Thursday, August 27, 2015

Comfort Mussa To Drag CAMASEJ To Court If…

Kumba, Cameroon—The August 22 general assembly of the Cameroon Association of English Speaking Journalists, CAMASEJ, which sought to pick a new leader for the union is now history. Yet, memories of the Kumba get-together still resonate fresh in the minds of journalists and observers of the profession who were in the “green city.”
Apart from the elections in which CRTV’s Simon Lyonga, beat MediaPeople Newspaper publisher, Franklin Sone Bayen to the helm of the association, a peeved erstwhile CAMASEJ Bamenda chapter president, Comfort Mussa, addressed the assembly following what she described as libelous and defamatory allegations against her personality.
A CAMASEJ handbook distributed to members at the meeting, a report on the Bamenda chapter of the association where Mussa served as president after the tenures of Choves Loh and Tanteh Vitalis, suggested that her leadership was poor.
 “Musa’s reign was even more unstable than that of Tanteh Vitalis and she was best described as an absentee landlady in the worst sense of the word,” the report claimed
“No one seemed to know where she was and there was practically no communication between her and the other members of her executive”
“These statements are not true; the report is libelous and defamatory. Any time I was absent from a meeting, it was either because I was on assignment out of Bamenda or out of the country, in which ever case I have always obtained permission,” Mussa fired back.
The moderator of the Kumba gathering and former union public relations officer, Moki Charles Linonge, who openly apologized on behalf of the association said the contested report was written by the Bamenda chapter.
“We apologize for the prejudice the article has caused. But one thing is certain, the article came from Bamenda.”
The editorial team of the publication did not disclose who inserted the paragraph, but promised to trace through the mails they received during compilation of material for the publication.
The author of the said chapter Choves Loh, said the article he submitted did not include the paragraph containing the ‘libelous’ allegations against Mussa. The out gone national vice president of CAMASEJ claimed the paragraph was inserted by someone else.
While CAMASEJ promised to correct the remaining three-quarters of the unprinted copies, members who had already received the about 100 copies were advised to tear off pages 19 and 20 where the ‘libelous and defamatory’ report was found.
However, after expressing her fury at the general assembly, Mussa briefed her lawyers in Bamenda who are determined to see the matter settled in court, we learnt. Sources say Mussa’s lawyers would be considering an amicable settlement and would only file a law suit against CAMASEJ for libel if the out of court settlement fails.
“Am yet to know who did,” Mussa told this reporter in a phone conversation Thursday.
Mussa, a journalist and gender activist, has won several international awards.
The “CAMASEJ handbook wahala” came barely minutes after the association named her runner up in the online reporting category of its career awards. She runs a news portal, ( and reports for the Global Press Institute. Eugene Nforngwa, publisher of The Standard Tribune ( grabbed the first prize. Dibussi Tande publisher of was third.
By Ndi Eugene Ndi, just back from Kumba.

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