By Tikum Mbah Azonga
GCE Board plunged in mourning
Three members of the Cameroon GCE Board have died in a road accident, with some others receiving treatment in hospital for injuries sustained during the accident. The three are Oliver Binda, Martin Njakoy and Mrs. Bridget Abianji. Among those hospitalized are Ebenezer Ngoudjou, Bernadette Masse, Simon Pierre Ngamini, Clovis Nguegso Tchatoheoua, Nguedjou Njinke, Nicole Florence Kouokou, Mathew Takwi, Peter Atemkeng, Cardine Njoumessap, Adeline Ndofor, Horace Lenya, Mrs. Mary Anchia, Diana Mbeh and Manaseh Sinju.
The Board members were returning to Buea from Bambili where they went to attend the wedding of the daughter of the GCE Board Chairman Dr Peter Alangeh Abety. They were traveling in a service coaster of the GCE Board when it collided with a passenger bus in the Mbanga area.
(The Post, Monday 11 January 2010)
FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION
Cabinet minister and director picked up
Former Secondary Education Secretary of State Catherine Abena has been picked up by the Judicial Police in Yaounde on charges of embezzling public funds while serving as a cabinet member. Also arrested and being held at the Judicial Police Headquarters is Henri Engoulou, Former Minister Delegate in the Ministry of the Economy and Finance. A report broadcast during today’s national and world news by CRTV National Television Deputy Editor in Chief, Ashu Nyenti, stated that while the team of reporters was at the Judicial Police in the afternoon for further details, it spotted Mrs. Abena going from office to office and not willing to talk. She is said to have also gone on a hunger strike, but since she will not talk, the exact reason for the strike is not yet known.
Last week, other top officials were arrested. The most commented among them is the Former Basic Education Minister Mrs. Haman Adama, the reason being that she is the first official from the three regions of the Big North to have been arrested for alleged embezzlement. Since Paul Biya launched a war against corruption by arresting top public officials a couple of years ago, most arrests have come from the Beti tribal to which he belongs. In addition to Mrs. Haman Adama, the former General Manager of Aéroport du Cameroon, Ntongo Onguene, was also arrested.
Although on the whole, observers applaud this move by President Paul Biya, tongues are wagging, the reason being that when he makes arrests, he does not make those accused to return the money they are said to have stolen. Some pundits also wonder what criteria he is using to arrest suspects when , as one man put it: ‘there are other people walking free whom everyone knows do not have clean hands and should also have been arrested.”
(The Post, Monday 11 January 2010)
Pope shuffles clergy
Pope Benedict XVI has appointed new bishops in Cameroon. Bishop Joseph Atanga of Bafoussam has been raised to archbishop of Bertoua where he replaces Mgr Roger Pirenne, while Rev Faustin Ambassa Ndjido who was until recently Superior of the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary becomes bishop of Batouri, and Rev Sosthene Leopold Bayemi Majjei who prior to his own appointment was a lecturer at the Catholic University of Central Africa, goes to Obala as the bishop of that diocese in replacement of Mgr Jerome Owona Mimboe.
Born in 1952 in Akok-Bekoe village in the Mefou and Akono Division of the Central Region, Mgr Joseph Atanga has spent a fairly long time as a clergy. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Brazzaville, a Doctorate degree in the same subject from Fordham University. He was Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Yaounde up till 1999. He is currently a lecturer at the Catholic University of Central Africa.
Mgr Faustin Ambassa who was prior to the present appointment, Chairman of the Council of Senior Superiors of Cameroon and Episcopal Vicar in charge of Consecrated Life of the Yaounde Archdiocese, was born Ekouda in Lekie Division of the Central Region in 1964. After his ordination in 1977 at the age of 33 he served as vicar at the Our Lady of Peace Parish in Dakar, Senegal. Later, he became curate of the St. Pius X Parish on Ngoa in the Diocese of Obala. Mgr Faustin has taught philosophy for years in Senegal and Cameroon. He once served as Superior of the CICM Province of Cameroon.
The new bishop of Obala was born in 1964 in Matomb in Nyong and Kelle Division of the Centre Province. He was ordained priest in the Eseka Cathedral in Nyong and Kelle Division in 1994. He served as vicar at the St. Simon of Kondi Parish in Douala, and later Curate of the St. Paul Parish in Ngog-Mapubi under the Eseka Diocese. In 2001 he was Vicar General of the Eseka Diocese and Curate of the Risen Christ Parish in Eseka. Prior to his appointment, he was a lecturer at the Catholic University of Central Africa and attaché at the Apostolic Nunciature in Yaoundé.
(Cameroon Tribune, 04 December 2009, and Le Jour of 5 December 2009)
The 2010 budget
The national budget for the current year, 2010 went into effect on the 1st of January 2010 and will run until the 31st of December this year. The budget stands at a total of 2,270bn FCFA and represents an overall increase of 11.5 per cent on the 2009 budget of 2,301bn.
Priority areas pinpointed in the budget include power supply with a view to checking the sporadic power cuts that have characterized daily life in the country for some time now. Another key sector is that of the road network. Some new roads are envisaged in the course of the year, with existing ones being consolidated. Projected macroeconomic trends includes a 3.9 per cent growth rate in the GDP, a 3 per inflation rate, an oil price of $70 per barrel and an average exchange rate for the dollar of 446 CFA Frs. per dollar.
The budget is broken down as follows:
1. Presidency of the Republic – 57,342bn
2. Services attached to the Presidency of the Republic – 6.677bn
3. The National Assembly – 15350bn
4. The Prime Minister’s Office – 13bn
5. The Economic and Social Council – 2362bn
6. The Supreme Court – 5,082bn
7. The Supreme State Audit – 6,529
8. Ministry of the Economy, Planning and Territorial Management – 23,216bn
9. Ministry of Higher Education – 43,711bn
10. Ministry of Labour and Social Security – 4,322bn
11. Ministry of Defence – 175,355bn
12. Ministry of Basic Education – 167,728bn
13. Ministry of Energy and Power – 44,614bn
14. Ministry of Justice – 26,329bn
15. Ministry of Town Planning and Housing – 51bn
16. Ministry of Transport – 11,758bn
17. Ministry of Youth Affairs – 7,820bn
18. Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications – 12,641
19. Ministry of State Property and Land Tenure – 15,176bn
20. Ministry of Employment and Professional Training – 6bn
21. Ministry of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises – 7,222bn
22. Ministry of Tourism – 4,340
23. Ministry of the Environment – 1,200bn
24. Ministry of Trade – 5,405bn
26. Ministry of Industries and Mines – 6,801bn
27. Ministry of Public Works – 182,282bn
28. Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralization – 35,992bn
29. Ministry of Communication – 7,376bn
30. Ministry of Sports and Physical Education – 17,923bn
31. Ministry of the Public Service – 12,660bn
32. Ministry of Finance – 55,371bn
33. General Delegation for National Security – 73,842bn
34. Ministry of Public Health – 123,701bn
35. Ministry of Scientific Research and Innovation – 13,157bn
36. Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and the Family – 5,728bn
37. Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development – 60,342bn
38. Ministry of Social Affairs – 7,589bn
39. Ministry of Animal Breading, Livestock and Animal Industries – 20,488bn
40. Ministry of Culture – 5,252bn
41. Ministry of External Relations – 28,784bn
42. Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife – 17,547bn.
(Cameroon Tribune, 28 December 2009)