Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Kidnappers Free French Priest Abducted in Northern Cameroon

(NewsWatch Cameroon)-A French Catholic priest kidnapped in Cameroon on November 13 has been released, French President Francois Hollande said in an official statement.
Fr Georges Vandenbeusch-Now Free
Fr Georges Vandenbeusch, 42, was kidnapped by gunmen in northern Cameroon near the border with Nigeria just months after Nigerian Islamist sect Boko Haram captured a French family in the same region
The armed Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram, which operates in the area, later said it was holding him.
His message expressed special thanks to Cameroon's President Paul Biya.
Mr Hollande thanked the authorities in Cameroon and Nigeria for their help in getting the priest released.
Georges Vandenbeusch was seized in the night of Wednesday to Thursday in the region of Koza, some 30 kilometers (19 miles) from the Nigerian border.
Vandenbeusch had been a priest in the Paris suburb of Sceaux until he left for Cameroon in 2011, the French Foreign ministry said, adding he had decided to stay in the region – which France considers to be high risk for kidnappings – even though he was aware of the risks involved.
Earlier this year (in February), seven members of a French family called Moulin-Fournier - four of them children on holiday in northern Cameroon- were abducted by Boko Haram. They were released in April.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Musonge Urges Southwest Elite to Unite for Development

(NewsWatch Cameroon)-Members of government, senators, parliamentarians, General Managers and other dignitaries from the South West region in Yaounde have been urged to remain united and fight for the development of their region. Senator Peter Mafany Musonge made the call in Yaounde on Friday November 22 at a ceremony organized to welcome South West parliamentarians who emerged victorious at the Sept. 30, 2013 legislative elections.
Senator Musonge
Speaking on behalf of the Southwest community in Yaounde, Senator Mafany congratulated the parliamentarians, noting that of the 15 seats at the National Assembly for the South West region, the ruling CPDM of President Paul Biya won 14 while the leading opposition party, the SDF of Ni John Fru Ndi won 1. “This is a repeat of 2007 and we deserve to congratulate our militants and ourselves”, he said.
On the 16th of May 2013, the same ceremony was organized in favour of pioneer elected and appointed senators from the region.
Mr Musonge remarked that “in both houses, the South West region occupies privileged positions. At the Senate, we have a group leader and a questor while at the National Assembly, we have a vice president and a secretary”.
Besides, Mr Musonge rejoiced that the Southwest is also honoured to have produced the eldest Members of Parliament both at the National Assembly (Hon. Enow Tanjong) and at the Senate (Senator Mfon Victor Mukete)
The former premier cautioned those in attendance to be united and work for the interests of the people.
To the elected officials, he said: “After the resounding confidence shown by our electorate, it is time to give back; all of us should work hand in glove, we are not rivals of one another”.
Be it to members of government, senators or parliamentarians, Musonge was unequivocal: “We should not waste our energy trying to outdo or outsmart one another”.
Working in unison according to Mr Musonge will help them to start preparing for the next elections for “the five year mandate will go by very soon and our balance sheet will be studied and sanctioned by the electorate.”
On behalf of the elites from the Southwest region, the former premier called on all South Westerners in Yaounde to be in Buea for the celebration of the announced 50th anniversary of Cameron’s reunification when the time comes.
Earlier, the representatives of the Southwest region at the lower House of Parliament for the 9th legislative period were presented to the South West community in Yaounde.
The CPDM won both seats of the Kupe Muanenguba division which is represented at the National Assembly by Hon. Ngujede Robert Ngole and Hon Aleh Eyabi Clarah. In Manyu division, the party also won all the three seats and is represented by Hon. Enow Tanjong, Hon Igelle Elias Terhemen and Nsosie Susana Ebah Épse Okpu. In Fako,the situation was the same and the division is represented by Hon. Emilia Monjowa Lifaka, Hon. Lisinge Arthur Ekeke alias ‘Man Boy’, Hon. Fritz Ngeka Etoke, and Hon. Gladys Itombi.
The CPDM also won all the three seats in Ndian division with Hon. Mary Muyali Boya Epse Meboka, Hon. Njume Peter Ambang, and Hon. Ngalle Daniel Etongo as their representatives, while the party retained the lone seat in Lebialem with Hon. Ateawung Foju Bernard as their representative. The CPDM and the SDF shared the two seats of Meme division with Hon. Martin Atinda Mboni and Hon Mbanya Bolevie Petnga representing the division on the CPDM and SDF tickets respectively.


Despite the unity call by the former prime minister, not all the elite and members of government from the region honoured the invitation to the event. The latter are challenging Musonge's leadership of the SW people with his meetings being strongly contested by some who are questioning the source of his authority to organize them.
By Ndi Eugene Ndi

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Biya -Fru Ndi Negotiations Blocking New Government!

(NewsWatch Cameroon)-Since 1992, after every parliamentary election, it took the president of the Republic of Cameroon a maximum of two months to reshuffle government.
Three months after the September 30, 2013 municipal and legislative elections, Cameroonians have been waiting for the new government.
President Biya and Fru Ndi Met in Bamenda in Dec. 2010
Sources close to the PRC say the delay is orchestrated by negotiations between the frontline opposition party in Cameroon, the Social Democratic Front of Ni John Fru Ndi and President Paul Biya, also national chairman of the ruling CPDM. The same sources say the SDF is contemplating accepting the offer.
A union government with a representation of all the major political parties which emerged from the September 30 twin local elections, this reporter has been reliably informed, is what President Biya is searching for. The opposition and the governing party working together for the betterment of Cameroon and its peoples we were told by our sources, is the guiding post of the initiative.
The president’s biggest challenge our sources say, is to bring the Social Democratic Front-SDF, the leading opposition party in Cameroon on board.
Such a union government would make a lot of sense if the SDF comes in.
The move should follow recognition by government of SDF’s proposals for the improvement of the lot of Cameroonians which can only be implemented if they join the union government.
Above all, President Biya’s ambition for a union government is aimed at showing the world his attainment of genuine democracy within Cameroon.
Emissaries to be dispatched to discuss the matter with SDF militants owe their mission to assurances that they know some staunch SDF supporters who are ready to accept the offer.
Chairman Fru Ndi of the SDF recently met with Martin Belinga Eboutou President Biya’s Director of Cabinet to discuss what the chairman termed “issues of supreme interest of the state”.
After their encounter this year, Chairman Fru Ndi changed gears, going back on his declaration that the SDF would boycott the Senatorial elections in Cameroon and that his boys would come out with machetes to butcher.
Pundits say Chairman Fru Ndi who has always threatened to sack from the SDF any supporter who joins the government could also change gear and join himself this time around. After all, pundits add, the motive is also the supreme interest of the state
We gathered that if Chairman Fru Ndi maintains his position of the SDF not joining government, the emissaries will turn to influential supporters of the SDF party frustrated after the September 30 local twin polls.
The SDF party emerged with 18 deputies in parliament and 21 councils from the local twin September 30 polls.
The Cameroon Democratic Union (CDU) of party of Adamou Ndam Njoya we learnt will also be contacted by the emissaries. Ndam Njoya has always maintained his position of never joining the government of President Biya, arguing that it serves no purpose as it will be of no impact. The CDU has four seats in parliament and seven councils.
Apart from the SDF, and CDU, the emissaries could also meet officials of the CRM - the Cameroon Renaissance Movement party of Maurice Kamto. The MRC secured one MP in the National Assembly - Lazare Soub from Wouri East although they won no council.
The Union of the Peoples of Cameroon (UPC) we have been informed, is ready to accept president Biya’s offer of a union government.
The MDR, the Movement for Republican Defense of Dakolle Daissala has one deputy at the National Assembly. The party is an old time ally of the CPDM.
The National Union for Democracy and Progress, NUDP of Maigari Bello Bouba with five (5) MPs and 15 councils is an ally of the governing CPDM party.
By Ndi Eugene Ndi

Thursday, December 26, 2013

World Cup 2104: Cameroon Drawn Alongside Brazil

(NewsWatch Cameroon)-Less than a fortnight after ousting Tunisia, Cameroon found out that it would feature in a match against the hosts of next year’s World Cup Brazil, in a repeat of the confrontation between the two sides that saw Cameroon demolished in 1994 although we subsequently beat Brazil at both the Olympic Games in Sydney 2000 and at the Confederations Cup in 2003.
Samuel Eto'o

If some believe we will probably lose the game against Brazil, most Cameroonians are quietly confident in their ability to cause an upset. Such optimism is not as far-fetched as it might seem at first sight. Most football pundits who are old enough can still remember how the Cameroon of Roger Milla and Omam Biyick tumbled the holders Argentina in 1990 when Diego Maradona was at the pak of his powers. If the current Indomitable Lions are undeniably a far cry from that mythical squad, the belief is strong that what had been done before can be achieved again and the Brazilians would be ill-advised to count their chickens before they are hatched.
Even if Brazil were to prove to hard a nut for Cameroon to crack, the Indomitable Lions must fancy their chances against the other two sides. While Mexico play a flamboyant game, they are often inconsistent and seem to lack the tough mentality of the big European sides that often cause Cameroon so much trouble. A positive result against them is therefore not improbable.
Croatia finished third in 1998 but have hardly achieved anything worthy of note ever since. Although the game against them will certainly be no walk in the park, Cameroon must believe it has a chance against this side that never even qualified for the previous edition of the World Cup in South Africa and even this time had to qualify through a second place playoff.

WAA Takes on Militarism, Gender-based Violence

(NewsWatch Cameroon)-As part of activities to mark the sixteen days of activism against gender-based violence, the Yaounde based non governmental organization, Women in Alternative Action (WAA) organized a one-day information sharing and sensitization workshop on small arms proliferation and domestic violence.

During the workshop that took place under the theme “from peace in the home to peace in the world: let’s challenge militarism and end violence against women”, participants who were drawn from women’s rights organizations shared knowledge on varied issues such as violence against women and the impact of small arms proliferation on human security in central Africa amongst others.
According to the Executive Director of Women in Alternative Action (WAA) Justine Kwachu Ngum, though violence could be very common to the participants, militarization was probably new. She told them at the opening of the workshop that the absence of war in a country does not indicate the presence of peace. Using the case of Cameroon, the Executive Director pointed out that Central African rebels recently entered the country through the East region given its porous frontiers. This influx of the rebels she said, can lead to the inflow of small arms into the country.
Besides putting in place strategies to help end violence against women and children, the workshop also aimed at building collaboration between women’s rights advocates and providing participants with knowledge on the legal framework regarding small arms.
The 2013 16 days campaign dubbed “16 days activism against gender-based violence” advocates awareness and action on the multi-faceted intersections of gender-based violence and militarism, while highlighting the connection between the struggle for economic and social rights and ending gender-based violence.
The workshop was organized in partnership with the Centre for Peace, Security and Armed Violence Prevention (CPS-AVIP)
WAA used the event to announce the holding in Yaounde of the  6th Africa Conference on Sexual Health and Rights in 2014. The conference would take place under the theme ‘Eliminating Women And Girls Sexual And Reproductive Health Vulnerabilities In Africa’

Nkambe: Tarring Project Highlights Benefits of CPDM Victory

(NewsWatch Cameroon)-The people of Nkambe municipality are beginning to reap the fruits of voting for the CPDM party in the last election of September 30. A project to tar streets in Nkambe town and grade the road from Nkambe through Binshua to Tabenken village has been launched with work scheduled to start before long.
In spite of the fact that it was an opposition stronghold for the last 17 years, the CPDM party secured a clear victory in both the parliamentary and municipal elections though the parliamentary candidate Ngala Gerard could not go to the National Assembly because of the overwhelming votes for the SDF in Ndu with which Nkambe constitutes a joint constituency.
According to the tender for the tarring of the Nkambe council market and its environs, the first stretch begins from CNPS to Brasseries through the slaughter house to Alkali junction and then to the taxi park and fantasia. The second stretch runs from Mount Calvary garage to the Taxi Park. The third stretch runs from Brasseries to the Motor Park way-out, the fourth is the down market street, and the last from Akali junction to Faraday store.
The project is financed by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (MINDUH) under the Road fund in the 2013 budget. 
According to a local CPDM loyalist Tamfu Jude aka Central Committee, the tarring of the Nkambe municipal market and its environs “is a sign of many good things that will happen in the municipality during the CPDM era”.
Since the creation of the municipality some 17 years ago, the leading opposition party, the Social Democratic Front (SDF) had been enjoying political hegemony. But the results of the twin elections of last September 30 drastically changed the political landscape, with the SDF crash-landing in her hitherto stronghold.

CamCCUL Pledges Enhanced Liquidity and Security of Investment

(NewsWatch Cameroon)-In a recent three-day meeting, staff of some 43 credit unions that make up the Bamenda chapter of the Cameroon Cooperative Credit Union League, CamCCUL were told to uphold the virtues of the association by ensuring liquidity sufficiency to members at all times especially during this period of the year through the application of proper management skills.
The participants at the seminar were mostly managers, loan officers, accountants and internal controllers who constitute the main persons in management that can bring change. According to the supervisor of the Bamenda chapter Mr. Fombon Raphael, the forum was an opportunity for board members to meet with the management staff and so get abreast with the day to day technical operations at credit unions, given that the management personnel are employed technicians and the Board of Directors (BOD) is the policy holder which must get acquainted with the technicalities before taking decisions.
In the opening speech, the chapter President, Musa Shey Nfor drew attention to two key components of proper operations: liquidity management and security of investment. He elaborated on the fact that the management staff and the BOD must be able to know when members have huge deposits and huge cash loans. Credit Unions must be able to strike a balance between the needs of businessmen for massive, project-financing loans and the demands by members for cash from their savings to celebrate Christmas and other end-of-year events. For Musa Shey, in the final analysis, cash flow liquidity must be ensured for members’ operations.
As regards security, credit unions were advised to work hand in glove with the administration in other to ensure the intervention of law enforcement when attacked.  Staff must steer clear of behaviour that could attract armed robbers, especially when in possession of huge amounts money.
The Divisional Officer of Bamenda II, Mr. Etoi Peter who presided over the opening ceremony observed that the CamCCUL network is doing a marvellous job especially as regards the training of staff. He went on to remark that the many innovative seminars on how to improve management and put in place security measures on members’ investment was evidence of good management which should undoubtedly have a positive impact on the livelihood of members of credit unions. For the chief executive, CamCCUL is undeniably the biggest microcredit network in the country that is fighting poverty and ensuring growth in communities through her activities.
By Ndi Eugene Ndi

Monday, December 23, 2013

Nkambe Council Installation Tidbits

(NewsWatch Cameroon)-As the new executives of the Nkambe council who were elected on October 16, 2013 were being installed by Donga Mantung SDO on Saturday December 7, 2013 at the Fon Ibrahim Jabfu grandstand in Nkambe, NewsWatch took interest in some of the ‘invisible’ events that marked the installation.

CNYC Steals Show

The Donga Mantung Divisional bureau of the Cameroon National Youth Council (CNYC) pinched the show during the installation of the Nkambe council executives. Elected on Tuesday November 19, 2013, the bureau was presented to the Donga Mantung administration by its president elect, Marcel Abanda. The Donga Mantung CNYC president elect used the opportunity given them at the installation ceremony to announce that two of his bureau members have been elected into the regional bureau of the council for the North West. The executive shook hands and posed for photos with the SDO for Donga Mantung and his etat major.

Councilors Installed Without Insignias

Though the SDO explained that insignias will be given to the councilors when they will be available, many people are of the opinion that the councilors have not been given full powers. The SDO said the insignias were limited but did not say why in other parts of the country, there were no problems whereas in Nkambe insignias were in short supply. However, the absence of the insignias did not affect the grandeur of the event as the councilors happily received bouquets of flowers and posed for posterity photos with the administration, family and friends.

Blackouts Blight Installation Gala

One of the first challenges Paul Ngabir will face as mayor of the Nkambe council will be to restore the epileptic electricity supply of the town. As if to welcome him into office, blackouts almost disrupted the SDO’s installation speech - a situation that was rescued thanks to a standby generator. The same scenario was witnessed in a gala the council organized to welcome the new executives at the BAPCCUL hall in Nkambe. An inhabitant of Nkambe joked that they are not surprised when there are blackouts in the town – rather, they are often astonished when there is electricity.

Former Mayor ‘imperceptible’

Though present at the installation ceremony of his successor, Mangoh Jones Tanko, the former mayor of the Nkambe council was virtually invisible. Unlike elsewhere where the outgoing mayor poses for a photo with his or her successor, Mangoh neither greeted (in public) nor posed for a photo with his successor, Ngabir Paul Bantar. He had however posed for photos with Mr. Ngabir and his deputies on October 16 as he signed out of the council. Mangoh Jones Tanko headed the Nkambe council for 17years under the banner of the leading opposition party, the Social Democratic Front (SDF) of Ni John Fru Ndi.

Misaje: Mbororos Decry Political Marginalization

(NewsWatch Cameroon)-At the time marginalized ethnic groups like the Mbororos are reportedly making a surge in politics in the Northwest region, those in Misaje sub division of the Donga Mantung Division in the same region have decried marginalization.
According to Mallam Umarou Maluku the National Treasurer of the Muslim Union of Misaje Subdivision (MUMISD), they are not represented on the political map of the subdivision. “Where is the place of the Muslims in the politics of Misaje subdivision - no mayor, no deputy, no party top executive?”
Through a release, the exchequer of MUMISD is calling on the Muslim community of the subdivision to raise their voices as one and fight for what is theirs. “From all indications, the Muslim community has been relegated to the background and condemned to sit at meetings and cheer others as they take decisions that affect everybody without any consultation with the beneficiary community”.
A greater part of the population of the subdivision is made up of Muslims. The previous council executive of Misaje had a Muslim representative as deputy mayor though no Muslim occupied a top position within the CPDM party in the section (Donga Mantung IV-Misaje).
Meantime, a total of 48 Mbororo councilors were elected into some councils in the Northwest region at the September 30, 2013 municipal elections as compared to 26 in 2007 - an overall increase of 84.6%.
According to some, this increase should be attributed to a number of factors particularly increased sensitization on minority, indigenous, civil and political rights by community activists, NGOs and other stakeholders.
Though those in Misaje are decrying the fact that they are not represented in the council executive, they however have councilors in the council. Mbororos are represented in 27 of the 34 councils in the Northwest. They do not have councilors in the following councils in which significant numbers live: Bamenda I & II, Furu-Awah, Benakuma, Ako, Widikum and Babessi.
From a gender standpoint, this indigenous group has witnessed an increase of 500% from 2007. Of the 48 Mbororo councilors elected during the September 30 elections in the Northwest region, five are females as opposed to just one in 2007. Yet, there is only one Mbororo Mayor out of the 360 in Cameroon.
By Ndi Eugene Ndi

‘We are all Saddened by the Passing Away Of Mandela’- SA High Commissioner

(NewsWatch Cameroon)-In a eulogy to the departed freedom fighter, the South African High Commissioner to Cameroon, Her Excellency Zanele Makina described Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela as a gift not just to South Africa but to the African continent and the world as a whole. The South African diplomat said Mandela’s soul would only rest in peace if the living allow his spirit to live in them.
The South African High Commissioner to Cameroon was speaking at the Yaounde conference centre on Wednesday December 11, 2013 during a memorial service organized by the High Commission for the deceased first black president of South Africa, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.
The South African Diplomat said what distinguished Mandela is the fact that he had forgiven those who caused him to suffer unjustly for close to three decades in prison.  “We are all saddened by the passing away of Mandela, our icon”, she said.
The Apostolic Nuncio to Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea who read the Pope’s message to the South African President before delivering a homily prayed that God should grant Madiba eternal rest.
The memorial service was attended by senior state officials, members of government, and members of the diplomatic corps amongst others.
Nelson Mandela died on December 5, 2013 in his residence at the age of 95. Leaders from across the world were present in South Africa to pay their last tributes to the great man although President Paul Biya of Cameroon was conspicuously absent.
By Ndi Eugene Ndi in Yaounde

State Universities: Support Staff Seek Better Working Conditions

(NewsWatch Cameroon)-Members of the coordination committee for follow-up of dialogue between the Ministry of Higher Education and representatives of the support staff of state universities in Cameroon met in their 7th session in Yaounde on Thursday November 21, 2013.
Meeting under the theme “The contribution of support staff to the appropriation of the concept of quality in the university community”, members of the commission centered their deliberations on the amelioration of working and living conditions of the support staff of state universities.
Prof Emmanuel Ngamani, head of the division for the promotion of dialogue and solidarity in universities at the Ministry of Higher Education acknowledged that support staff constitute one of the three components that make up the university institution (others being teachers and students) without whom the university cannot function. Thus, they have to be comfortable with the concepts of quality and efficiency that will move their institutions forward.
Mrs Esther Lisinge, head of the personnel division at the University of Buea told NewsWatch that the university in question has made significant efforts towards facilitating work for them at the institution. However, insufficient finances and the non-training of new recruits are drawbacks to quality and efficiency.
“Many people are recruited into the university with good qualifications but without experience. This draws back the activities of the university”, she said. Another problem she said is that unavailability of finances: “Most support staff lack equipment; secretaries cannot be very efficient without computers, printers, photocopiers and internet access”.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the session, Prof Jacques Fames Ndongo, Minister of Higher Education and Chancellor of Academic Orders said the roles of the support staff of state universities are spelt out in their job description which clarifies their missions and level of responsibilities. He reminded the support staff of state universities that their preoccupations have been integrated into the daily management of university institutions.
It was in 2001 that support staff of State universities started the fight for the improvement of their working conditions. The decree regulating these working conditions was ultimately signed by the president of the republic in 2012.
Representatives of support staff from the universities of Bamenda and Maroua were attending the session for the first time.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Donga Mantung: SDO, MP Condemned for Illegal Use of Police Escort

(NewsWatch Cameroon)-A memorial service observed in memory of the late veteran politician and statesman from the Donga Mantung Division, Hon SN Tamfu is now shrouded in controversy following allegations that the second assistant SDO for the division colluded with Awudu Mbya, the SDF MP for Nkambe to grant the latter privileges he was never entitled to.
Given that he could not be present at the memorial service which took place in late Tamfu’s native Taku village on Sunday December 15, 2013, the SDO for Donga Mantung was represented at the memorial service by the second assistant SDO, Nicholas Mashang Nkongho.
However, it subsequently emerged that while in Taku, the second assistant SDO offered the police vehicle with the siren to escort the Member of Parliament for Nkambe, Hon. Awudu Mbaya Cyprian. The MP who was in Taku for the first time since his election on September 30 reportedly used the vehicle with the siren to parade the village in the company of the second assistant SDO - an act most observers have condemned.
Some of these observers say the second assistant SDO had been militating with the SDF parliamentarian even before his reelection into parliament. A CPDM loyalist from Nkambe who spoke to NewsWatch on grounds of anonymity indicated that the second assistant hid the truth of the havoc wreaked by some thugs that the MP hired during the campaign from the SDO who in most cases sent him (the second assistant) to scenes where the hooligans operated.
Upon being contacted, the SDO for Donga Mantung, Mr. Ndode Messape Bernard told NewsWatch that he did not offer any escort to Hon. Awudu Mbaya to Taku. “But if Hon. Awudu was in the same convoy as my assistant, I think the person who was being escorted was the SDO’s representative and not the MP”, Mr Ndode said. The Donga Mantung chief executive explained that if Hon. Awudu was visiting Taku in his capacity as questor at the National assembly, he would have been given an escort.
A source close to the SDF MP has however refuted allegations that the second assistant SDO offered the MP the escort he was given by his boss. The source insisted that “at no instant did the MP and the second assistant SDO sit in the same car in Taku. Hon Awudu was not even in church; he came only for the reception at the deceased’s residence and the MP and the second assistant SDO came separately”.
By press time, efforts at getting the second assistant SDO react had all proven futile.
By Ndi Eugene Ndi in Yaounde

Gov’t, Civil Society Clamp Down on Indecent Dressing

(NewsWatch Cameroon)-It is very common today especially in most state universities in Cameroon to see students with transparent dresses with most females not putting on brassieres. Some go as far as putting on dresses that exposes certain parts like the breasts, lower belly, waists, buttocks etc.
It is against this backdrop that Churches and civil society organizations in Cameroon have been called to join the government in the fight against indecent dressing prevalent amongst young girls in the country. This call is contained in a release signed by some four members of government in Yaounde on Tuesday November 19, 2013.
The signing of the release was the hallmark of a press conference to launch the National Campaign Against Indecent Dressing jointly granted by the Ministers of Women Empowerment and the Family, Arts and Culture, Communication and the Minister Delegate at the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralization.
During the press conference, the Minister of Women Empowerment and the Family, Prof. Marie Therese Abena Ondoua observed that indecent dressing exposes young girls to dangers such as sexual harassment.
Marie Therese Abena condemned this trend: “You know the role of the girl child in the family - mother of the children. She starts as a young girl and if at her young age she is not well-dressed and well-behaved, how she will be expected to raise a family?” the Minister questioned.
Although some expressed concerns about certain tribes which expose their bodies during dancing, according to Arts and Culture Minister, Ama Tutu Muna, some cultural practices are done within context. She said dress codes have to do with who you are, where you are and even what you are doing.
“You cannot wear a swim suit to a dinner party”, she said. “Pygmies expose their bodies when dancing as part of their tradition. Are you a normal person who lives in town to behave like a pygmy?” She further explained that pygmies are allowed to behave in a certain context the way they are used to, “so there is no problem with his own culture and the way he is living”.
Cameroon has a rich cultural heritage and the Arts and Culture Minister observed that  “at the level of the Ministry of Arts and Culture, when we project some of these cultures, we take into consideration a minimum code for decency and that is why we use certain clothes that are very transparent but hold and cover the body”.
Though some of these cultural practices might seem indecent, Ama Muna went on, “while you are not going to prevent people from acknowledging who they are, you are not going to walk around town like that”.
Communication Minister, Issa Tchiroma Bakary on his part pledged the involvement of all the media houses in Cameroon in the fight.
Rev Agapitu Fon, auxiliary Bishop of the Bamenda Archdiocese says he will not give the sacrament to an indecently dressed Christian. “We don’t want people who are poorly dressed. If you appear dressed like that, we will send you out”.
Nonetheless, Larissa, a 23 years old University of Yaounde II student thinks that by asking young girls to dress modestly, “the old Ministers are simply expressing their jealousy of the young generation”.
Marie-Anabelle Ngono, a cyber café attendant in Ngousso Yaounde on her part says ‘sexy dressing’ is fashionable and she sees no reason why the government should be asking young girls to “dress like women of the 1960s”.
Prof Tafah Edokat, Vice Chancellor of the University of Bamenda says all students who come to school poorly dressed are simply sent back home. “We have instructed our campus police to send back home all students who dress indecently”.
The Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academics at the Catholic University of Bamenda, Prof Paul Nkwi says “Any student that dresses and exposes parts of the body as if that student was going to the night club is simply sent back”. He however holds that dress codes for students should be instituted in higher institutions of learning from day one.
Most of those who dress indecently might however just be ignorant of the legal implications. Jules Doret Ndongo, Minister Delegate at the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralization said indecent dressing is punishable by law.
Article 263 of the Cameroon penal code provides that girls who dress half-naked could face a prison term ranging from two weeks to two years and fines ranging from CFA 20,000-100,000 CFA Frs, if prosecuted and found guilty.
By Ndi Eugene Ndi in Yaounde

Reunification Jubilee: Cameroon Celebrates 50 Years of Bilingual Broadcasting - Bayen

(NewsWatch Cameroon)-Plans to celebrate the reunification jubilee this year are two years behind schedule, notes Franklin Sone Bayen. The journalist, corporate communicator and researcher says:  “What is on schedule to be celebrated this year is 50 years of English language broadcasting on Radio Cameroon/CRTV radio or 50 years of bilingual broadcasting in Cameroon”.
Franklin Sone Bayen
In a release, Mr Bayen holds that this year marks 50 years since 1963 when the first English language broadcasters were recruited into Radio Cameroon Yaounde, following reunification in 1961. Francis Wete (CRTV deputy GM), Paul Mawo, Emmanuel Moudjih (former Radio Cameroon director), Ako Bryant, Sammy Chumfong, David Endeley, Frida Kima, Henry Fossung (retired ambassador), Peps Abia Nche, Neba Fabs and Alice Musa were among those Anglophones first recruited into Radio Cameroon Yaounde through a competitive test in 1963.
“Before their recruitment, Radio Douala (a French World War II propaganda radio created in 1940), Radio Yaounde (created in 1955), Radio Garoua (created in 1958) and, to a certain extent, Radio Buea which existed since 1961 but become fully operational only in 1967, were each broadcasting in only one official language”, writes Bayen.
The arrival of these first Anglophone broadcasters in Yaounde according to Mr Bayen, “marked the beginning of what has become this peculiar simultaneous bilingual broadcasting, with English-speaking and French-speaking broadcasters presenting news and programmes and running live commentaries in both languages without interpretation, to the astonishment and delight of foreign visitors”.
Mr Bayen believes that since private audio-visual outfits have followed suit as regards bilingual broadcasting in Cameroon, “it means this is not all about Radio Cameroon/CRTV; it also means 50 years of bilingual broadcasting in Cameroon in general”.
In view of this somewhat forgotten or neglected anniversary, preparations are underway in collaboration with other competent bodies to organize a Cameroon audio-visual bilingualism fair where audio-visual outfits will showcase Cameroons broadcasting bilingualism. On the sidelines of the fair, academic discussions will be organized. 
In the release, the journalist indicates that in view of the anniversary, he is finalizing two books - 50 Years of Bilingual Broadcasting in Cameroon or 50 Years of Radio Cameroon/CRTV “Reunification” – a historical account plus profiles of some key Anglophone broadcasters and Here is the news read by... – a comparative analysis of the two distinct styles of presenting news in English and French on CRTV radio.
By Ndi Eugene Ndi in Yaounde

CED, Traditional Rulers Militate for Inclusive Land Ownership Reform

(NewsWatch Cameroon)-The National Council of Cameroon Traditional Rulers (CNCTC) and the Centre for Environment and Development (CED) Cameroon, have called on the government to consider customary land rights in the elaboration of the new land reforms.
The call is contained in a memorandum sent to the government by both parties. The memorandum was handed to the Minister of State Property, Surveys and Land Tenure by CNCTC representatives in an audience the former granted officials of the latter in her cabinet on Thursday December 12, 2013 in Yaounde.
The audience was part of activities marking the first edition of the rural land week in Cameroon that was jointly organized by the Centre for Environment and Development and the National council of Cameroon Traditional Rulers.
Among the proposals submitted to government was the revision of the 1974 land tenure ordinance of Cameroon which has become obsolete. For them, going by the 39-year old land law, some cultural practices deprive women and indigenous people from ownership, paving the way for the rich and big multinationals to own greater parcels of land.
In the proposal, CNCTC want land ownership to be equal between men and women. They also want that limits should be placed on the amount of land that can be owned by an individual if the wealthy and influential are to be prevented from totally depriving those who are not so well of. Traditional rulers also want that in each village community, some land parcels should be reserved for community use.
The secretary general of CED, Samuel Nguiffo told the press that land is becoming scarcer in rural areas with several development activities like logging concessions, mining and infrastructural projects coming at a time many communities are eager to have more access to land. Thus, the objective of the organization of the rural land week in Cameroon was to create awareness and stimulate discussion on the importance of the land issue and the need to recognize and promote the land rights of rural communities and their recognition in the new land reforms under elaboration.
The representatives of traditional rulers and CED officials also discussed the proposals with the Network of Parliamentarians for Sustainable Management of Dense and Humid Forest Ecosystems in Central Africa (REPAR).
The hallmark of the rural land week was the organization of a round table conference in Yaounde on Saturday December 14, 2013 with panelists like Prof. Pierre- Etienne Kenfack, law lecturer at the University of Yaoundé II, HRM Mvondo Bruno and Mama Jean Marie traditional rulers and members of the CNCTC and Madam Pa'ah Antoinette of the African Women's Network For Community Forests (REFACOF).
Madam Ndeh Doris of the Bamenda based civil society organization Community Initiative for Sustainable Development (COMINSUD) told NewsWatch that the non-ownership of land by women is a misinterpretation of cultures. “Men have changed cultures to disfavor women”. The activist pointed out that according to the culture and tradition of the North West, women can own but cannot inherit land. “Access rights to land are given to women, not ownership rights”. Thus, in her opinion, only women who are financially able can have access to land.
Prof. Pierre-Etienne Kenfack believes that considering customary land rights in the new land reforms of Cameroon is an obligation. The university don however says, customary rights should not be confused with the powers of a traditional ruler. “Customary laws are rights that a community considers as obligatory and these laws are different from the powers of a traditional ruler”.

‘Land ownership shouldn’t be a blank check’- Fon Chafah

According to HRH Fon Chafah XI of Bangolan in the Northwest region who is also secretary general of the National Council of Cameroon Traditional Rulers (CNCTC), the current land law of Cameroon is discriminatory. He advocated that land ownership should not be a blank check. “Women and minority groups like the pygmies and the Mborroros should own land”.
In Chafah’s opinion, traditional rulers are paying attention to the safeguarding of land rights for the less privileged in Cameroon. The current land law Fon Chafah says, allows the rich to grab land for themselves at the expense of the poor. The reality is that with the 1974 law, traditional rulers play a symbolic rule in the attribution of land though the reality is often different. He wishes that the government should take the proposals of traditional rulers into consideration in the elaboration of the new land reforms.

By Ndi Eugene Ndi in Yaounde

Donga Mantung Centre MPs Call for Reconciliation After Sept. 30

(NewsWatch Cameroon)-The Members of Parliament for Donga Mantung Centre (Ndu and Nkambe), in the North West region of Cameroon, Hon. Ngala Esther and Hon. Awudu Mbaya Cyprian have called on their constituents to bury the differences registered during the September 30, 2013 twin elections and work hand in glove for the interest of all.
SDO (in white) and MPs-Picture from The Eye
In separate receptions for the MPs in Ndu and Nkambe on Saturday December 14, 2013, the political couple that was coming home officially for the first since their election on Sept. 30 told the population that “we have offered ourselves to serve the population of Ndu and Nkambe and if need be, we will die for you”.
According to Hon. Awudu who was reelected Questor at the lower house of parliament, the people of Ndu and Nkambe chose him and Hon. Ngala Esther to be their representatives at the National Assembly for the 9th legislative period. “And we have come back to say thank you”, he added.
They called on those on whose toes they stepped during the campaigns to forgive them and revealed that they had also forgiven those who wronged them before, during and after the elections.
The Donga Mantung Centre representatives at the lower house of parliament called on the four MPs of the division to come together and work as a team for the division to emerge.
Reacting on whether the Donga Mantung Centre, Ndu and Nkambe should be separated, Hon. Awudu indicate he was not opposed to such a proposal but pointed out that it was not by error that President Paul Biya decided that the (wi) Mbum people of  Ndu and Nkambe should remind a united force after carving out Ako-Misaje and Nwa as special constituencies.
“We are hoping that with the coming of the Savannah Region, Ndu, Nkambe, Ako, Misaje and Nwa will all be upgraded into full-fledged Divisions, with Wat, Tabenken and Binka having their own councils”.
Welcoming the MPs earlier at the Ndu grandstand, the mayor of Ndu council Bunyui Emmanuel said the civic reception was a mark of the beginning of a new era in the life of Donga Mantung Centre Constituency. The mayor noted that politics is not meant to antagonize families and friends. He thus called on all the politicians to close ranks and forge ahead for meaningful development given that there is “neither SDF road nor CPDM water”.
Opposite camp reacts to call
Upon being contacted, the mayor of Nkambe council, Ngabir Paul Bantar said the MPs did not invite him to the reception. “I had an invitation from Mr Mangoh Jones Tanko, a notable of Nkambe town to attend the reception of the MPs”, he said. He explained that he was served an invitation that carried neither his name nor his position as mayor by the district chairman of the SDF. “The MP had to invite me in his name; he decided to play down on me. The DO and SDO had invitations signed by the MP himself; the mayor should have as well had his own. I represent an institution, so if I am not recognized, I will not be there”, the mayor said.
The mayor complained that after playing down on him during the reception, they still looked low on him during the opening of gun-firing for the funeral of the Fon of Njap on December 17.
“Though the mayor was not included in the program, the SDO refused to speak unless the mayor welcomed them. That is how the program was adjusted for me to speak there”. The mayor wondered why the MP who is saying he has forgiven all and is calling on them to join hands and work for the development of the municipality should still be engaging in intrigues. “At his reception, he ridiculed me; in Njap he did the same and then calls for reconciliation. The MP and I were the main actors during the campaigns - it is neither the notable who invited me nor the district chairman who has to reconcile us.”
By Ndi Eugene Ndi