.
Fon Doh was jailed some years back by the Ngoketunjia High Court after being found guilty of the murder of the former Balikumbat SDF district chairman, John Konntem. He later regained his liberty after taking an appeal.
Fon Doh’s legal troubles at the time forced the CPDM party to strike his name off the list of candidates for the parliamentary elections, after an international outcry, and that prevented the traditional ruler from going to parliament for a third term. Having been cleared by the appeals court and released from prison, the Balikumbat traditional ruler is this time scheming to contest the forthcoming parliamentary election and campaigning for the electorate to unseat the Balikumbat Mayor, Wasom Augustine, whom he claims has frequently disrespected and abused him in public.
- Kumba City Council Demolition and the Cpdm Wahala! (maxfokwen.wordpress.com)
- 200,000FCFA Tears CPDM Militants Apart (maxfokwen.wordpress.com)
- Cpdm to Spend 20billion for Municipal and Parliamentary Campaigns (maxfokwen.wordpress.com)
- Cameroon: MP for Buea Urban Dies in Germany (erasmodelavega.wordpress.com)
Breaking News!! Paul Biya declares his candidacy for the 2011 Presidential Elections! (via PRGoretti’s Blog)
September 5, 2011 § 2 Comments
If this is the explicit truth, then Cameroon is in for one hell of an October.
via PRGoretti’s Blog