Political Sorcerers at it again!

While the drama panned out last week in the Senate, one particular issue reared its ugly head very succinctly. It is the fact that schooling has not in any way influenced the way Cameroonians behave when exposed to power and its perks. Indeed, the saying that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely cannot be truer for any country than Cameroon.
If this were not the case, how then do we explain the correlation between the fact that Biya’s tenure as head of state is direct antithesis to that of Ahmadou Ahidjo who never had the luxury of sophisticated education. With a degree in Law and post graduate certificate in political science, Biya is not very likely to be envied by the bikers who run commentaries at newspaper kiosks. See the drama that he caused in the senate, an issue that belies the eggheads that throng our universities and corridors of power. What a shame!
Correlated to the above is the combined comedy and tragedy that unfolded at the Conference Centre in Yaounde, last Wednesday. The denouement of the drama has established the belief that our pinnacle law making institution is a repository for spoiled regime faggots. From its conceptualisation by the architects of the 1996 Owona constitution, the wellbeing of Cameroonians was not on its framework. And, it is now clearly playing out.
That a simple fact like the incompatibility inherent in being a Senator simultaneously with Board Chair of a Para-public Corporation should become rocket science that arcane standing orders have to be invoked despite unambiguous provision by the Electoral Code bespeaks the levity that the Biya regime brings to bear on governance. Indeed, the common denominator of this action is that Biya is in charge and whoever is dissatisfied with his misrule may as well go to hell. If one may ask; which comes first, the Electoral Code or the standing orders of the Senate? What this means is that such incompatibility ought not to have arisen ab initio, if the President had been pre-empted from spewing such anomalies.
Even the coming into being of the overhyped Constitutional Council fails woefully to douse the reserve of many Cameroonians in respect of establishing the legality of the presence of Board Chairpersons and traditional rulers at the Senate. Interestingly, some of the offending Senators are lawyers by training. But, the law creating the Constitutional Council clearly states that it cannot on its own delve into the constitutionality of issues. It must be seized by either the President of the Republic, President of the Senate, National Assembly or two thirds of either house. Knowing the CPDM for its party discipline credo, is there any chance of its majority Senators shooting themselves on their legs by supporting the ouster of their colleagues?
For once, the effect of new blood and genuine representation was about being felt. Oh yes, people who had been genuinely elected into the Senate unlike those who represented the SDF during the last mandate when the CPDM treated the foremost opposition party in the country like an orphaned child that had to be accorded pity at all cost. Yes, Barrister Henry Kemende, now Senator, who had walked the talk by resigning as ELECAM boss for Ngoketunja Division owing to that position’s incompatibility with his legal practice, introduced a point of order and delved into the incompatibility issue and the possibility that the lady who purported to be the youngest senator may have just been benefiting from absence of due diligence in the conduct of business at the Senate. His axe fell ruthlessly on Senator V.E. Mukete’s head. Charles Salè, Board chairperson of Gynaeco-obstetric Hospital and Rene Ze Nguele, Board Chair of Institute of Research for Agricultural Development, IRAD, are also, senators, appointed last April by Presidential decree.
On this score, a flustered Centenarian, Nfon Victor Mukete was only bailed out of public opprobrium by Pierre Flambeau Ngayap the sharp-witted UNDP appointed Senator. Indeed, the standing orders of the Senate allow aspirants to sit as Senators before commissions are formed to put their eligibility under scrutiny. Imagine the disgrace in sitting there only to be told upon scrutiny that you are persona non grata and by that token must make an unceremonious exit! Imagine the Herculean task for a man of 100 years to engage in a volte face barely a few months after he had made it known in an interview with Jeune Afrique Magazine that federalism is the most appropriate solution to Cameroon’s current socio-political malaise!
That President Paul Biya had to reappoint Nfon Mukete as Senator is in itself a hallmark of spitefulness to the people of the Southwest Region. What this means is that not even one of the centenarian’s eminently qualified sons was fit to replace him as Senator, talk less of other burgeoning politicians and technocrats from the Region at his beck and call, whose vibrancy undergirded by youthfulness would have been more resourceful to the country. If the President must gratify Senator V. E. Mukete, is the Chair of CAMTEL not enough compensation for him to sit back and enjoy a deserved retirement?
With all due respect, Nfon Mukete represents more than that to Southern Cameroonians.
Although Senator Flambeau Ngayap succeeded in reinstating Nfon Mukete through some technical gibberish, the damage has been done. Three issues have been brought to the fore including the fact that the hand-picked SDF Senators from Adamawa and the West Region of the last mandate were either incompetent and by that token failed to come to grips with the incompatibility clause or they actually perceived it but refused to rock a boat whose owner’s benevolence had raised them from ordinary scums of society to the coveted positions of Senators. Secondly, it signifies the emergence of parliamentary debate at the level of the Senate. Unlike the last mandate when unqualified Senators were foisted on the SDF for political expediency, this time there are two eminent Barristers, meaning the days of business as usual are in the mortuary, heading for the grave yard.
Thirdly, as earlier mentioned, it has exposed the sloppiness that underpins the administrative machinery of the Senate. How come it that it is to a commission constituted by would be Senators whose mandates are still pending validation that credentials of elected and appointed Senators are tabled for scrutiny? The proverbial case of referee and player at the same time one would say. Knowing the system for its “come and see American wonder” modus operandi, anything can crop up after the concerned persons would have already sat in the Senate. The issue of the lady who was the youngest Senator during the last mandate and was assumed to be so this time around without prior verification confirms the skewed approach to Government business in Cameroon.
By Ngoko Monyadowa

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