Friday, October 1, 2010

When you are in Kondengui, you don’t sleep

By Ndi Eugene Ndi - The Administrator of Cameroon’s maximum security prison in Kodengui Yaoundé, General Nkemanda Lebule Francis was recently promoted to head the Regional Delegation for Penitentiary Administration in the South West Region. His departure from this dreaded area created waves of distress among inmates who had held this gentleman in very high esteem. He acknowledged that when you head this place you hardly sleep.

“Papa is going, papa is going…” were echoes heard from a crowd of prison guards at the Kondengui Central Prison in Yaoundé last Friday September 3, 2010 during the installation ceremony of the new Administrator of the prison. Inside the prison the cry was not different as inmates sang the same song like the prison guards. An inmate accosted by this reporter who craved anonymity said he doubts whether they would have any other administrator like Nkemanda Lebule Francis.

Presiding at the ceremony that took place at the esplanade of the Kondengui Central Prison, the Regional Delegate for Penitentiary Administration for the Centre, Tekam Joseph, appreciated the outgoing Superintendent for his services rendered to the prison for the past three years that he has served there in his capacity as Administrator.

You don’t sleep
The Regional Delegate noted that Nkemanda Lebule Francis was a serious and hard working prison administrator “that we are going to be missing, I hope his successor will also be like him” the regional delegate cautioned. Like the delegate, a subordinate of the out gone Administrator reaffirmed that we hope the new man is going to be down-to-earth like Nkemanda “without which I will just look for my transfer from this prison” the inspector of prisons said. To the out gone Administrator, who has now assumed the duties of the Regional Delegate for Penitentiary Administration for the South West region, he will remember Kondengui for several things prominent amongst which will be the fact that when you are in Kondengui, you don’t sleep.

The smile on Nkemanda’s face could tell how happy he was leaving the Kondengui prison after three years of relentless services and to him “I am very satisfied” he told reporters.

Foot pints left in the prison
Satisfied, he said, for he has left his foot prints in the prison. As colleagues and inmates would be missing him, the man who will not want to see any thing go wrong will be remembered as having created a library, his down-to-earth manner of treating inmates, his efforts at educating inmates, the respect of human rights in the prison, the judicious use of prison equipment amongst others. General Nkemanda Lebule Francis handed over the command baton of the Kondengui Central Prison to Senior Administrator of Prisons, forty-nine years old Tiwa Jonas.

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