Cameroon’s former minister of water and energy Dr. Basi,Atanaga Kouna has finally left the country in a move which rattles anti-corruption campaigners and rubbishes the country’s security operations
Minister Basil Atanga Kouna is said to have flee to Canada despite massive hunt for the minister on multiple counts of embezzlement of public funds from his reign as former Director General of SNEC (from 2002 to 2011) to when he took over as the minister of water and energy from 2011 till March 2 2018.
Sacked in March 2 cabinet shakeup, the embattled minister who oversaw the operations of the juicy ministry for water and energy for many years and supervised numerous giant projects in the energy sector alongside the privatization of SNEC when he was DG has been caught in a web of multiple corruption charges alongside some close collobaroators.
Soon after he was sacked, news came in on the arrests of former CAMWATER boss Jean William Sollo who replaced him as DG of CAMWATER amidst heighten charges of corruption which trails all former DGs of the company including Alphonse Roger Ondoa Akoa who spent only 21 months at the helm. The mister was reportedly in hiding as security forces scramble to get hold of him to answer to charges at the special criminal court in Yaoundé.
News of him beating security forces and leaving the country has raise questions about how committed the government really is to fight corruption is ranked in the top spot of corruption index in the world
Minister Basile Atnaga Kouna was banned from leaving the country since Thursday 8th March, just six days after his firing from the ministry he is being accused of stolen state money from.
Ever since he was prohibited from leaving the country so that he can make himself available to answer to charges against him, the minister went missing amidst massive manhunt. The wife is said to have told security officers days earlier that he had travelled to sea side town of Kribi even though his whereabouts could not be traced in that town when security forces stormed the town
But it is news of his planned escape which has shocked many and filed the newspapers stands. How on earth DR. Basile left the country with a travel ban hanging over his head is a massive question for the country’s security forces and administrators.
Minister Basile is not the first former minister to have left the country in similar circumstance. Former Finance and agriculture minister Esimi Menye also left the country while being investigated for embezzlement charges on the fake basis that he was sick and presently takes residence in the United States over 5 years ago. Many other top government officials have been incarcerated after leaving office including former Prime Minister Ephraim Inoni and a host of former ministers and directors of state corporations
National Dialogue: The world applauds, SDF and Kah Wallah table “must-do-list”
As Yaoundé receives applause and standing ovation from diplomatic circles at home and abroad following the much-awaited dialogue announced for the end of September by President Biya, the country’s prime minister charged with ensuring the success of the dialogue has begun holding consultations with stakeholders and political leaders to set the stage for the historic rendez-vous
While the UN, the commonwealth, La Francophonie and AU have all embraced the move many now consider a diplomatic win for the 86 years old, the country’s chief opposition party, the SDF is saying not too fast
In a late nights press release issued barely hours after their meeting with Premier Dion Ngute on September 12th 2019 at the star building, the opposition party outlined six major demands for a successful dialogue.
According to the press release signed by the party’s first Vice President MP. Joshua Osih, the planned dialogue must be chaired by a neutral person, involves a third party including the US, UK and Germany, exclude the countries army and be ready to discuss the form of the state amongst other demands
The two page press release comes barely hours after another striking communique issued by opposition leader and activists Edith Kah Wallah
The former SDF scribe in a communique of her own had cautioned the government earlier to be open and ready to discuss the form of the state in a declaration which mirrors that of her former party.
North West boils, South West observes as lockdown rubbishes back to school campaign
Though a “Ghost Town Day”, a form of civil disobedience, the major towns in Southern Cameroons vibrated to the rhythms of gunshots. School resumption throughout the national territory was a success except for the two restive regions. While some areas recorded dozens, like Nkambe, others barely had all teachers complete, talk less of the pupils and students.
The chief town of the North West region was at the center of attacks and barricades mounted early Monday, September 2, 2019. As a measure to prevent children from going to school, fighters had declared lockdown beginning this Monday.
At Travelers, a pro-independence stronghold from day one of the current conflict, barricades were mounted to stop circulation.
Meta quarters, Azire New Church, Travelers, Old Town, Commercial Avenue, Bambili, Bambui, T-Junction, Foncha Street and other major joints were deserted as gunshots took over the town.
An Ambulance belonging to the St. Blaise Catholic Hospital of the Bamenda Archdioceses was attacked but the driver succeeded to escape. Bullet marks could still be seen on the left side of the vehicle.
Ayaba Hotel and others shut down completely.
Few students were seen at Government Bilingual High School Bamendakwe, located at Up station.
Hosting one of the biggest military bases, Nkambe, the chief town of Donga Mantung Division, was decorated with colors of various school uniforms. Schools were effective in Nkambe central town as combat-ready soldiers were seen parading streets. Some were even spotted on Assembly ground.
Since the conflict started, the strategic military position of Nkambe has been a thorn in the flesh of separatist fighters.
Nature prevented dozens from resuming classes on Monday, September 2, 2019, after downpour left many stranded. Limbe town has witnessed little or no attacks from the fighters except Mile 4, the outskirts of Limbe which have frequently been visited by the armed separatist fighters.
Equinoxe Television reported that the town was deserted but some few teachers managed to come to school at GBHS Station where 6 answered present, with only 17 students. Gs and GBHS Mambanda, according to Equinoxe, has few pupils and students. Other areas were empty.
The SDO for Meme division made a tour around schools in his jurisdiction and vowed that he will crush Ambazonia fighters. He placed his head as a bet, that the fighters will only kill him first before stopping school resumption.
Kumbo in Bui division was transformed into a battleground as locals remained indoors. Separatist fighters measure war equipment with the regular army. A military helicopter was later seen flying over Kumbo to an unknown destination.
The respect of Monday ‘s call for non-resumption by Separatist fighters was not well diluted by the Buea Mayor, Patrick Ekema Esunge who rallied Council Police to destroy business places in Mile 17 Buea. Call Boxes were overturned, shops sealed while windows were shattered. But lockdown was largely respected in the town
Regular army in Mutengene has been moving to sensitize the population on the importance of sending their children to school. Sources have hinted CNA that the military will move down to Mutenge and other areas in civilian attires to force children to school.
Ambazonia fighters blocked the road leading to Batibo, firing shots in the air as a warning, reminding locals of no school resumption. A source tells CNA, “There is 100% no resumption of schools both at primary and secondary school here, streets remain blocked. Only community schools have begun since Monday 26/08/19.”
Back to school campaign gains momentum but…
Back to school campaign publicized by the government has gained momentum in recent days as pupils and students across the national triangle prepare for 2019/2020 school year
In a strange campaign where government ministers and senior state functionaries have taken center stage to make it a pivot of their political ambitions, many are still skeptical if school will effectively resume in North West and South West regions of the country.
The conflict riddled regions have seen historic school boycott in post independence history as separatists insist on ending the war before kids can go to school despite calls from activists.
pressure from home and abroad for government to dialogue with the leaders of the now armed Ambazonia leadership has failed to resonate across Yaounde as government insist on solving the crisis on the battle field.
The hopes which were raised sky-high by newly appointed premier Dion Ngute during his first official trip to the regions were quickly dashed as cracks emerge within his own government with some ministers challenging his strategy, roadmap and tactics, saying the government cannot discuss the “form of the state” despite the premier’s insistence that Biya was Willing to dialogue on any topic excerpt secession.
The life sentencing of Sessikou Ayuk and 10 others on the dawn of back to school has caused further chaos , provoking hardliners who now say no school until the war is over and government comes to a dialogue table.
They have rolled out a series of lockdown calendar to frustrate back to school efforts are warned all media houses from spreading back to school campaign in a new twists of events
For a government which insist it won’t put itself a-par with separatists by engaging in much talked about dialogue, the back to school future could never have been darker I’m the three years conflict which has killed thousands, displaced hundreds of thousands and leaves entire villages deserted
Many accuse politicians of stage managing back to school campaigns for political reasons, insist they send their children to school in the crisis hit regions and task them to move around without heavily armed guards if they say the environment is conducive.
As the clock winds down, the state and separatists are preaching safely and threats at the same breath, with viral but opposing social media back to school campaign on the other move as the people on ground zero continue to whatch their kids stay home for the third year in a row
Politics indeed has failed them from both sides of the divide
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