Thursday, March 25, 2010


Hello friends, visit my new BLOG. Click HERE. Thanks. AGENDIA

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Cameroon-Haiti Money Saga: Doubts persist after minister’s outburst

Almost two weeks after Cameroon’s Minister of Communication ferociously attacked Le Messager and claimed the Cameroon government had issued a cheque for Haiti following the 12 January earthquake; there still seem to be more doubts as to whether any effective payments have been made.

From information recently published by the UN on all financial issues related to the disaster, the contribution of Cameroon still seem to have been omitted. Nevertheless, on March 16, Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary declared that on February 08, cheque No 2796 worth USD 1 million, was prepared by the Cameroon Mission at the UN under CHASE Bank and for the benefit of Haiti Central Bank.

Given that no specific branch of Chase Bank was disclosed, I contacted the Chase Bank in Louisville, USA to verify about such transaction but they promised to get back to me and yet to do so. I visited the seemingly seldom updated website of the Haiti Central Bank and sent an inquiry, no reply till date. I then copied Cameroon Mission at the UN, the Presidency of the Republic to get answers to precise questions concerning the payment as I continued my investigation. Yet, nothing came up.

I wanted to know if the cheque has been cashed or funds transferred to the beneficiary and if so, when. I equally requested for a faxed copy, email or any note of acknowledgment from the Haitian government or Central Bank and if possible, a scanned copy of the cheque. Seeking to know why the Cameroon government decided to donate directly was also another issue. I got no reply for any the mails.

However, I did not end there I contacted the most renown newspapers in Haiti notably, Haiti en Marche, Le Matin, Haitian Times, Haiti Press Network, Le Nouvelliste but got a reply only from Haiti en marche which equally runs radio station, Melodie FM. In the reply, Elsie Heart expressed doubts as to whether their country has actually received any money from Cameroon. I copied the African Union as well to check its comprehensive list of donors, and notify me if Cameroon was there, still to hear from them.

I decided to search the World Wide Web still then I could not find the name of Cameroon but for in user editor Wikipedia in which the person who posted the information alluded to Cameroon online publication of January 23 when the minister announced Cameroon’s help to Haiti.

Even news organs like The Guardian, The Christian Science Monitor which wrote specifically about donations and pledges from African governments, failed to mention that of Cameroon. It must be noted even Nigeria issued but a cheque just as Cameroon government.

On the various ends of the rope, we are faced with two extremely corrupt, dishonest and disorganised governments. Both, according to the last 10 year rankings of the Transparency International have always been among the most corrupt.

We seem to be faced with a situation where the government of Cameroon underestimated the capability or curiosity of Cameroonians or the Cameroonian press. This might have pushed them embezzling the money just like what happened in 1994 when money collected to support the national football team disappeared between Yaoundé and Washington, many claim.

On the other hand, the Cameroon government might have very well transferred the funds but given that it was done “directly” without passing through any “intermediary” corrupt individuals in the Haitian system may as well want to sit on the booty.

In a transparent situation, Cameroonians need to see nothing short of a scanned copy of the cheque, and an authentic note from the Haitian government acknowledging the receipt of funds. It is not a favour or the right of the Cameroon government to do that. It is their duty and responsibility to present such issues to the press and clear any doubt. It is part and parcel of good governance and accountability.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Cameroon: Threats and insecurity accelerate as 2011 election approaches

Cameroon: Threats and insecurity accelerate as 2011 election approaches

There are mounting threats and insecurity in Cameroon ahead of the 2011 presidential elections. President Paul Biya, already in power for more than 27 years, modified the constitution in 2008 to enable him stand re-election.

The threats gathered more steam when Bertrand Teyou, author of the book Ante code Biya: Inside a country without a head was arrested in Douala early March. Cameroon’s economic capital as he launched his book. Previous launching had earlier come under serious disturbances from government agents and soldiers in 2009. The book was in reaction an ill informed and ill-conceived publication on Cameroon and Cameroonians written by commissioned French man, François Mattei and titled The Biya Code.

Teyou was arrested on grounds that he said “if Biya does not leave in 2011, we would do out best” interpreted by government as a threat to the president’s life and against peace in Cameroon.

The arrest has been widely condemned by liberation movements and proponents of freedom of expression. It brings to light the continuous threats faceing Cameroonians as countdown to the 2011 presidential election narrows.

In a document sent to Cameroon senior government officials on March 11, the Committee for the Protection of Journalists noted with regrets that earlier on February 26, 2010 three journalists; Harry Robert Mintya of the weekly Le Devoir, Bibi Ngota of Cameroon Express and Serge Bobouang of La Nation were arrested and are now languishing in jail, awaiting trail after they published a document in which the Secretary General at the Presidency of the Republic Laurent Esso is said to have urged the manager of the country’s hydro carbon corporation (SNH) to pay some commission worth FCFA1. 3 billion for the purchase of a ship. The journalists have been arrested on grounds that they forged the document. They risked 15 years in jail.

Mr Joel Simon, Chief Executive Officer of the Committee for the Protection of Journalists also condemned the arrests and horrible beating and injuries inflicted on Simon Herve Nko’o of the weekly Bebela be he refused to release the source of information he had published. Several other journalists are under threats area according to the document.

It would be recalled that three Cameroonian journalists and a university don are also under trial for commenting during live television program about the corruption in Cameroon and precisely on the purchase of the fake presidential plan The Albatross. It is becoming a taboo in Cameroon to discuss about the skyrocketing rate of corruption and impunity involving senior government officials.

Early February 2010, Cameroonians were prevented from commemorating the killing of over 200 people in February 2008 after a strike provoked by rising cost of living. The organiser of the commemorative event opposition MP Jean Mitchel Nintcheu has promised to organised the event in 2011 even if it means receiving live bullets from the forces of law and order as they did to the hundred of youths in 2008. According to the government 40 people were killed by civil societies organisation claimed over 200 were killed.

Three Cameroonians earlier this month deposited a complaint at the Secretariat of the UN urging an investigation of the crimes against humanity committed by the Biya government.

Last year, a teacher was arrested and spent several months in prison because he expressed disgust with the intermittent roads blocks each time the president is leaving or entering the capital city. According to him it was better that more roads be constructed to avoid such traffic headache during Biya’s movements. He also reiterated the need for the president to use a jet to go to his palace. His comments were taken as an offense and he was arrested and jailed.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Fifty Years of “Independence”: The rhetoric of Sarkozy and (Omar) Ali Bongo

Several countries across Africa including Cameroon are presently celebrating what is referred to as fifty years of “independence”. On February 24, 2010 it was the turn of Gabon, which also invited colonial master France. I listened with curiosity to the French President, Nicolas Paul Stéphane Sarkozy and Gabonese ruler (Omar) Ali Ben Bongo Ondimba.

In his brief toast, Sarkozy tacitly admitted that the neo colonial forces in Gabon and the rest of Africa have been partly responsible for the underdevelopment of the continent. According to him, a chapter is closed a new page turned. Remember, just immediately after his accession to power, he made such utterances when he talked of “rupture total” with hitherto former French colonies. (Omar) Ali Bongo likewise acknowledged in his own toast that indeed, a new page has opened. Such admissions concur to the fact that Gabon just like most African countries will not progress as expected unless the neo colonial strings are cut.

This is no blame game. Africans can do it but, the complex set of its leadership which promotes petty and grand corruption, foreign against national interest is the big set back.

As stated by Sarkozy, France is now for a relation of total transparency. What kind of transparency with regards to the operation of French companies in the African. For example, the French business politician cum lobbyist, Vincent Bollore, an ally of Sarkozy, practically controls the economy of most Francophone African countries. He virtually owns the Douala Seaport and a Cameroonian manager who opposed the privatization of some sections of the port to Bollore’s group; he was fired from his post. The circumstances under which several state companies were auctioned to his group and many others foreign “buyers” are very opaque and need total renegotiation.

What kind of transparency when French banks keep billions of stolen state from Africa. The French government is again squashing court cases brought against some African dictators who have illicit funds and property in the country.

Sarkozy talked of equality and mutual respect. This has never been the case as France continues to show total disrespect for Africans among whom are those who sacrificed their lives to safe France during WWII. While Sarközy verbally praised the veterans, French veterans continue to live in total affluence and veneration while African veterans continue to languish in misery. The French men even talked of some Gabonese military men going march-past in France as sign of cooperation.

Africans do not need such displays.

Mr Sarkozy equally reiterated that France will never interfere in issues of African countries but that has not been the case. Though he challenged anybody to prove that France had its candidate during the parody of elections in Gabon, he failed to note that France quietly sent in 300 paratroopers to Gabon when the late Gabonese dictator Omar Bongo was about to die. The French president cannot be talking of non interference in a country’s affairs yet maintaining arm forces in all its “former” colonies. These forces are a direct threat to the population. A clear case was the killing of unarmed Ivoirians (in their own country) when they rose against French interference in their country.

The French have always played double standards. They are now lobbying their International Court of (Selective) Justice at The Hague to charge the junta in Guinea for massacring civilians. Judging criminals is not bad though, but, the same French government and other western countries stayed quiet after the Cameroon government massacred civilians in February 2008 during a protest that rocked the country. The role of the French in the Rwandan genocide was denounced by current Rwandan government thought though France continues to deny any involvement.

Inasmuch as African civilian and military dictators continue to collaborate with most western countries for the expropriation of resources, the latter and its affiliated bodies will never see them as evil. These accomplices should leave with their troops so that we can handle these regimes.

Such duplicity has harmed us so much.

One of the scars of the Franco-Africa neo-colonial relationship is the nonsense called France-Afrique which was indeed hailed by (Omar) Ali Bongo as a strong heritage during the event. Yet, Bongo is talking of change. Africans need to get up for veritable transformation not the misguided event which happened in the 60s and Harold Macmillan erroneously took it for a wind of change.

Things Africans should ask themselves

After 50 years, less than 15 percent of the population of each country is covered by social security.

After 50 years of horrible health services, African leaders, family and allies continue to fly out for treatment.

After 50 years, there is no kilometre of tarred road without potholes.

After 50 years, companies producing raw material have not been able to move to the stage of producing finished goods.

After 50 years of so called technical schools, not even a spinner, bridge, fly over, an appliance have been produced.

After 50 years, most African countries have seen less than 3 leaders each; Cameroon (2).

After 50 years, some countries have had more than 6 coup d’états.

After 50 years, some presidents continue to manipulate the constitution to stay for life.

After 50 years our borders remain open for clinical trials and “vaccines” which have instead caused havoc and spread diseases.

After 50 years, police, taxation, custom officials continue to extort the population.

After 50 years, many companies have closed down than it was 50 years ago.

After 50 years, most African leaders continue to connive with foreigners and companies to destroy their people.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

An Open Letter to Christian Cardinal Tumi

Your Eminence, In October 2005, you told us that you had written your shortest letter ever, to the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI in which you asked for retirement. On Tuesday November 17, 2009, precisely four months after, I read that the Holy Father had officially put you on retirement after about 18 years at the head of the Archdiocese of Douala. For decades, you have stood behind the voiceless and oppressed. You have stood your grounds and taken positions, which many in your position though expected to defend the defenceless, have instead sided with the oppressor for material and financial gains. You stood against the massive killing of Cameroonians, you have spoken against repeatedly rigged elections in Cameroon and other things, which you have said and done for the good of your people. You took the Archdiocese of Douala from a divided, rich but highly indebted Archdiocese to a now vibrant rich archdiocese in terms of economic wealth, spiritual growth, the increasing number of Christians and parishes and more unity among Christians. The educational and health services provided by your team for Cameroonians are virtually unparallel in that part of the country. On the contrary, Cameroon has been impoverished by, not only incompetent rulers but also, a bunch of selfish neo colonial megalomaniacs and kleptomaniacs. You have repeated turned down continuous calls to stand for elections in Cameroon. Your eminence, let me remind you this, please the people of Cameroon need someone on whom they can trust. They need either someone who will usher a peaceful alternation at the head of the country or someone who will prevent another handing of power to children of deceased president as it is currently the case in Africa. Some may argue that I am in no position to talk for Cameroonians. However, I must admit that after haven worked with you for sometime, read about you in the press both English and French and above all, talked to various Cameroonians about you, I think you remain one of the rare, if not, the only person on whom Cameroonians both Francophone and Anglophone, Muslims, Christians and animists can rely on for meaningful change in the country. You remain the only person that can mobilise all of the grand North. You are the only person who can make the Southwest and Northwest region rally behind one person. You are the only person who can drum up unflinching support from the Littoral and West regions and again the only person who can get significant votes in the East Region and a few others in the Centre and South regions. Your Eminence, in my humble opinion, I think your mission on earth would be incomplete if you do not listen to the people. I am not asking you to stand for any elections because I think you are indispensable but because, I know you are the only person who can drum up national support and I am convinced you can make a good choice of your closest collaborators for the better management of the country. Given that you may be going in as a unity and transitional candidate, you need to unite Cameroonian of different political affiliations for the much-needed change in Cameroon. Give our country a sense of direction. We need a leader who will give meaning to the lives of Cameroonians; make us happy to use our talents in our country, make our resources for the sole purpose of developing of Cameroon. Someone who will implement justice, meritocracy and development. Above all, a leader who will be able to strike a balance between his actions and that of his team to the interest of Cameroon and Cameroonians and who must be ready to listen to his people. That said, Your Eminence, if you still insist on not standing, something, which we beg you to ponder again on, you can as well rally people behind a candidate of positive change for Cameroon. Nevertheless, if you decide to throw your weight behind a supposed candidate for change, you must be very cautious. It should not be someone who wants to bring American, European or Breton woods solutions to our problems. They would fail woefully. It must be someone vested with the reality in Cameroon and not someone who can only boast of sporadic visits to Cameroon though he or she may have a high international profile. I thank you AGENDIA ALOYSIUS

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Obama 2009 Nobel Prize: Efforts vs. Achievements, Will vs. Action

The award of the 2009 edition of Alfred Nobel Peace Prize to US President Barack Obama, can be summed up to… a race in which EFFORTS are faced with ACHIEVEMENTS and the WILL is confronting ACTIONS. Effort is being “…. the making” while achievement is what is “made already”.

The will can be the “desire or the determination to” do it but, action is actually “doing it concretely” and making it visible.

The world was taken aback when the Nobel Prize Committee on October 09, 2009, announced that US President, just 9 months old in office, was winner of the 2009 Edition of the Prize. As the chairperson of the Nobel Committee, Thorbjoern Jagland said, the award to Barack Obama was aimed at supporting his efforts in using diplomacy to attain world peace, in his efforts at making sure the decision of majority of the people count and above all, his efforts at making a nuclear free world.

Obama himself was succinct when he admitted that he was not only surprised but “deeply humbled” and believed the award was “not a recognition of his personal accomplishments” but rather, what he described as the “affirmation of America’s leadership.’’ According to him, this leadership is aimed at meeting the “aspirations of many”.

Some were embarrassed because of the fact that the above so-called "achievements" are yet to be achieved by Obama because they are still efforts. The US president, one of the finest speakers of our time, is yet to transform his eloquent speeches into actions, which could be described or visible achievements and this therefore puts to question whether the Nobel Prize is aimed at encouraging people and efforts or, it is aimed at celebrating concrete achievements.

Depending on the frame from where one looks at it, it can be argued either ways. Obama has preached for a nuclear free world and is making efforts at stopping Iran and North Korea from having nuclear weapons though critics see it as a move against peace itself. This is because the US, Israel, Russia, China, Franca, among other countries have such weapons and some of these countries have actually used banned weapons on civilian population for no just reason.

Obama’s efforts for peace and the sending of additional troops to Afghanistan to fight what the US describes as terrorists has again angered so many who think Obama is provoking more violence and war.

A halt on nuclear weapons is a good for move for peace but for the US in her efforts to enhance peace, must openly and sincerely criticise those who have used ban weapons like white phosphorus among others on civilians. As the most powerful nation on planet earth, the US must champion the true course for peace not only in words but also in concrete actions such as fighting against injustice, neo colonialism, exploitation, aggression etc.

Efforts aimed improving more peace entails all nations withdrawing troops from foreign land, stopping the support to multinationals fuelling conflict in several parts of the world like the case with petroleum exploitation firms and other companies in Africa. It means stopping the support to rogue regimes and allow each nation to handle it problems on its own as well as stop the support to rebels.

A move towards world peace will be scraping certain archaic and partial bodies like the UN Security Council and the veto power of some of its member who have used it for non-peaceful motives. Nevertheless, Obama has taken up with lots of zeal and determination and we hope this prize will add more impetus to his efforts which thereafter be seen as concrete achievements.

Enforcing economic sanctions aimed at supporting regime change in sovereign states is itself a move against peace. Such sanctions have unnecessary led to more agony of the majority of the population like the case in Zimbabwe.

That notwithstanding, Obama has shown the will through words. We need to see him concretise the will and efforts to actions and achievements.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The UN and its Security Council: Time for change

Over six months ago, I wrote on this blog that I am yet to understand why most supposed media experts, communicators, political scientists and diplomats turn to misuse the appellation international community. I said so because most often, the supposed powerful countries team up with their allies and want to call those who defy them as, defiling the international community and unfortunately, this is always largely relayed by the media and the so-called global media.

Nevertheless, when one enters into the politics of media and editorial policies, then one may understand why some media prefer the line they chose to take.

The United Nations General Assembly, which has almost 200 members, is the only body whose decision warrants the appellation “international community” and such a decision can only be that of the majority.

It therefore beats one’s imagination and that of several other critics why some countries grouped under what is referred to as the Security Council with veto powers, claim to take decisions and want to impose them on the real international community.

On the contrary, members of the same body have violated the so-called international community and aggressed others with devastating consequences we have now. Radicalism, terror, fear, hatred, hunger, strife for the aggressed, contrasting to booming economic activities for the aggressors. These are the characteristics of the work of the permanent members of the Security Council and their allies.

The speech of the Libya leader Muammar Gaddafi during the 64 General Assembly of the UN held in New York in September 2009 and calling for the radical modification of the UN Security Council among other praiseworthy demands is worth taking seriously. Praising such a speech and calling for a real revolution does not mean one condones his overstay in power or support radical religious beliefs because mixing the two while commenting on the speech of Gaddafi may lead us to a wrong direction or conclusion.


The promotion of peace, democracy, human rights and freedom and the granting of so-called veto rights to some countries grouped under what is called permanent members of the UN Security council is in itself disturbing.

Members of this group have used their power either to block sanctions on some states and this has had serious repercussions on human rights, democracy and freedom. Others have used it to impose sanctions on non-ally states and this has similar consequences.

We cannot therefore compare development, democracy, human rights to veto power because they are at parallels. While nations support development in their states and ally-states, they use veto powers to block the take off of other nations.

Some may want to argue that the members of the Security Council are among the wealthiest and bear a heavy financial burden on the UN, but again ask yourself who are the highest debtors of the UN and those benefiting from the bureaucracies and the white-collar administrative positions of the same institutions.

As far as democracy is concerned, veto power is a nonstarter.

To enhance world peace and development, I think the veto power and/or permanent member stuff of the UN should be scrapped and no nation and its ally or allies should claim to speak for the international community when they do not represent it.


Unfortunately, most African leaders are a bunch of cowards working in dispersed ranks and each ruler following the commands of the seen and unseen neo-colonial countries. That is why some maintain a rather useless quiet diplomacy and most meet their colonial and imperialist mentor off camera and often dance according to the tune of these mentors.

African countries must stand as a strong force against all such of oppression and work together like the European Union for better development of the continent. Inasmuch African leaders would only be interested in stashing wealth in foreign banks and countries, the continent cannot take off and it will take a serious revolution to root off these bunches of failures.

The worst thing that ever happened to humankind in my opinion was not even the holocaust, but the colonisation and notably, of the African continent. I am not in any way undermining the holocaust but the abuses and massacres caused directly and indirectly because of the colonisation are terrible. Despite the hundreds of millions killed during slave trade and colonial era, millions continue to die under neo-colonial regimes in the continent.

This is not blame game but just identifying where the real problem is. Inasmuch as we drive to improve very section of the continent be it in the technological, scientific, agricultural, economic, social and political spheres, the fight against neo-colonialism in all its form must be ruthless.

The audacity of hope is believing in yourself, in positive change, and challenging the current status quo. Attaining our dreams is using our position be it as president or, a street sweeper diligently and considering it as a mean to an end. My dream is not becoming president. It is having an influence in the life of people in what I do, write or say.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

CAMEROON: Like the ruling and opposition parties: Why participation in the 2011 presidential election may be poor

Cameroon has over 200 political parties, with more than three-quarter just satellite parties causing confusion and ensuring current political continuity. Since 1985, Cameroon People Democratic Movement CPDM a transformation of the Cameroon Nation Union has been in power.

Current party Chairman Paul Biya has been the unchallenged ruling party candidate. Note should be taken that he came to power in 1982, through appointment, under the canopy of the CNU.

According to the constitution of Cameroon and following the electoral calendar, the next presidential elections are expected in 2011. Some ruling party elite who claim to be speaking for the masses are calling on president Biya to stand and inundating the press with motions of support.

For twenty-seven years that Biya and the CPDM have ruled Cameroon, various institutions of the country have gone weaker and corruption, embezzlement, impunity and total decadence prevailed. The president spends more time out of the country, squandering taxpayers’ money than visiting various towns in Cameroon and listening to his compatriots.

Few roads, hospitals, professional colleges etc have been constructed. The few jobs done so far, terribly contrast to the works of President Amadou Ahidjo.

Several companies have closed and unemployment has skyrocketed yet, the government has increased consumption (running), rather than investment budget.

Supporters or fans of Biya have always argued that he has maintained peace and stability forgetting that it has been the work of Cameroonians who are naturally peace loving.

It goes beyond maintaining only “peace” for successful governments, which should also sort for economic development, social justice, fight against corruption etc.

What explains Paul Biya's long rule

It is certain that president long rule is largely because of the overwhelmingly sophisticated fraudulent election machinery put in place by government.

Nevertheless, Cameroon has a plethoric number of opposition parties with no clear agenda. Many preach virtues and practise vices. They hardly talk of their plans for the education, health, social and other sectors other than criticising the current government’s incompetence.

The opposition has failed to reap the fruits of Biya’s ineffectiveness and inefficiency. They have been thinking Biya’s evil deeds would make Cameroonians just vote for them. No, it does not work that way. Inasmuch as there is corruption, clinking to power by promoted by the elites in the ruling party, the same thing is happening in the opposition parties.

President Biya has led his party and ruled Cameroon for 24 and 27 years respectively, that is since the transformation to the current CPDM. The SDF was created in 1990 and since then John Fru Ndi has been the unchallenged party chairman sidelining all rivals or out rightly sacking them from the party. This is same with the Ndam Njoya of CDU, Bello Bouba Maigari of the NUDP, and Augustin Frederick Kodock of the Kodock faction of the UPC.

In April 2008, the ruling CPDM parliament changed the constitution giving Biya more powers and the possibility to run as many times as he can. The SDF, which cried foul, has equally changed its constitution giving extra powers to the chairman.

The SDF chairman in a press outing castigated those on Biya’s payroll but trying to distort his party, yet, he accepted Biya’s financial “aide”.

While constantly castigating France and its neo colonial institutions in Cameroon, Fru Ndi rents his apartment to the largest French gambling company in Africa, PMUC. He has to learn that in assuming certainly positions one has to make sacrifices.

Why participation for 2011 may be very poor

When one therefore looks at the opposition in Cameroon, it is just has bad as the ruling party. Just as the ruling party leader appoints people from his region to key government posts, so to are the opposing parties’ leaders getting their people to lead various sections or organs in their camp.

In view of this stalemate, many Cameroonians have lost hope not necessarily in the opposition per ser but in the current leaders. It is for this reason that inasmuch as the Fru Ndi, Paul Biya, Ndam Njoya, Belo Bouba etc would continue to lead their parties and represent them in elections; most Cameroonians would stay home and refuse to vote.

These various parties have others capable of taking the mantle of leadership and proposing something better to Cameroonian rather than inertia.

During the 2007 council and legislative elections just a little over 3 million of the 12 million potential voters registered and less than 60 percent of the registered voters casted their votes.

With this growing resignation and frustration, the ruling party is always able to mobilise idle youths with a few bottles of beer or bank notes and register them several times or pay them to vote for their party


Added on to this as earlier said, the complex rigging machinery put in place by government and supported by successive electoral bodies such as National elections Observatory, NEO II and I and now, seemingly ELECM have made many to lose hope.


Cameroonians should massively register on voters’ registers. They should protest if their votes are rigged and leaders of the opposition, civil societies, religious bodies etc MUST lead the protests. It must not be an issue of sitting at home and asking militants to go to the streets.

That is how change may come to Cameroon because Biya has the neo-colonial backing of the so called internationl community, to validate his fraud and turn around to give us lessons on democracy and corruption.

True change can only come from Cameroonians and led by patriotic leaders who should be ready to fully assume their responsibilities. If this is not the case, most ministers, DOs, governors, delegates, GMs may have to collapse and die simultaneously for the change to come. But since that is certainly not the best wish for them, the civil society, religious leaders, opposition leaders and the Diaspora have a great role to play.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Suspension of Sky One Radio and anarchy in Cameroon

The suspension or ban of Sky One Radio in Yaoundé, Cameroon by the Minister of Communication, Issa Tchiroma on August 17, shows the many facets of the country.

The decision, which is multidimensional, falls within the framework of stifling free speech and equally brings to limelight some of the latter’s excesses. It also shows the laxity with which the Cameroon government handles issues, the impunity in the country and the lost of faith by many citizens on the nation’s weak institutions managed by “strong men”.

The program “Le Tribunal” which was the cause of the suspension had been on air for over two years broadcasting the same things, which caused it to be banned(- the judging and denunciation of societal ills and individuals on air). I once listened and found it wanting in several dimensions, though very important issues were being raised.

However, the government did not really border. As earlier reiterated, they have adopted the “I do not care attitude”. It was until the Congolese and Ivoirian diplomats complained about the utterances aired on the radio that the Cameroon government took action.

This is exactly the same thing happening on corruption, embezzlement and other ills in the country. The media sings day in day out. Biya asked for proves and many have published with proves but the government does not care.

Cameroon, the oil and mineral rich country filled with hardworking people has been taken hostage by the elitist class. There is anarchy in the name of democracy and with such anarchy, only the most powerful can survive. As a party sycophant or a wealthy man, you can do what you want and nobody will ask you anything.

The judiciary is itself as corrupt as the executive and many Cameroonians have lost faith even in the cleanest magistrate/judge in the system.

Its argument are most often not based on law or logic but on luck as a judge can decide to slam any penalty he wants or just reads what has been sent to him from the hierarchy.

As of the result of the corruption and impunity perpetrated by the rich, party diehards, the government and the forces of law and order, many Cameroonians resulted to the last “gift” for them, which was the relatively free press to vent their anger.

It is a bid to release their frustration, that many media organs open their airwaves to people who make not necessarily false claims but declarations that are so difficult to prove. It becomes again worrying when some journalists feeling they could not be indifferent, had to join and made several wrong moves.

It is normal for any media to open it airwaves for listeners to air their views on issues such as: the usual numerous presidential outings and bloated delegations, distribution of tax payers’ money to party militants out of the country during such visits, payment of contracts that have not be executed, many MPs acting as fake or incompetent contractors hence cannot check government irregularities; why ruling and opposition party leaders clink on power, expenses on some international visitors which have not help Cameroon on anyway among others. Such programs which many people would certainly want to participate in ought to be handled by analysts as well as specialists invited to that effect to comment on listeners’ worries.

Inasmuch as journalists must be responsible for what they write or say, public officials must be responsible for their actions. I strongly believe that corruption continues to skyrocket in Cameroon because the media have never served its purpose. Media publication should be used as basis for judicial investigation, forceful resignation, impeachment etc. With such a system in place, many people will tow the line.

The issue using “administrative tolerance” to threaten media organs is a pity. In a free world, it is absurd to ban a radio on baseless reasons like that which are usually advanced by civil-militarized regimes of Cameroon, as had been the case with Equinox Radio, Magic FM and Equinox Television in 2008.

Some people cannot afford to be indifferent with what is happening in the country but, it would be for the best interest of media organs to trained in-house analysts to appreciate the situation in the country and beyond rather than allow pseudo journalists join the anarchists in destroying the country.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Why grant asylum to economic and political criminals?

Take look at history and you will realise that several people who have plundered various African countries with or without the complicity of western, fellow African and Asian country leaders either in the domain of politics and the economy have either died out of their country of origin or been granted asylum in some of these “safe havens”.

On the contrary, the real people who need protection, who have been or are being persecuted by the system organised by dictators, some are refused the right of asylum.

Internal conflict, war and even genocide are often directly linked to bad governance, embezzlement; impunity and injustice, always perpetrated by failed regimes and failed system.

These vices in tend, develop poverty, both of the mind and economy and a feeling of frustration and the need to revenge among many, mostly in the grassroots but who are often helpless but bear the brunt of these regimes.

However, various head of regimes and their accomplices who often steal their nation’s wealth and starch in foreign banks, shuttle in and out of their countries with their families and friends as they want and are always able to get asylum some where to enjoy stolen wealth when the tides seem to turn against them.

I strongly believe that inasmuch as we have always advocated the need for many western as well as Asian countries not to make their banks acts as safe heaven for stolen wealth, then turn around and condemn corruption; it is high time these countries stop acting as refuge for economic and political atomic bombers who have ruined most of Africa.

The Congolese (Zairian) dictator and one of the highest economic thieves of our time, Mobutu Sese Seko died miserably in Morocco, despite haven embezzled billions of dollars and starched in French and Swiss banks as well as having assets in these countries among others. This is the same person who with the help of outsiders including the UN killed the man, Patrice Lumumba who would have changed the fate of Congo Kinshasa from the bloody and world cake we have today.

Mengistu Haile Mariam of Ethiopia is in Zimbabwe; Hissen Habré of Chad is in Senegal, Charles Taylor who successfully brought down the monster in the person of Samuel Doe seeked asylum in Nigeria though now meditating his fate at The Hague. Didier Ratziraka who has contributed in no way small way in ruining Madagascar economically and politically is in France, so too was Henri Konan Bedié former president of Cote D’Ivoire.

According to my Nigeria friend, almost all past and present state governors, presidents, ministers and other senior government officials in Nigeria, have at least a bank account and a house in the UK and US and most especially, in the UK. These assets are from ill-gotten wealth and these people with their family can live in any of these countries as long as they want whereas poor Nigerians are shown the way out.

The mismanagement, embezzlement and complicity of the same clique have contributed in no small way to the political strife, frustration, poverty, anger and all kinds of ills within the Nigeria society.

There are some perpetrators of the 1994 Rwandan genocide living freely in various countries in Europe and other parts of Africa. Such political criminals should be sent back to Rwanda for judgement though they would always argue that their judgement would not be fair. This is same for several people who during the Mobutu era, killed several people in Congo Kinshasa. They have left the country and are enjoying their stay outside.

In July 1992, the former vice president of Sierra Leone Abdulai Conteh who had held several ministerial posts in that country fled to Britain. He was accused of having embezzled millions of dollars from the country.

Even the British Home office described him as corrupt as he seeked asylum but again the same Conteh is today a strongman in the British Canary Islands.

Of course, he fled to Britain in 1992 where he had amassed much wealth and bought a house in Finchley. He even had the audacity to vie for the leadership of the AU Commission.

The case of Cameroon is not different. Though we have known just two presidents since 1960, President Amadou Ahidjo though can be said to have ensured a rather more economically stable Cameroon, cannot be spared to have political destroyed the country through his one party system, changing of the constitution and silencing of his opponents.

His successor, Paul Biya, is worst in all domains but for the pseudo freedom of expression in Cameroon. Surrounded by monsters, they have destroyed Cameroon in all dimensions and of course, most of these people are one way in one way out of the country.

In the late 90s, a certain Robert Messi Messi who was accused to have embezzled several billions CFA of Cameroonian savings in the SCB bank fled to Canada and was granted asylum.

Again, the former Minister of Public work Dieudonne Ambassa Zang’s parliamentary immunity was lifted on August 7, 2009 to investigate corruption charges levelled against him. However, before that was done, he had fled the country to the West and now seeking asylum too it is alleged.

There are so many of the criminals who conscious of their atrocities have taken double nationality in a country like Cameroon and ready to escape at any time. Personally, I do not even support the issue of dual nationality. People can choose between taking one nationality and opting for a permanent residence in another country.

Why should these people/leaders who destroyed their countries and caused millions to suffer economically, politically and socially be granted asylum for them so stay and enjoy the stolen wealth?

Fast developing nations have to review the issue of granting what so ever asylum to those who have destroyed their countries in all domains. Why must they be given the chance to enjoy stolen wealth and raise their children in peace when they refused to give the same opportunities to others while in power? All those who have held or are holding posts of responsibility in public offices must be held responsible for the atrocities they commit.

If laws in several countries could be changed to make sure that past leaders, dead or alive, guilty of corruption have all their assets seized even the houses in which their children live, that would be good. The only assets they should boast of given their children should be education and not stolen property.

African leaders and ministers who fall sick should not be treated in Europe. Let them build worthwhile hospitals in their countries. It is unacceptable to accept them do treatment there often with taxpayers money when the very taxpayers back at home not have a dime to treat mere fever.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

CONAC, the New Deal, the Media and PATRIOTISM

I was bewildered when I read on various Cameroon online news sites of how the President of toothless bulldog “anti corruption” unit known by its French acronym as CONAC, qualified Cameroonian journalists as unpatriotic because they do not paint a good image of the country abroad.

To say the least, that utterance was being too simplistic for Mr. Paul Tessa and his team, in their bid to calm the uproar that has accelerated following the publishing of a report alleging, though not denied by the accused, that President Biya embezzled billions of state funds, financed sects with tax payers’ money, among other atrocities.

The same media organs labelled as unpatriotic gave Mr Tessa, his team and other ruling party- big wigs, as well as independent observers, airspace, newspaper pages to “clean” the name of the president like Gregoire Owona did in Le Jour newspaper. He justified Biya’s wealth to the fact that he has been a senior civil servant for over 40 years. According to him, Biya’s son, Frank Emmanuel Biya, is a major forest exploiter and should own the wealth he has across the globe. This was the same with The Post, Eden etc that all carried the views of some senior English-speaking ministers in the government on this issue.

In reaction to the utterances of CONAC President, Zachary Ngniman, former CRTV journalist, CPDM parliamentarian and now the so called anti corruption unit Head of Communication asserted the claims of Tessa. In the same line, Charles Ndongo who thinks being patriotic is reviewing and reiterating (not analysing) successive president Biya speeches confirmed Tessa claims just as Alain Bilibi still of CRTV.

My worry is; what does Mr Tessa and his team define as patriotism?

Even without checking in any dictionary, I understand patriotism is the love of one’s country and the readiness to even die for it.

HOW is the love for one’s country measured?

The love for one’s country is simply putting the interests of the nation ahead of individual desires. It is obeying the laws for ordinary citizens, paying your taxes, it is creating good laws by MPs, it is negotiating deals that favour the country on any business line.

In fact, it is taking responsibilities and making sure Cameroon as a nation is no looser in any of our actions. For journalist, patriotism is digging out the irregularities, news in the country and publishing them. It is as well appreciating other positive efforts done by the public. It is honouring the public’s right to know while respecting professional deontology.

The actions of journalists would not be complete if their reports do not act as basis for investigation. A free and reliable press and an independent judiciary make a strong nation. These are the kind of institutions we need not “strong” men to take the country hostage.

When marionettes like Mr Tessa are appointed to head so called anti corruption unit, they certainly give a damn to what the press writes because they do not care for the interest of the country and most especially, because, they are serving the person who appointed them. Patriotism is not flooding newspaper pages with motions of support.

It is not organising media outings to justify or denounced the ills that have been reported by the press.

Inasmuch as some press in Cameroon including the public media is wanting, it is understood that most of what is written by the press in Cameroon have elements of truth. Journalists rely much on leaked information and the government of Cameroon is full of thieves and unpatriotic people, they leak much information often to the press and unfortunately, press reports have never served the real intention.

A lot more do speculate because journalists in Cameroon virtually have no access to information. It is therefore normal of a journalist to question the wealth of a mere custom officer who earns 200. 000 francs a month but can construct a villa for 25, 50. 75 or 100 million when he has not even on duty for 20 years. This goes same for ministers, school heads, delegates, general managers, security and health officials and any ordinary citizen.

The New Deal, Cameroon and the false perception

The 27-year-old New Deal Government under the command of President Biya, excellently masters how to deceive the world. A reading of the press in Cameroon makes you draw an immediately conclusion that Cameroon is a very free country. Nevertheless, the unfortunate thing is that the New Deal has never used the press for the right purpose. In creating such a “free” atmosphere, the impression is given to the world that Cameroon is free, whereas, it is not. The violent suppression of the February 2008 legitimate protests are there to testify and the government cared less about what was written by the press thereafter.

The press may be free in writing what they want but the in terms of economic and politics, Cameroonians are not free. The government has adopted the “I don’t care attitude”.

Mr Tessa certainly knows so well about other phantom corruption bodies like ANIF, Supreme State Control and Audit, CONAC, other plethoric anti corruption commission in various ministries. The bottom line should not be the creation of these several useless bodies, which continue to suck Cameroon economically.

The most important thing is empower these bodies, make these institutions strong. If President Paul Biya is the number one Cameroonian in everything in as it is usually said, he should champion the patriotism through making sure that elections are free and fair so that in the first place, the people we get in parliament are not virtually appointed but legal and legitimate representatives of the people. His appointments should not be base on allegiance but also and most importantly, on merit.

He should make sure that he and his colleagues strike a balance between any deals they make and the interest of our nation. He should make sure that meritocracy is given a chance so that we may have the right people in the right places like ENS, ENAM, Polytechnic, EMIA, etc.

The foundations of mediocrity being built in Cameroon is the foundation of unpatriotism because wrong people are put in the wrong place and they keep doing things with impunity and sinking Cameroon more into the abyss.

I had earlier written that Cameroon desperately needs patriotism not necessarily capitalist democracy. With the economic and moral decadence in Cameroon that has been enhanced by the inertia of the government for 27 years, many Cameroonians do no longer think of the future but rather, of their survival for the next minutes. That is why they can be easily bought. A short-sighted and disorganised opposition has also caused more harm.

Even those who have “successfully” left the country, many are still in moral, intellectual and economic bankruptcy reason why they thronged Ottawa not to receive Biya but, to share the bank notes they were promised. The same thing happened in Paris last July. Should we call this patriotism?

What Cameroonians expect of CONAC

Mr Tessa and team, have the duty of investigating/fighting corruption in Cameroon and making public their results. Investigate corruption in our education, health. customs, taxation, police, transport sectors .

CONAC should indentify those corruptly accumulating posts and receiving double salaries whereas others are jobless, those constantly changing their ages to die in pubic service, those stifling the kick-off of local initiatives but are ready to allow pseudo expatriates control our economy and exploit Cameroonians, those out of the country but still receiving their salaries. We expect CONAC to organise at least, monthly conferences to tell us what they have done while channelling their report to the judiciary to continue from there.

The president of CONAC was opportunistic to seize the period when their mentor has been accused of embezzlement to say that Cameroonian journalists are not representing the image of the country well. What are the numerous diplomatic services doing? If I were part of their moribund organisation, we would investigate the issue and call all those concerned to book, even the president.

Do they think it is even patriotic for their mentor to avoid skilful Cameroonians and lavish taxpayers’ money on so-called international communication agencies and public relation companies who have never been effective in helping Cameroon any way?

CONAC is not in a position to give people lessons on patriotism when seemingly, they cannot even do their own job well.

I would like to invite CONAC to look at what the press in countries like Sweden, Norway, South Africa, even next-door Nigeria write. Areas where public officials and institutions have nothing to hide from the public. CONAC president seems to have been comparing the Cameroonian press to that of other francophone-failed states like Gabon, Chad, and Congo Brazzaville, Central African Republic etc where leaders have refused to leave power or have almost installed monarchies etc.