Monday, January 30, 2012

Writer detained, faces up to 50 years in prison

PRESS RELEASE - WiPC/IFEX - 23 January 2012 - The Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC) of PEN International protests the extended detention and ill-treatment of the writer and political activist Enoh Meyomesse by the Cameroonian authorities. Meyomesse has been in detention since his arrest on 22 November 2011, and is charged with robbery and ‘attempting a coup.’ There have been worrying allegations that the evidence against him is fabricated and PEN is seeking more information regarding these claims. In the past two months Meyomesse has been denied proper access to legal representation, and has reportedly been tortured. He will be tried before a military court and faces up to fifty years in prison if found guilty of the charges against him. 
Enoh Meyomesse, 57, is the author of numerous books and is a founding member of the Cameroon Writers Association. He was arrested on 22 November 2011 at Nsimalen International Airport in Yaoundé on the return leg of a trip to Singapore. He was charged, alongside three other men, with 1) attempting to organise a coup 2) possessing a firearm 3) aggravated theft. Meyomesse denies all charges and maintains that he is being held because of views expressed in his writings, and for his political activism. 
The day after his arrest, Meyomesse was sent to a prison in Bertoua (Eastern Province), where he was held in solitary confinement - and complete darkness - for thirty days. During this time, the writer was denied access to a lawyer; he also says that he was tortured. On 22 December 2011, Meyomesse was moved to the over-crowded Kondengui Central Prison in Yaoundé, where he is still being held. 
On 12 January 2012, the military court issued Meyomesse with a warrant that will keep him detained in harsh prison conditions for the next 6 months as the government conducts its investigation, with the possible of an extension for a further 6 months. His lawyer has told press that he has been denied the full details of the charges against his client. A date for the next hearing has not been set. 
There are reports that the prosecution has fabricated evidence, but, due to a lack of further information, PEN International is unable to take a position on the charges against Meyomesse at this time. However, we are extremely concerned by his harsh treatment, and by the Cameroonian authorities’ unwillingness to allow Meyomesse fair conditions in which to mount a proper defence in an open court. 
We believe that in its ill-treatment of Meyomesse, Cameroon is in breach of its obligations under the UN Convention Against Torture, and also of its obligations under Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). By denying Meyomesse access to a lawyer for a month, Cameroon also breached its obligations under Articles 9 and 14 of the ICCPR. 

BACKGROUND:
Meyomesse is a writer and politician. He has published more than 15 books, including novels, essays and works on political and cultural themes. His first book was a collection of poems. In 2010, he published Le massacre de Messa en 1955 (The Massacre of Messa in 1955) and the tract Discours sur le tribalisme (A Discussion on Tribalism), in which he discusses the destructive effects of tribalism in African politics. Meyomesse attempted to run as a presidential candidate in the election on 9 October 2011, but was denied registration. His passport was seized in January 2011 while trying to leave Cameroon to report on the political stand-off in Cote d’Ivoire. 
Cameroon has a poor record on human rights generally and on freedom of expression particularly. 
In 2010, the US ambassador to Cameroon, Robert Jackson, publicly drew attention to the country’s human rights problems: 
‘Human rights abuses….killings and other abuses by security forces, harsh and life-threatening prison conditions, and arbitrary arrest and detention of citizens, including local human rights monitors and activists….incidents of prolonged and sometimes incommunicado pretrial detention…government restricted freedoms of speech, assembly, and association…’ 
Amnesty International has also criticised the prison system in Cameroon for its over-crowding and life-threatening conditions. 

PLEASE SEND APPEALS:
· Calling for Meyomesse to receive a fair and open trial in a civilian court; 
· Expressing serious concern that Meyomesse has been denied proper access to a lawyer, and that his lawyer has been denied access to the full facts of the charges against his client, breaching Cameroon’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; 
· Condemning the reported torture of Meyomesse and the harsh conditions in which he is being held. 
Write to: 
President 
President Paul Biya 
Fax: +237 22 22 08 70 
Messages may also be sent via the Presidency’s website: http://www.prc.cm/index_fr.php?link=messenger/write_pr 
Minister of Justice 
Hon. Minister of Justice Amadou Ali 
Ministry of Justice 
Yaoundé 
Cameroon 
Fax: +237 22 23 00 05 
Prime Minister 
Mr. Philemon Yang, Prime Minister 
Fax: +237 22 23 57 35 
Email: spm@spm.gov.cm 
Please copy appeals to the diplomatic representative for Cameroon in your country if possible. Details of some Cameroonian embassies can be seen here: http://embassy.goabroad.com/embassies-of/cameroon 
***Please send appeals immediately. Check with PEN International if sending appeals after 24 March 2012***
Write to: 
President 
President Paul Biya 
Fax: +237 22 22 08 70 
Messages may also be sent via the Presidency’s website: http://www.prc.cm/index_fr.php?link=messenger/write_pr 
Minister of Justice 
Hon. Minister of Justice Amadou Ali 
Ministry of Justice 
Yaoundé 
Cameroon 
Fax: +237 22 23 00 05 
Prime Minister 
Mr. Philemon Yang, Prime Minister 
Fax: +237 22 23 57 35 
Email: spm@spm.gov.cm 
Please copy appeals to the diplomatic representative for Cameroon in your country if possible. Details of some Cameroonian embassies can be seen here: http://embassy.goabroad.com/embassies-of/cameroon 
***Please send appeals immediately. Check with PEN International if sending appeals after 24 March 2012*** 
SOURCE:
Brownlow House 
50-51 High Holborn 
London WC1V 6ER 
United Kingdom 
wipc (@) pen-international.org 
Phone: +44 20 74050338 
Fax: +44 20 74050339




©2011 The Vanguard Cameroon, Bamenda. A publication of Media World. All rights reserved.  All are welcome to comment. Leave a comment, speak your mind and take part in any discussion. As exchange of ideas and debates between opinions are fundamental for our democracy. And will push Cameroon forward. Comments with racist, homophobic, sexist, hateful, extreme Christian or extreme Islamic content will be removed. Leave the CAPS-LOCK off, no reason to SHOUT.

Monday, January 23, 2012

“The People of Mezam are being cheated,” Hon. Fobi


Cameroon - By Chifu Edward - Hon Fobi Simon, vice chair of the Finance committee of the National Assembly, has decried the alarming incongruity in the allocation of parliamentary seats in Cameroon. If a parliamentarian is entitled to about one thousand people, Bamenda with over six hundred thousand people warrants at least six parliamentarians. Unfortunately, he is alone in Bamenda made up four sub divisions.


The MP decried the injustice during a New Year feast he organized at his Ghana street residence in Bamenda to congratulate the chairpersons of the Social Democratic Front for a job well done and in recognition of their efforts which they have put in during the last 21years. Ward chairpersons are the work horses of the party.
The MP attributed the growth of the party to the relentless efforts of the ward chair persons. It is on this premise that “The future of the party still depends on the strength of the work horses –ward chair persons. The stronger the work horses the more the achievements for tomorrow. We must encourage them, congratulate them and focus them towards tomorrow,” he insisted.
He expressed optimism that 2012 will be a very good year for the party. “We must begin it with a lot of optimism,” said he, but warned that militants should be ready for action given the continuous scheme by the ruling party to twist election records via its rigging machinery ELECAM
“They will not get away with it this time,” he warned. “Either ELECAM will shape up or it will shape out. We will not accept the mess they did last year. They are beginning with ELECAM with the same language they used last year before the presidential, which is not acceptable. Our forces must be focused this 2012 on our adversary who doesn’t seem to do justice to Cameroonian people.” While wishing militants of the party a more prosperous and fulfilling year, he lamented that his means are limited given the large number of people placed at his mercy by the state.
It was on this note that he lamented Mezam is being cheated in the allocation of parliamentary seats. He said the constituency needs a maximum of six parliamentarians. He argued that there is an injustice. He opined that the legislative map should be redistributed this year. It must be corrected. The population of Mezam estimated at over six hundred thousand is too much for a single parliamentarian. Otherwise, the people of Mezam are being cheated. “It is a shame, and we cannot continue like that. We must ask for the number of parliamentary seats that are commensurate with number of people,” Fobi advocated.
On the industrial zone, he said 2 billion has been allocated for its creation. He said they are pushing for it to see the light of day. He said it is time for them to sing their song of the party ward chair person because “If SDF is what it is today, it is thanks to the ward chairpersons”. They are those consolidating the grassroot base of the party. It is for this reason that the MP disclosed that micro-project grants of this year will be given to the Ward chairpersons to empower them. The funds will be used on logistics and equipping of their offices to give a new face to the party structures. Feasting and dining characterized activities of the day.
The acting provincial chairman of the party Hon Njong Everistus hailed  Hon Fobi for the initiative which would go a long way to galvanizing party structures. He represented the National Chairnan, John Fru Ndi, who was unavoidably absent.
In attendance was the Government Delegate to Bamenda City Council and the Divisional Officer of Bamenda III sub Division. He also lauded efforts being made by the MP to unite the people and preaching peace and love.


©2011 The Vanguard Cameroon, Bamenda. A publication of Media World. All rights reserved.  All are welcome to comment. Leave a comment, speak your mind and take part in any discussion. As exchange of ideas and debates between opinions are fundamental for our democracy. And will push Cameroon forward. Comments with racist, homophobic, sexist, hateful, extreme Christian or extreme Islamic content will be removed. Leave the CAPS-LOCK off, no reason to SHOUT.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Mayor Shoots D.O. with Bunches of Keys during the Evaluation Meeting

Cameroon - Bamenda - The immediate cause of the abortive fight allegedly emanated when the Secretary of State complained that CFA 500.000 contributed by the Mayor for the campaign was small. The Mayor in reaction questioned the source of the money spent on the campaign. 
According to eye witness accounts the Minister gave figures on how the campaign money was spent. The Mayor questioned the source and the exact amount. It was then that the Minister disclosed that about CFA 12.000.000 millions was allocated for Misaje section. In this regard, the Minister sidelined the Mayor in the management of the CFA 12.000.000. 
This Minister in an attempt to humiliate the Mayor met with furious reaction from the Mayor, who faced the DO of Misaje for fanning the rancour between him and the Minister. He reported shot the DO with a bunch of keys and made advances to fight but was held back.
It should be recalled that the Minister had over the years indicted the population of his village Chungwe and increased that of Kamane, the Mayor’s village, to attract more development projects.
Apart from false accusations and empty pride the Sec. of State’s adversaries have hinted that he is discriminatory in the distribution of political fallouts of the population’s adherence to the CPDM.
Of recent the population of Misaje, the Mayor inclusive, has complained bitterly about the staffing of the Misaje communication centre. Four of the main staff of the structure hail from the Minister’s village. It is apparently on this note and others that the Fon of Ayaba, Cyprain Njong, attacked the Minister last year, shortly after the November 6 celebration in Misaje. 
The Fon complained that the Minister caused him to sign forms and documents from the Ministry of Culture intended to rehabilitate his palace but later on erased his name and inserted that of his village, Chunghe, to enable his Fon reap the harvest when his own village Nfume gave the CPDM 100% at 2007 legislative and municipal elections.
The discriminatory attitude of the Minister was cause to light during the Head Of State visits to Bamenda. According to the source, the Secretary of State used his position as the organizing Secretary to reportedly sideline most Fons of Ndu and Nkambe central in the allocation of seats in the grand stand. Most big Fons of these two sub divisions did not have seats while small chiefs, and even sub chiefs, had places in the grand stand. 
The differences between the Mayor and Secretary of State are reportedly affecting the CPDM party. The Vanguard gathered that CPDM would not have won the presidential election if much money was not used to buy votes. Poorly executed contracts by the Secretary of State’s Company.


©2011 The Vanguard Cameroon, Bamenda. A publication of Media World. All rights reserved.  All are welcome to comment. Leave a comment, speak your mind and take part in any discussion. As exchange of ideas and debates between opinions are fundamental for our democracy. And will push Cameroon forward. Comments with racist, homophobic, sexist, hateful, extreme Christian or extreme Islamic content will be removed. Leave the CAPS-LOCK off, no reason to SHOUT.

Sec. of State Gentry at Daggers Drawn with Misaje Mayor


Cameroon - Nkambe - The battle lines have been drawn as he is poised to replace Mayor Nkenda Simon with Sammy Gwatta, current municipal treasurer of Nkambe council.

The misunderstanding between the Mayor of Misaje, Kenda Simon, and the Secretary of Mines and Techological Development, Fuh Calistus Gentry, is on the verge of explosion.
Glimpses of a fierce battle between the two, who both belong to the ruling  CPDM, were seen during an evaluation meeting held shortly after celebrations marking the 29th anniversary of Biya’s accession to power.
Although the immediate cause of the exchange of bitter words and abortive attempts to exchange blows both between the Mayor, the DO, and Minister emanated from the contribution and management of campaigns funds, the rancour between  Minister and Mayor started years back when the section president Alaji Magaji Misaje died.
This Minister reportedly wanted one retired Head Master to become section president but the Mayor objected on grounds that he was an intellectual dwarf.
The Mayor Kencha insisted on Sammy Nkwata to become the section president. Just like Zacheus Forjindam wanted one intellectual Lilliputian to replace John B. Ndeh in the 2007 reorganisation of Santa CPDM Section (Mezam I) for obvious political manipulation in the long run, so was the case of Misaje. Kenda succeeded in securing the position of the section president for Sammy Nkwanta, much against the will of the secretary of state.
Shortly after his investiture the Minister invited Sammy to Yaoundé, where he is alleged to have promised him the juicy post of Mayor. Since then, both individuals have been suspicious of each other and their conviviality in political meetings considered cosmetic.




©2011 The Vanguard Cameroon, Bamenda. A publication of Media World. All rights reserved.  All are welcome to comment. Leave a comment, speak your mind and take part in any discussion. As exchange of ideas and debates between opinions are fundamental for our democracy. And will push Cameroon forward. Comments with racist, homophobic, sexist, hateful, extreme Christian or extreme Islamic content will be removed. Leave the CAPS-LOCK off, no reason to SHOUT.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Pressure on Biya again to rebury Ahmadou in Cameroon

Cameroon - The first president of Cameroon, Amadou Ahidjo, died in 1989.This November marked 22nd anniversary of his death. The pressure to rebury the former statesman puts the present leader, Paul Biya a headache at the time he badly needs the support of the Northerners to ensure peace.

Ever since, attempts at negotiating the return of his remains from Senegal, where he died, have not worked out. The former president’s family has continuously blame the man he handpicked to succeed him – President Paul Biya - for the non return of his corpse from Senegal fort reburial in Cameroon.
A source has hinted the Vanguard that Biya is under heat as the circumstances that led to his self-exile and final death in Senegal had some miseries.
According to our source, the late president’s son, Mr. Mohamadou Badjika Ahidjo holds that “it is government which must take the initiative to repatriate the remains of the former president, and we are available as a family to collaborate in the effort. I think the initiative should come from the state.”
The widow, Mrs. Germaine Ahidjo, reportedly lamented that President Biya does not think so. It should be recalled that in a 2007 interview granted in France, Biya declared: “The problem of the repatriation of the remains of the former president is, according to me, a family one.”
He continued that: “If the family of my predecessor decides to transfer the remains of President Ahidjo, it is a decision that depends only on them. I don’t have any objection or observation to make.”

This hope of a pleasant end to the saga was rekindled on March 30, 2008 when President Ahidjo’s friend and former Benin leader Emile Zinzou paid Biya a visit.





©2011 The Vanguard Cameroon, Bamenda. A publication of Media World. All rights reserved.  All are welcome to comment. Leave a comment, speak your mind and take part in any discussion. As exchange of ideas and debates between opinions are fundamental for our democracy. And will push Cameroon forward. Comments with racist, homophobic, sexist, hateful, extreme Christian or extreme Islamic content will be removed. Leave the CAPS-LOCK off, no reason to SHOUT.