27, September 2016
The Cameroonian Senate has indeed reached its point of high comedy. We of the Cameroon Concord News Group are not really exaggerating when we say these. Our senators regularly appear completely unprepared for questions concerning the day-to-day running of the country. With age telling on them, they are very sluggish, tongue-tied and practically weak. For lack of a better word, the Cameroonian so called senators are an embarrassment for all concerned.
Several elected officials in Cameroon have died, but they have not been replaced as provided by law. Recently, Senator Delphine Medjo passed away raising once again the issue that calls into question the functioning of the Senate. Our senators have treated Cameroonians to a risible array of hyperbolic, ill-informed and to be sure, gotcha questions and answer sessions of narrow parochial concerns that have almost nothing to do with what the great Barrister Bernard Muna noted as the “Challenges of the 21st Century” facing the nation.
Ever since its creation not too long ago, the senate members have been dying like flies. Youssoufa Dawa in October 2015, Steven Jikong Yérima in November 2014, Francis Nkwain in October 2014, Fon Fontem Njifua Lucas in April 2014 and Illiassou Ntieche Mouchili, who even travelled to the land of his ancestors before the maiden session of the Senate. None has been replaced. So, it is evidently clear that the Senate is operating illegally.
Veteran Cameroonian journalist, Chief Bisong Etahoben had opined that there was no need writing these laws if we do not want to respect them. The provisions of Article 219 of the Electoral Code, which provides in Article 1 that in case of death of an elected senator and in accordance with provisions of Article 155, the procedure for by-elections in the constituency will prevail has hardly been respected.
Paragraph 3 of the same section also specifies that in case of death of an appointed senator, a new senator is appointed to complete the term, at the behest of the President of the Republic. Yet for now, none of these provisions has been respected. The nation is governed from a hotel room in Swiss.
By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai