Cameroon: Parliamentarians adopt Controversial new Penal Code with "bizarre English translations "

MPs have just adopted the Controversial new Penal Code of Cameroon amidst tension at the National Assembly,SDF MPs called for a re look of the said bill which is flooded with wrong translations among others. The CPDM majority won the vote and the revised Penal Code will have to be sent to the Senate for same process. It is believed the bill will pass like a letter through the Post Office at the Senate whose majority are members of the CPDM,the ruling party.

Find below the new bill and the "official translation" from a country that is officially recognized as bilingual!

Article 7(1) French version : « La loi pénale de la République s’applique à tout fait commis sur son territoire ». Translation “The Criminal Law of the Republic shall apply to any offense committed within its territory” Why should the English translation mention “done or omitted”. Why the word omitted which is not in the French version. Maybe it is the word “committed” which has been misspelled

(2) Territory is limited to land, water ways and airspace in Cameroon. What of our embassies? Do they not constitute part of the Cameroonian territory?

Article 8 (2) b French version… « Contrefaçon du sceau de l’Etat ou monnaie nationale » : Translation “Counterfeiting of the great seal or the current money of the state” What is a great seal and what is current money of the state?” Proposal: It should have been translated as “…The seal and official currency of the state ..”

Article 9 (a) French version: « Les faits constitutifs de complicité, de conspiration et de tentatives réalisés sur le territoire de la République en vue de commettre une infraction ;

b) Les mêmes faits réalisés à l’étranger en vue de commettra une infraction sur le territoire.

Translation : a) “To any acts or omission within its territory constituting abetment, conspiracy or attempt with the view to an offence without the territory. - Why act or omission in the English version meanwhile in French it is just “act” (faits)? - With a view to (the word “commit”) is not mentioned in the English version.

b) To any such act or omission without its territory with a view to an offense within that territory. - The word “commit” is omitted in the English version while “without its territory is ambigu

The bill that has 370 articles, seeks to update the Penal Code that Cameroon has been using since 1967. Many of the provisions of the almost half a century Penal Code are obsolete and stand at variance with the evolution of time. They are at odds with the current socio-economic and political dispensation of the country.

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