President Paul Biya, some have claimed is a man of rigor and moralization. He is widely believed to have set the course for what is now the fight against corruption in Cameroon. He was heard saying recently that “During this hard times that we live, the large and long work of national construction involves the rigorous management and perseverance vis-à-vis the maneuvering force of demoralization, demobilization or destabilization”.
On the 31st of December, 2005, in his message to the nation, the Head of State, in a firm tone said, “the diversion of public funds to the detriment of the Cameroonian people. I would say today, very solemnly, has to stop.” In September 2007, in a press release made by the Cabinet, as in many other speeches, the Cameroonian Chief Executive reaffirmed his determination to fight every form of evil which prevents Cameroon from emerging as a great nation. He observed that “misappropriation of public funds, in whatever form, is a crime against the people deprived of the resources that belong to them. Such individuals must, therefore, be punished with the greatest severity.”
Correspondingly, Law No. 2001/028 of December 14th, 2011 created the Special Criminal Court. It was followed by Decree No. 2013/288 of September the 4th, 2013 that set the part for the return of stolen money from the state coffers. However, on December the 23rd, 2015, in response to recent accusations of corruption made by Transparency International, Issa Bakary Tchiroma Cameroon’s Communications Minister and Government Spokesman revealed that, “to date, there are at the Special Criminal Court, 129 files forwarded to the Specialized Corps of the judicial police; 115 cases entered, 123 indictments; 146 sentences of imprisonment with fines and court costs; 40 non-places visited; 78 acquittals; 41 decisions pending with over three billion CFA francs in refund as corpus delicti including almost 30 billion Swiss francs pronounced for damages suffered by the state.”
Interestingly, before the creation of the Special Criminal Court, the ruling CPDM regime had CONAC, (National Anti-Corruption Commission), whose president was reportedly involved in numerous financial scandals. The Biya regime also had ANIF (National Financial Investigation Agency), whose members lived a princely lifestyle at the expense of the Cameroonian taxpayer. All in all, the CPDM had CONSUPE (Higher State Control), and the Council of Budgetary and Financial Discipline (CDBF) both habouring fraudsters and looters.
Biya’s 32 years in power have seen castles, spectacular scientific complexes, villas and many 5 star duplexes belonging to highly placed CPDM officials and members of government springing up in Cameroonian cities, without their owners being asked about the origin of their fortune. Who now is fooling who here? We of this publication believe and fervently too, that Minister Issa Tchiroma needs rest.
Soter Tarh Agbaw Ebai
Editor In Chief
Cameroon Intelligence Report