By Chief A.S. Ngwana
Our Country is in Moral Decay, Our Country is in Economic Collapse, Our Country is in Financial Turmoil, and Our Country is in Political Shambles. All Cameroonians must join hands to rescue Cameroon from chaos. Every Cameroonian must ask himself why Our Country is so corrupt. Every Cameroonian must ask himself what he can do to stop corruption in Cameroon. Corruption is now part of our lives and it is no more seen as something horrible. Corruption is a cancer in Our System of life and if we do not stop it, it will spread and kill us. Unless we stop Corruption, we will never build a Cameroon of our dreams. Cameroon has won the corruption trophy twice, as the most corrupt country in the world. If we continue like this, we will certainly win this trophy a third time and keep this infamous world trophy. What a shame and disaster.
In the words of former Prime Minister and Head of Government, Mr. Peter Mafany Musonge, on national television in 1999, “the government is corrupt from top to bottom”. A national tabloid, reported on Friday, 12 March 2000, that the Chief Justice of the North West Province, Justice Tengen Pius admitted that some magistrates in the region are so corrupt that their professional malpractice not only marred the judiciary but was also responsible for the increasing loss of public confidence in the courts. “We are aware of the situation where some magistrates have transformed their chambers into business premises where justice is sold for money instead of applying the law as it should be”.
It is a regular site when travelling, to see policemen, gendamarie or soldiers on road blocks extorting money from innocent, hard working peasants returning from their farms or from the markets, under the pretext of checking identity cards. Travelling by public transport is even worse because money is extorted from drivers whether their particulars are correct or not. Taxi drivers and bus drivers carry a fix amount which they must pay at each check point. They just pay it without waiting for it to be demanded.
Custom Officers on small salaries can be seen building mansions which many businessmen cannot build, because before you collect your imported goods or cars, you must pay extra moneys in bribes and corruptions.
Before you get your Land Certificate or what is called (Titre Foncier) it takes many years, a thing which normally takes a few months or maximum one year. It takes in some cases up to 30 years, because you spend so much money in litigation, bribery and corruption.
Many pensioners spend so much time and money (bribery and corruption) to collect their pensions. Some of these pensioners die while waiting to collect the money because of the deliberate delays.
Big “Envelops” of large checks and cash are given to Ministers, Judges, Politicians and Directors (as bribes) to “facilitate” contracts or aggreements on any issue.
In the Ministry of Finance and Taxation, nobody knows what happens there. Billions of francs CFA of Cameroon’s revenue are disbursed through the budget every year. In the English System money allocated for expenditure under any heading, if it is not spent, it is usually paid back to the treasury. After Unification, Dr. John Ngu Foncha, returned some unspent money from the Vice President’s Office, to the Treasury and the Ministry of Finance did not know what to do with the money or where to keep the money, because according their system, if you are allocated money, you are expected to spend the money. Every year, money is allocated for the construction of roads, building schools, hospitals, etc, but nobody checks whether these projects were ever done (uncompleted contracts). The next year money is allocated again for some of these same projects. What happened to the money budgeted the previous year for these items? The Audit Department must trace these funds. The majority of these funds disappear into “Money Laundry Accounts” abroad.
This year in the 2013 Draft Budget the Government is expected to spend 3236 billion, FCFA. The Prime Minister Philemon Yang, recently, presented government’s economic, financial, social and cultural programme for 2013, in which the public investment budget stands at 957 billion. He stated that 145 major projects have already been identified, in this light, if well executed it would go a long way to improve the living standards of the population.
The Government identifies major projects every year, obtains huge sums in foreign loans, budgets Billions of Francs every year for their execution, but they are never executed. That is why our living standards, are not improving but deteriorating. Cameroon External Foreign Loans are staggeringly large but we can show nothing for them.
Billions of francs are embezzled every year from moneys budgeted for these projects. The stolen money is kept in Europe, and America in private accounts, Treasury Bonds, or private properties. “Money Laundry” is now a criminal offense, so foreign Governments are willing to repatriate the moneys back to Cameroon on the request of the Cameroon Government.
Nigerian Government succeeded in recovering some of Late President Abacha’s money and the moneys of some of the Governors who looted Nigeria and kept the moneys in Europe and America.
The Cameroon Government has jailed some of the 50 billionaires (among whom are Secretary Generals at the Presidency, Ministers, Generals and Directors) who looted, embezzled, or stole Government money, but have not yet been able to repatriate or recover any of the laundry money in Europe and America. One of these jailed men is alleged to have embezzled or looted about 300 Billion dollars. Cameroon Government must seek the help of the American and the European Governments to recover these colossal sums of money which are hidden in Europe and America in private bank accounts, treasury bonds and properties (Mansions)
Since President Rollings of Ghana got four past Presidents and several Ministers executed, for corruption, Ghana has enjoyed economic prosperity, democracy and peace. We do not believe in capital punishment, because some of these criminals may stay in prison for life, and repent of their crimes and receive God’s mercy before they die.
What Cameroonians want is, to see that Government confiscates all the assets of all the jailed criminals and ask the help of Foreign Governments to recover Cameroon’s money stashed away abroad.
Many innocent Cameroonians are suffering, poor, sick and helpless because of these heartless people who have embezzled and are still embezzling and looting our wealth all these years, through bribery and corruption.
We can not build a Cameroon of our dreams if we do not fight against these criminals.
All Cameroonians must join hands together to wage a WAR against BRIBERY and CORRUPTION. The forces of evil are against us in this battle, and we will not win this War unless we invoke God.
The Catholic Bishops of Cameroon asked all people of Good Will to recite the following prayer which they asked all Christians to pray daily.
You always watch over all your creatures
Desiring for them life and happiness.
You have blessed our country Cameroon
With rich human and natural resources
To be used to your honor and glory,
And the well-being of every Cameroonian,
We are deeply sorry for the wrong use
To which we have put your gifts and blessings
Through acts of injustice, bribery and corruption,
As a result of which many of our people are hungry, sick, ignorant and defenseless.
Father, you alone can heal us and our nation of this scourge.
We implore you to reach out and touch our hearts and the hearts of our leaders and people
So that we may all realize the evil of bribery and corruption
And work hard to eliminate it.
Raise up for our country people who love you
And leaders who care for us
And who can lead us along the pathways
Of justice, peace, and prosperity.
We make our prayer through Christ our Lord.
Chief A.S. Ngwana is the National Chairman of the Cardinal Democratic Party (CDP), one of more than 250 legalised political parties in Cameroon. He can be contacted at:
BP 2401, Bonanjo, Douala. Cameroon; Tel: (+237) 7775 7173, (+237) 9638 8219; Email: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org