By Charlie Ndi Chia
Government is too good in entering into agreements that it will never fulfill. This is the perception of Cameroonians across the board. The perception is fueled partly by government’s inability or guileless resistance to implement laws adopted by a parliament dominated by the ruling party, years and sometimes decades after such laws were promulgated. It is even driven by the fact that at a given point in time, the regime was selectively applying only those sections of the constitution that appealed to its parochial interests.
It is the case with ‘Article 66’ of the 1996 Constitution, which provides for the declaration of assets by appointed officials. So too it is with the decentralization clause that crawled on all fours, at the snail pace of regime barons for over 23 years, but who only started clutching rather frantically to it when separatists and federalist propagators went to town.
Following the Dion Ngute brokered talks, English speaking Cameroonians, at least the moderates, are hanging onto, waiting with baited breath for what may just be a thin thread of hope that Biya would accent to the proposal exempting the two regions from the contraption of what is being touted as accelerated decentralization.
With Biya’s vow that the constitution will stay politically virgin as it were; given the fact that he can singlehandedly accept or throw overboard the dialogue proposals, including the famous Akame Mfoumou special status proposal, public affairs commentators have been suggesting that Cameroon is operating a government of men rather than of laws. In which case the constitution (supreme law of the land) no longer originates with; that it is not controlled by the people.
Whatever the case and as Dr Simon Elvis Munzu noted after the dialogue, the mooted idea of a special status for Anglophones is a good step. Munzu notes further that what would be of ultimate importance is what would eventually be introduced or put into the “special status” maybe by way of a functional clause.