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Monday, November 25, 2013

Summonses and Suspensions Threaten Media Environment in Cameroon Reporters Without Borders Say

Reporters Without Borders is concerned about the growing intransigence of the National Communication Council (CNC), Cameroon’s media regulator, and its president, Joseph Befe Ateba.
“The CNC has taken a clearly tougher line towards journalists and media in the past two months, which is reflected in the number of summonses it has issued and the suspensions it has ordered,” Reporters Without Borders said.
“It has acted with questionable good faith by repeatedly summoning journalists on dates when it knows they are not in the capital, and by raising matters during hearings that were not mentioned in the summons. We urge it not to exceed its powers by using threats, pressure and censorship.”
Reporters Without Borders added: “We also ask the CNC to be more transparent about the way it chooses the cases in which it intervenes and the way it deliberates, in order to dispel suspicion that it is acting arbitrarily.”
Benjamin Zebaze, publisher of the daily Ouest-Littoral, and Guibaï Gatama, publisher of the weekly L’œil du Sahel, were summoned to CNC headquarters in the capital, Yaoundé, on 28 October to respond to accusations of “breaches of professional ethics” brought by Befe Ateba himself and the head of the criminal investigation police, Martin Mbarga Nguele.
The complaint against Zebaze concerned a 10 October article about the CNC’s ban on reporting election trends. The complaint against Gatama, brought by the head of the criminal investigation police, concerned a 15 October article about clashes with the police at the Cameroun-Nigeria border.
Neither Zebaze nor Gatama were in Yaoundé that day and both had to be represented by an employee.
In the weeks leading to the 30 September parliamentary elections, the CNC had started using a harsher tone.
On 14 September, the CNC circulated an election coverage guide that listed all the sanctions to which journalists and media would be exposed if they were found guilty of violating professional ethics. “I will be very intransigent,” Befe Ateba said.
The CNC previously imposed harsh sanctions on several media and journalists on 5 September for their alleged “failure to respect the provisions of the law on social communication.”
The victims included the Chronicle and Guardian Post newspapers and their publishers, the L’Epervier and Radio Sky One, and Radio Satellite journalist Peguy Meyong. The harshest sanction was reserved for Radio Djacom FM, which was banned from broadcasting altogether.
Provision for the creation of a National Communication Council was included in a December 1990 law on social communication (Law No. 90/052), which defined it as a financially autonomous entity for media regulation and consultation.
The council did not however become fully operational until earlier this year, following decrees reorganizing it and appointing its members. The internal procedures governing how it operates remain unclear.
Cameroon is ranked 120th out of 179 countries in the latest Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. Minute by Minute Report on Cameroon and Africa

Director of Ayaba Hotel Interrogated for 7hrs

By Cassimania in Bamenda

Ayaba Hotel in Bamenda, a one-time enviable citadel of tourism in the North West Region of Cameroon is wallowing in the gutter as its Director Zacharie Doume has confirmed to journalists that he was interrogated by elements of the judicial police for 7 hours for allege mismanagement error. Zacharie Doume who was appointed director of Ayaba barely a year ago has been under fire from the day that he transformed part of the land reserved for its expansion into an empty poultry farm and a plantain plantation. Talking to the Press today December 25, 2013, the Director also confirmed allegations that the workers of the hotel had petitioned him for obnoxious practices and mismanagement of revenue. More so, the director is being accused of managing the hotel as if it were a personal property and not a public institution with accountants, auditors, etc. To authenticate some of these allegations raised by Ayaba workers, Zacharie Doume who summoned for a public auditing with the Press was visually unable to present a balance sheet of his income and expenditures for the past one year. This, expressionists say is indicative that Ayaba hotel has been transformed into a quarter store whereby the income and expenditure is known to nobody except the owner.
When quizzed by this reporter whether he could give a vivid account of how much has been generated and how much has been spent, Zacharie Doume rambled with words without pronouncing any figure but went further to announce how when he took over the management of the hotel with accrued debts estimated over 36 million FCFA.  To the Director, “everything that comes in is spent for repairs and renovations” but as to how much came in as income and how has been spent remains a misery only known to the director.
 Harping on a petition which ignited the police interrogation, the Director of Ayaba, castigated the move by his colleagues, adding that he was shocked to discover that he is surrounded by goats in sheep skins. He confirmed haven set up a poultry farm and a plantain plantation of 100 suckers outside the hotel gate which he said was formerly a hide out for bandits. However, insinuated that the he has invested a lot in transforming Ayaba from the kitchen right down to the night club, up to the rooms and down to the garden making the hotel fit to contest in any competition nationwide.
 It should be recalled that in December 2010 during the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Cameroon Army in Bamenda, the state pumped in over 520 million FCFA for renovation work and today, much is being echoed about renovation work as if the funds disbursed from state coffers ended up in private pockets. He even revealed that when he arrived Ayaba, 25 workers of the hotel were still earning a merger salary of 25.000 FCFA per month and he had to raise their salaries to 28.000 FCFA and since January 2013, the salary of the 25 workers were doubled to 50.000 FCFA. Besides that he also revealed that all Ayaba workers are registered with the National Social Insurance Fund-CNPS. Yet when contacted, the workers say they have not had a dime increased on their monthly pay package.
(UP Next: The Accusations against Zacharie Doume, Director of Ayaba)


When News Breaks Out, We Break In. Minute by Minute Report on Cameroon and Africa

Friday, November 15, 2013

President Biya’s 31st Annviversary: Misaje Confirms Unfliching Support in New Deal

By Fai Cassian Ndi
Minister Fuh Calistus addressing the population
Dr. Fuh Calistus Gentry, Secretary of State for Mines, Industries and Technological Development cum head of the Central Committee delegation for the celebration of President Biya’s 31 years in office has described the 31 years of the New Deal government as peaceful, stable and full of immense development projects. Minister Fuh Calistus told thousands in Misaje that they are lucky that President Biya has a soft-spot for them reasons why they have benefitted a lot from the New Deal Government. He thanked the people of Misaje for the unflinching support in the CPDM and congratulated them for the over 62% score in the legislative elections. Dr. Fuh Calistus also used the opportunity to announce to the population that government has proved funding for the opening of streets in Misaje. According to Dr. Fuh Calistus, the people of Ako/Misaje stand to benefit a lot from the New Deal Government more than ever before. To Minister Fuh Calistus Gentry, Misaje will continue to be the flag bearer of the CPDM and the New Deal Government in Donga Mantung Division. President Biya’s devotedness the New Deal policy as brought numerous blessings and development in the country and “the people of Ako/Misaje are happy to be part of this era” adding that the Misaje train took off and it is on it way to the Promised Land with the CPDM. Harping on the September 30, municipal and legislative elections, Dr. Fuh Calistus said that all the key opposition leaders like Ni John Fru Ndi, Belo Bouba Maigari, stormed Misaje to lobby for votes, but at the end of it all, the population voted massively for the CPDM which clearly indicates that the people decided to “chase away the opposition”. With the landslide victory recorded during the last elections, the opposition he affirmed is out of action in Misaje.
To alleviate poverty and foster development efforts, he also announced the creation of the Misaje Business Forum which he concluded will go a long way to build the nation.
It should be recalled that there was euphoria and fanfare in Misaje as over 100 dance groups gathered at the grandstand to commemorate President Paul Biya’s 31 years at the helm of the nation. Trumpet blast echoed when the head of the CPDM central Committee for the 31st Anniversary celebration of President Paul Biya’s ascension to power, Dr. Fuh Calistus arrived the ceremonial ground flanked by the wife, Madame Sally Gentry. Dancing and singing marked their triumphant entry into the Misaje grandstand as everyone sang the famous “enjoyment and victory song” of the New Deal.
Welcoming the head of the central committee delegation to Misaje, the elated mayor elect, cum CPDM Section President for Donga Mantung V, Misaje Section Sammy Mgbata Nforkembah busted that “this day is a wonderful, because it marks the beginning of a new era” To the cpdm Section President, Misaje Sub Division has benefited much from the New Deal Government of President. He cited the creation of GHS Misaje which was later transformed to GBHS Misaje, GTHS Misaje, GSS Dumbu, GSS Chunghe, GSS Akweto, SAR/SM Misaje, CEAC Chunghe, the electrification of Misaje town, the provision of potable water to nearly all the villages in the sub Division, the construction and quipping of the Misaje telecenter, the construction of the Misaje-Babungo road, the construction of the Kwei bridge on the prospective Dumbu-Bisula road in Nigeria, the grading of the Misaje-Wum Road, Misaje-Nkambe road, etc etc. Above all, Sammy Mgbata concluded that this day is memorable in the sense that it marks 31 years since H.E President Paul Biya took over the command baton of this great country Cameroon. He thanked President Paul Biya for appointing Prime Minister Philemon Yang, as Head of Government as well as Dr. Fuh Calistus (Secretary of State for Mines, Industries and Technological Development, an illustrious son of Misaje and above all, sons and daughters of the North West Region in high positions in Government.
Best Villages Encouraged, Njekeh Philip Too
At the end of the ceremony, the most performing villages in the September 30, Municipal/Legislative elections were applauded. Chunghe, Nkanchi and Bebekette villages were announced as the best in terms of their support for CPDM. The villages will be rewarded on March 24, 2014 during the Anniversary of the party. Also Njekeh Philip was also honoured as the most dynamic CPDM militant. Fuh Calistus described him as a exemplary militant who merit encouragements. Talking to this reporter after the celebration, former mayor of Misaje, Nkenda Simon Sunde described President Biya’s 31 years as eventful and pace-setter for Vision 2035


When News Breaks Out, We Break In. Minute by Minute Report on Cameroon and Africa

Southern West Cameroon Revisited, 1950-1972: Unveiling Inescapable Traps

Dr. Anthony Ndi, the famous historian has published another history book which covers the period from 1950-1961 when Southern Cameroons was administered by Britain as an integral part of the Eastern Region of its Nigeria colony and 1961 to 1972, when it became part of the Federal Republic of Cameroon, hence the appellation, “Southern West Cameroon”.
In a Press briefing at the Ideal Park Hotel in Bamenda on November 14, 2013, Dr. Anthony Ndi told journalists that history does not stand for or against, history he emphasized is neutral. According to Dr. Anthony Ndi, must be authentic and truthful because what society needs is not historian but history. Harping on the inescapable traps and the importance of united and indivisible Cameroon, Dr. Anthony Ndi reiterated that “I am not one who would advocate that we take matchets for what I do not know, you have to learn the lessons of history or history will not forgive you”.
The book which pundits say is a masterpiece, stresses how Britain which administered this United Trust Territory as its colonial master intended that at independence it would remain part of its Nigerian colony. It did not for any moment envisage a separate existence of Southern Cameroons.
Towards this objective, especially from 1958 to 1961 as the territory gathered momentum towards independence, Britain working in complicity with international organs such as the UN and the Afro-Asian Bloc of Nations and individual nations like the US and France, laid a series of “inescapable traps” for the Southern Cameroons political leadership who demanded for extended trusteeship followed by independence and negotiated reunification with the Republic of Cameroon. These were steadfastly rejected by Britain which instead manipulated the powers involved to ensure that for the impending Plebiscite on 11 February 1961, the options were limited for Southern Cameroons to attain independence either by joining an independent Federal Republic of Nigria or the independent Republic of Cameroon totally blocking out the third option of independence which the majority of Southern Cameroons craved for. They did this by throwing in their support for the opposition covertly and overtly in a sordid manner which created “a dense atmosphere” that tore the territory into ideological camps marked by regional, sectional and tribal factions sowing seeds of hatred, and enmity not experienced in the territory before. Till today, the vestiges of these feelings continue to linger, he continued. However,  the electorate rather than Nigeria, voted overwhelmingly for reunification with their “Francophone Brothers” even though it was then engaged in a most ferocious fratricidal conflict. The book further enters into the political old days of the Southern Cameroons, and opens another episode and debate on the role played by some political parties like KNDP, CPNC, OK as well as some traditional rulers and British officials who attended the Bamenda All Party Conference, which met in June 1961 during which they all agreed on the terms of reunification with the Republic of  Cameroon, resolutions which were taken to Foumban and discussed at the Foumban Constitutional Conference from July 16-21 1961 which like the Bamenda All Party Conference concluded in seamless and consensus and uniformity. All these Dr. Anthony said were put in legal form at the Yaounde Tripatite Conference which became the substance of the famous Foumban Constitution on the basis of which Reunification and Independence were constructed on October 1, 1961.
The book also cast a glimpse on the deeply entrenched colonial cultures which constituted the challenges that the Federal Republic of Cameroon faced during it brief existence from 1961-1972 under President Ahamdou Ahidjo’s dictatorial and authoritarian style.
To Dr. Anthony Ndi, the 50th anniversary or golden jubilee authorized by President Paul Biya, certainly whet Cameroonian appetites especially those of the people of the North West and South West Regions, who naturally would like to know more about their rich and checkered historical past. That is the task this book according to Dr. Anthony Ndi set to accomplish in creating the awareness of the historical adage that “those who do not know what happened before they were born remain forever children”.

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. Minute by Minute Report on Cameroon and Africa

CATTU Elects New SG


By Ignatius Nji
Tasang Wilfred into Simon Nkwenti's shoes
Delegates of the Cameroon Teachers Trade Union-CATTU on Saturday November 2, 2013 voted a new bureau to manage the affairs of this venerated trade union. Tassang Wilfred was voted to wear the big shoes of Late Nkwenti Simon as Executive Secretary General with 55 votes against 41 for Simamu Clement.
The new leader of CATTU says the task ahead is not new and that he shares so much in common with the late Nkwenti Simon including spiritual radicalism. CATTU he declared shall continue with the fight to better the educational sector by pushing government to enact reforms such as the education forum. Every endeavor he said shall be pursued through advocacy which has worked in the past except otherwise. Under the resilient leadership of Nkwenti Simon, CATTU was able to push forth the creation of a technical higher teachers training college at ENS Bambili and the creation of the University of Bamenda. These strides according to Bunai Christopher Atanga outgone interim Executive Secretary General are in line with the Union’s reflections of 2009. Delegates also reflected on some five key points aimed at improving the Anglo-Saxon Sub System of education which are: re-orientating the educational options, propose ways to finance education, improve service delivery and living conditions of Teachers, Building a greater self esteem in Teachers and to renew the national organs of the union.
The outgoing Interim Secretary also applauded the partnership the union has with Friedrich Herbert Stiftung and other educationists through training in workshops that the advocacy approach did yield some fruits given that the demand for a forum on education is in an advanced state. The unfortunate aspect is that the Head of government had announced the holding of that forum this year and up to now nothing is being said about it though at CATTU level proposals have been prepared. He raised more worries by saying “I hope our authorities are not playing cynical as Voltaire, the renowned French philosopher intimates: ‘the arts of medicine are to amuse the patient while nature cures the disease’.” In a bitter tone Bunai Christopher lamented that teachers have put in their best to better the corps through reflection committees and have shown good faith and maturity to work selflessly for the nation which unfortunately the vote holders toy with their legitimate rights. All their endeavors have remained paper works for close to ten months now.
In a key note Bunai Christopher Atanga did assure the authorities present that CATTU is an institution built on very strong republican values such as moral, intellectual, professional, cultural and social ethos. He reiterated that their commitment to Teaching can not be compromised. The secret behind the many successes is, on his dying bed, the one we now fondly refer to as “father of the Union” enjoined the teachers to stay focused. Among the many resolutions of the convention is for the Union to work with government and not against or for the government. Strengthen and sustain partnership with all meaningful development oriented stakeholders. Pursue advocacy for the improvement of living and working conditions of the Cameroonian teacher and the wellbeing of the school system. And to rekindle and get back the sacred fire of teachers which the Head of State made mention of on 10 February 2013.

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. Minute by Minute Report on Cameroon and Africa

Friday, November 1, 2013

Hon. Genesis Mbucksek Unveils His Development Agenda for the Constituency

 By FAI Cassian Ndi
Hon. Genesis Mbucksek: The MP for Nwa who is Making the Difference

As the mandates of the 180 elected Members of Parliament for the 9th Legislature have been validated, the CPDM Member of Parliament for Nwa Special Constituency in Donga Mantung Division of the North West Region has expressed thanks and appreciation to his people for giving him the trust and for voting massively for the CPDM party during the last September 30, 2013 Twin Elections. Talking to this reporter from his Hotel room at Hotel des Deputes in Yaounde, Hon Genesis Mbucksek who is on his second mandate in an appreciative note to the people of Nwa said that the percentage the CPDM scored during the September 30, Municipal/Legislative elections was indicative of the fact that they massively voted for development and his leadership skills “I can only be very appreciative of it, and I promise do my best to make sure that I will play my role as a development catalyst and representative of the population by God willing”, Hon Genesis Mbucksek continued. In appreciation to this unflinching support as well as the trust and confidence the people bestowed in him, Hon. Mbucksek revealed that Nwa which has demonstrated to be the bastion of the CPDM party in Donga Mantung and North West as a whole will stage a grandiose celebration to that effect during the upcoming celebrations marking President Biya’s ascension to power “we will on November 6, 2013 celebrate this victory with the people in grand style”, he reiterated.
Being a devoted Christian and a pragmatic politician whose trappings and management of micro project grants have attracted a lot of applause from the populace he called on the population of Nwa to put all their desires in prayers “I want people to pray for me and my collaborators”. Harping on the internal political wrangling that once rocked the CPDM in Nwa, Hon. Genesis Mbucksek said “even though we disagreed,  before elections we reconciled our little differences to work as a team for the interest of the people we are called to serve. And I am also calling on the people to pray for unity to uphold amongst us”. “Nwa” he said “supports the CPDM religiously” reasons why he cannot falter in his strive to foster development efforts in the Nwa Special Constituency. He said the disenclavement of Nwa is top on his agenda, “my major challenge is the disenclavment of Nwa which is paramount. I am confident that the Sabongari-Nwa road will have a lasting solution”. He also talked elaborately on the electrification of Nwa. Hon Mbucksek also revealed that one of his major concerns is to make sure that the Adere Fall which has the potential to harness electricity is also included in the development agenda of the country. He added that he will surely meet the Minister of Planning and Regional Development, MINEPAT, “in addition to the Menchum Fall, the Adere Fall can solve electricity problems and at the same time reinforce our potentials in term of energy. This is one of my major reoccupations given that electricity harnessed from there could equally serve the population of Donga Mantung Division and even part of Nigeria” adding that “Our development needs ranges from access to potable water, health facilities, classrooms for schools, and the development of farms to market roads etc”
On his expectations, Hon. Genesis also said that the creation of the Savannah Region is also primordial as well as the creation of the Mantung Division with headquarters in Nwa. To Hon. Mbucksek, the creation of the Mantung Division will also lead to the creation of administrative units in areas like Mfumte, Mabella (Yang), Sabongari etc. “These major zones” he said “are getting prepared for it” as a special gift from President Paul Biya to the people of Nwa who have always given him the necessary support. All these put together, Hon. Mbucksek said the people will have every reason to support the ruling party.  
Hon. Genesis Mbucksek who doubles as CPDM Section President for Donga Mantung V, revealed that the CPDM in Nwa has beaten records in the North West for giving victory to the CPDM as well as in supporting its National Chairman, President Paul Biya. He described Nwa as the bastion of the CPDM in Donga Mantung Division.  


When News Breaks Out, We Break In. Minute by Minute Report on Cameroon and Africa