This is Clear's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Clear's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Clear
Recent Activity
"Some of the known Pentecostal churches include: the Jehovah's Witnesses . . ." Please note that Jehovah's Witnesses are not pentecostals.
Eto'o has always felt disrespected by his own people. Now he thinks he should disrespect them in turn. His stupid behavior is something that he could not have done in Europe (notice that he did not want the tape to be broadcast to the world!). He would be in jail if he did such a thing in Europe (and he knows that). The fact that Eto'o is right now not in jail is an indictment on the judicial system of Cameroon, a broken judicial system. It is amazing that the reporter of this incident sees nothing wrong with the fact that Eto'o has not been charged by the state. In a despicable public spectacle of this nature (Hilton Hotel!), security officers were supposed to have been on hand to arrest Eto'o and Kameni. This is a blatant display of the lawlessness of Cameroon. Shame on Eto'o and Kameni. I think they should be removed from the team. We should rather lose games than having them there. It is amazing that Eto'o threatens to leave the team rather than being removed. A country that does not discipline its people cannot expect to do any better than Cameroon. This incidence was a shame on us perpetrated by public people.
One major reason for Cameroon's (and Africa's) leadership crisis is the confusion between an organization and a person. Both Paul Biya and Fru Ndi, like many African leaders, have built their parties around their personalities. No other person can be at the helm of the party because no other person has a vision that can lead the party and the country forward. They forget that a leader worthy of that name is supposed to set up structures that can enable an organization (be it a party, a state, or even a njangi) to function well even if they (the leaders) are out of the scene. That is called foresight. On this count, both John Fru Ndi and Paul Biya are massive failures.
Those who died on the day SDF was launched gave their lives for Cameroon. They should be remembered and numbered among the many who have died in the course of peaceful attempts to see that a sane government reigns in Cameroon. The one thing I like about this article is that it has the names of those who died on that fateful day. I will keep the names and I will remember them. I say this because Cameroon has a penchant for ignoring those who matter while elevating the corrupt. It is rooted in our culture.
I have had active memory of Cameroon football for about 26 years now. During this period, it seems to me that Cameroon has had much success when use has been made of young, home-grown players: see the 1982 and 1990 World Cups. When Cameroon keeps recycling old players like Paul Biya recycles his ministers, Cameroon can hardly do well. Thus, I think players like Rigobert Song, Jeremy Njitap, Samuel Eto'o, Jean Makoun II, Epalle, etc., should be taken off the team with immediate effect. We need new people and we have many of them in Cameroon. Song especially, should be removed from the team immediately. He has done us proud in the past but right now he has nothing to offer. I wish that the U-23 team should be mined for talents. If not, we are doomed. Even if we qualify for World Cup 2010, we will perform dismally.
This piece has raised a very laudable question: intellectual death and dearth in Cameroon. As the names of those listed in this piece suggest, inttellectual discourse has not been the preserve of the university community. In fact, many of those listed have not been lecturers at the university. But it is not wrong to assume that scholars at the university should be debating crucial issues affecting the life of the country. It may well be that some university professors in Cameroon attempt to do so but the impression that they generally seem to be silent in face of dismal societal conditions should not be surprising. First, when scholars work for the party in power instead of their society, as many scholars in Cameroon do (especially Victor Julius Ngoh), we should not be surprised when they are silent in face of societal distress. Most university professors in Cameroon care no damn about serving their society; society can go to hell if it means that they have to lose their jobs. Second, many Cameroonian scholars hardly study about Camerooon. I was very surprised to learn that accounting students at the university of Buea are forced to do accounting using the British Pound rather than CFA frs. This may appear to be a minor item but it is devastating when it comes to taking your own country seriously. Even more, students of geography know more about fishing in Norway than than do about fishing in Cameroon. When scholars do not study about their own country, it is very difficult for them to contribute anything meaningful to it. It is an indictment of the intellectual situation in Cameroon that many professors focus more on what is happening outside Cameroon than on what is happening in it. They try to toe the party line by saying only the kinds of things that will not jeopardize their jobs. They participate in the corruption of the country by exploiting their own students. How then can they effectively participate in fruitful intellectual discourse about their country?
Paul Biya appears to have arrested the imagination of those he has held in thrall so much that even a meeting with the prime minister convulses them. It is amazing how one man (not the law) can hold so many people hostage, including ministers! That is what happens to a country where most people have become thieves. When the head of the gang is upset the junior gang members become apprehensive. Let the thievery continue.
Please, do not dignify what the so-called provincial deligate did by calling it "embezzlement". What he did was plain, old banditry. To put it simply, the man is a thief. He is only one brazen example of the fact that Cameroon is run by a gang, that is, violent thieves. Why am I not surprised?
While not making light of the historical oppression that women have undergone, especially in Africa, I still wonder what Eunice would make of the thieving and corrupting women who not only push their husbands to unspeakalbe corruption that contributes to the destruction of Cameroon but actively promote such corruption themselves. Women may be victims of the system but many of them in high places (in parliament, for example) are perpetrators of the death that is gripping the society. (I can name names but will not do that for now.) Women as sign of hope? I doubt it. I think romantic ideas of womanhood need to be challenged even in art. Eunice has to go back to work.
Toggle Commented Apr 18, 2008 on Literary Corner at Up Station Mountain Club
This constitution effectively makes it illegal for any woman to run for the presidency. Read the bill: "The President of the Republic shall be elected for a term of office of seven years. He shall be eligible for re-election". Note that the bill refers only to "he". It does not have a "she" in mind. After all, those who table the bill have no interest in making a constitution that is enduring. And the women in parliament have accepted it. Then tomorrow they will start talking about women's rights and women's day. It's a shame.
Fonkam said: "law is a response to societal needs and societal needs evolve. The law itself cannot therefore be static." I beg to put the following questions to him. 1. What "societal needs" of consequence have arisen in the 11 years since the constitution was last amended? By this I mean changes in society that can be observed not what people are saying about what will happen in the event the president is unable to rule. 2. If any such needs have developed, would it be fair to say that lawmakers in Cameroon are so shortsighted that their vision for the country hardly lasts for more than a decade? 3. If lawmakers are this shortsighted, how can we be sure that they would not say in the next decade that they were wrong when they pushed for the present amendment (as you are now saying about the 1996 amendment)? In short, how can we be sure that they even know what they are doing right now? 4. Granted that an evolving society demands changes in laws, why does this change seem to happen more often in Cameroon than in say India, Europe and America? Is it that Cameroon lawmakers are simply incapable of drafting a coherent document that would stand the test of time, as these other countries are doing? 5. If the regular amendments are required in order to engender a stronger state, is the honorable member aware of recent concensus in social sciences that show that most African states, including Cameroon, have been an obstacle rather than a boon to the well being of their people? (Thus the proliferation of NGOs). Would the honorable member say that the state in Cameroon has been helpful to its people thus far? If so, how? 6. Why is it that the laws that have so far been changed in the constitution have largely related to the survival of the politicians rather that specifically dealing with economic issues?
To characterize what recently happened in Cameroon as the work of "Petty criminals" is to mistate and misunderstand the situation. Riots are not necessarily carried out by criminals. Most of the looting that happened in New Orleans after Katrina was not simply the work of "petty criminals" as you seem to imply here. There were also those who were genuinely hungry and who wanted food; just as most of those who were rioting in Cameroon were genuinely hungry because they have been reduced to paupers in their own country by their irresponsible government like the irresponsible government of America. To describe them as "petty criminals" is a show of unruly contempt for the desperate.
Members of the elite of every region are supposed to be the best people the region can offer. If the people who signed this declaration are the best Mfoundi can offer, then Mfoundi is in deep trouble. By the way, is the Mfoundi elite a branch of Cameroon government? What right do they have to decide who stays and who does not stay in Yaounde or anywhere else in Cameroon? This attempt at causing national disunity is something Paul Biya should denounce with vehemence. But being the architect behind all this, and being unable to govern the whole country, he has resorted to geoverning only part of it - Yaounde. Otherwise how can one explain the ridiculous claim that if Yaounde breathes, then Cameroon is okay? For Paul Biya to show that he is not the one manipulating this so called elites, he needs to publicly denounce them. Now let's see who is the threat to national unity.
Members of the elite of every region are supposed to be the best people the region can offer. If the people who signed this declaration are the best Mfoundi can offer, then Mfoundi is in deep trouble. By the way, is the Mfoundi elite a branch of Cameroon government? What right do they have to decide who stays and who does not stay in Yaounde or anywhere else in Cameroon? This attempt at causing national disunity is something Paul Biya should denounce with vehemence. But being the architect behind all this, and being unable to govern the whole country, he has resorted to geoverning only part of it - Yaounde. Otherwise how can one explain the ridiculous claim that if Yaounde breathes, then Cameroon is okay? For Paul Biya to show that he is not the one manipulating this so called elites, he needs to publicly denounce them. Now let's see who is the threat to national unity.
Who was Paul Biya addressing? In fact, this was not an address but the harangue of an arrogant man who thinks that he has the right to lord it over Cameroonians. He thinks that the Cameroonian youth is so naive that they cannot see through his own machinations. Thus, when they go to the streets it must be that they have been manipulated! He even describes these young people as "delinquents" failing to realize that he is the one who has made them delinquent by keeping them idle! Paul Biya's constant reproach of the Cameroonian people, like an abusive father, is beyond reprehensible - it is despicable. The violent strike began about five days ago but he only came out to speak to the people today. He did not even come out with a conciliatory tone but rather with the dictatorial arrogance that he has come to cultivate. Instead of placing the blame where it belongs - his administration's failed policies - he instead blames someone else for manipulating the youth. He has shown that he does not intend to address the problem because he has now delegated his power to the forces of law and order - as he always does. Since his understanding of power is limited to use of armed forces, it is little wonder that young people have come to adopt his method of violence. This desperate speech, directed to I don't know who, is a violent speech from a lover of violence, Paul Biya. One would have thought that the role of the president of a country in such situations would be to calm matters, but Paul Biya, being the lover of violence that he is, has rather fanned the flames by his patronizing contempt for young people. He speaks as if he himself has the well being of the people in mind when his goal is only his own political advantage. How does amending the constitution to let Paul Biya continue in power benefit Cameroonians? Paul Biya may be the father of his kids at home but he is hardly the father of Cameroonians. He must learn to talk to us with courtesy and respect. His arrongant, gangster attitude does not befit the style of many Cameroonians. Shame on you Paul Biya, for fanning the flame of discord in our country. Your are more of a colonizer than a patriot.
Where is Paul Biya in all this? He claims to be the leader of the country but now that the country is going up in flames he has taken cover as usual. And to hear him address the youth just this February gave the impression that he knew what he was talking about. Now that the young people are violently manifesting their distrust of him, he is instead delegating people to stand for him. Is the situation in Cameroon not dire enough to warrant his appeal to the people? And now his bandaging act, as is usually the case, is to reduce fuel prices and promise constructing roads. How does that address the real problem which is that of the uncemployed youth? How does that address the real problem which is that of the youth's distrust of Biya who has indicated that he does not care about them? Probably his French advisers are now asking him to stay quiet and politically manipulate the situation as he did in the past. Paul Biya fails to notice that what these foreign advisers ask him to do to his own people is what they cannot do to their own people in France. See how the blatant disregard for human life is perpetrated by the killing of young people by the very forces that was supposed to be protecting them? The western governments that are teleguiding Biya to kill his own people cannot kill their own people like that. And yet, Biya and his cohorts, in their characteristic stupidity, listen to these westtern advisers who do not even have the well being of Cameroonians at heart. The sooner we start having respect for our own people and treat them as if they mattered, the better for all of us. Paul Biya cannot expect Cameroonians to respect each other when he is teaching them such contempt for human life. The deaths that have resulted from the violence have not even been addressed; people have simply been asked to return to work because the price for fuel has been lowered. What a strange sense leadership!
Where is Paul Biya in all this? He claims to be the leader of the country but now that the country is going up in flames he has taken cover as usual. And to hear him address the youth just this February gave the impression that he knew what he was talking about. Now that the young people are violently manifesting their distrust of him, he is instead delegating people to stand for him. Is the situation in Cameroon not dire enough to warrant his appeal to the people? And now his bandaging act, as is usually the case, is to reduce fuel prices and promise constructing roads. How does that address the real problem which is that of the uncemployed youth? How does that address the real problem which is that of the youth's distrust of Biya who has indicated that he does not care about them? Probably his French advisers are now asking him to stay quiet and politically manipulate the situation as he did in the past. Paul Biya fails to notice that what these foreign advisers ask him to do to his own people is what they cannot do to their own people in France. See how the blatant disregard for human life is perpetrated by the killing of young people by the very forces that was supposed to be protecting them? The western governments that are teleguiding Biya to kill his own people cannot kill their own people like that. And yet, Biya and his cohorts, in their characteristic stupidity, listen to these westtern advisers who do not even have the well being of Cameroonians at heart. The sooner we start having respect for our own people and treat them as if they mattered, the better for all of us. Paul Biya cannot expect Cameroonians to respect each other when he is teaching them such contempt for human life. The deaths that have resulted from the violence have not even been addressed; people have simply been asked to return to work because the price for fuel has been lowered. What a strange sense leadership!
Is Cameroon a Communist state or what? The way Paul Biya talks about Cameroon seems to suggest that the youth can do nothing without government assistance: the government is doing this; the government is doing that - to help the youth. Rather than creating the atmosphere in which young people can flourish without much reliance on the government, Paul Biya is doing everything to chain the youth to the government so that future generations of Cameroonians should only succeed because they are wedded to the corrupt CPDM regime. Government does not need to be doing all what Paul Biya has listed. Paul Biya seems to think that those things he listed are achievements when in reality they are ways to hook the youth on government institutions. The government wants its presence to be felt all over the economy so that no one doubts this presence. But rather than helping the youth, it stifles them. In most countries on earth, more jobs are created by the private sector rather than by the government. The 21st century which Paul Biya is talking about, as most economists know, is characterized by private enterpresises rather than communism. But Biya knows that the only way he can continue to run the country like his private plantation is to make people believe that only the government can make their lives better, thus smothering creativity. And young people are beginning to believe that only the government can help them. That is why they see their survival as dependent only on entering into government professional schools such as ENAM, ENS, etc. And so their lives are eternally wedded to the corruption of the Cameroon government as Biya wants. It is therefore ridiculous to hear Biya talk about morality if this state of affairs prevails. Remember what happened a few years back in relation to the admission into the medical program at the University of Buea? Government should create the atmosphere that fosters creativity, responsibility, accountability, etc., so that the youth may develop their talents and better themselves without relying on government. If the government wants to help the youth, what about reducing the present exorbitant taxes being levied on industries? Industries are folding up in Cameroon and moving to other African countries with low taxes, thus rendering the youth unemployed. When young people want to start small businesses the government taxes the busineseses to death. It takes for ever to run papers through the government in order to start a business. And so the young people continue to remain unemployed and dependent on the government as Biya wants them to be. How can you control the youth as Biya wants to do if you do not make them poor and dependent? Rather than thinking that Biya's policies are meant to help the youth, they should be seen as meant to hold the youth in thrall to his machinations. It is the function of university professors in Cameroon to help the government create an atmosphere that is conducive for the development of the youth. Unless, perhaps, they are unable to do so because they too are beholden to Paul Biya. Thus, they continue to train the youth to depend on the government. And so the cycle of corruption and misery continues. And so the lives of many young Cameroonians continue to be mortgaged to a future that never arrives, and a government led by senile, deceptive, corrupt and self-centered politicians. I my lifetime, I have seen how my own friends with whom I graduated from the university in Cameroon in the early 90s go into these professional schools which Paul Biya is now touting, join the corrupt government in Cameroon, and become corrupt themselves. They are the ones (the young people Paul Biya is talking about) who are taking bribes at seaports and treasury offices all over Cameroon today, funneling some of the money into CPDM campaigns. At this point I am not going to name names. It suffices to say that Biya's vision for the Cameroonian youth is pretty myopic if not sinister and cruel. To help the youth, Biya needs to scale back the involvement of government in their lives. The government (especially Biya's government) is bad for them. Biya's government is bad for the material, spiritual and moral development of the Cameroonian youth. Biya's contemptuous and patronising speech to the Cameroonian youth is therefore appalling for he cares not about them.
Is Cameroon a Communist state or what? The way Paul Biya talks about Cameroon seems to suggest that the youth can do nothing without government assistance: the government is doing this; the government is doing that - to help the youth. Rather than creating the atmosphere in which young people can flourish without much reliance on the government, Paul Biya is doing everything to chain the youth to the government so that future generations of Cameroonians should only succeed because they are wedded to the corrupt CPDM regime. Government does not need to be doing all what Paul Biya has listed. Paul Biya seems to think that those things he listed are achievements when in reality they are ways to hook the youth on government institutions. The government wants its presence to be felt all over the economy so that no one doubts this presence. But rather than helping the youth, it stifles them. In most countries on earth, more jobs are created by the private sector rather than by the government. The 21st century which Paul Biya is talking about, as most economists know, is characterized by private enterpresises rather than communism. But Biya knows that the only way he can continue to run the country like his private plantation is to make people believe that only the government can make their lives better, thus smothering creativity. And young people are beginning to believe that only the government can help them. That is why they see their survival as dependent only on entering into government professional schools such as ENAM, ENS, etc. And so their lives are eternally wedded to the corruption of the Cameroon government as Biya wants. It is therefore ridiculous to hear Biya talk about morality if this state of affairs prevails. Remember what happened a few years back in relation to the admission into the medical program at the University of Buea? Government should create the atmosphere that fosters creativity, responsibility, accountability, etc., so that the youth may develop their talents and better themselves without relying on government. If the government wants to help the youth, what about reducing the present exorbitant taxes being levied on industries? Industries are folding up in Cameroon and moving to other African countries with low taxes, thus rendering the youth unemployed. When young people want to start small businesses the government taxes the busineseses to death. It takes for ever to run papers through the government in order to start a business. And so the young people continue to remain unemployed and dependent on the government as Biya wants them to be. How can you control the youth as Biya wants to do if you do not make them poor and dependent? Rather than thinking that Biya's policies are meant to help the youth, they should be seen as meant to hold the youth in thrall to his machinations. It is the function of university professors in Cameroon to help the government create an atmosphere that is conducive for the development of the youth. Unless, perhaps, they are unable to do so because they too are beholden to Paul Biya. Thus, they continue to train the youth to depend on the government. And so the cycle of corruption and misery continues. And so the lives of many young Cameroonians continue to be mortgaged to a future that never arrives, and a government led by senile, deceptive, corrupt and self-centered politicians. I my lifetime, I have seen how my own friends with whom I graduated from the university in Cameroon in the early 90s go into these professional schools which Paul Biya is now touting, join the corrupt government in Cameroon, and become corrupt themselves. They are the ones (the young people Paul Biya is talking about) who are taking bribes at seaports and treasury offices all over Cameroon today, funneling some of the money into CPDM campaigns. At this point I am not going to name names. It suffices to say that Biya's vision for the Cameroonian youth is pretty myopic if not sinister and cruel. To help the youth, Biya needs to scale back the involvement of government in their lives. The government (especially Biya's government) is bad for them. Biya's government is bad for the material, spiritual and moral development of the Cameroonian youth. Biya's contemptuous and patronising speech to the Cameroonian youth is therefore appalling for he cares not about them.
It is a rather strange list, this one, that has enumerated what it sees as heroes and martyrs of 2007. If it is correct that "heroes are symbols of achievement," that they are "ultimate victors," as George Ngwane avers, then what is the achievement of Mugabe? Of what is he an ultimate victor? I wonder whether Ngwane can tell the multitude of Zimbabweans scavenging for a living as refugees in South Africa that Mugabe is a hero. Even more, to claim that Mugabe is endeared to most Africans is a hyperbole characteristic of much Cameroonian writing. Which Africans? Elistist scholars? The leaders who went to the European Union-African Union Summit? Most of these people are not even loved by their own people! To congratulate African leaders for rallying behind this dictator (Mugabe), explains much about why Africa continuously retrogresses. Intellectuals who should know better harp the achievements of underserving leaders and then we turn around and wonder why less educated people should be sending motions of support to Biya begging him to amend the constitution! I wonder whether Bate Besong would have joined Ngwane in this griotism. And then Bate Besong: a martyr? This is far from clear. Martyrs are those who are intentionally killed by those who oppose the cause which they press. It is clear that BB had many enemies who would have wanted him dead but it is not clear that they intentionally killed him. I am not aware of any clear investigation that came to the conclusion that BB & co. were intentionally killed (probably there is one, in which case I would love to be informed of it). This, of course, does not mean that BB & co. should not be honored, but they should simply not be called martyrs. In fact, we can still honor them without calling them martyrs. Ngwane's penchant for allocating the designation "martyr" to each and all is further evident in the list when he named many who died of "natural" causes. Kenyan Airways passengers are martyrs? This is indeed ridiculous. These are tragic deaths and the people deserve to be remembered but to call them martyrs demonstrates a profound lack of understanding of what martyrdom is all about. If martyrs are simply "ultimate victims," then all may qualify as martyrs, for it appears that all are ultmately victims. Then my father who passed away for lack of adequate medical care in Cameroon, is a martyr of the system. This is such a loose understanding of martyrdom that unknowingly breeds docility and even senility. A proper understanding of martyrdom and heroism will shorten the list considerably.
It is a rather strange list, this one, that has enumerated what it sees as heroes and martyrs of 2007. If it is correct that "heroes are symbols of achievement," that they are "ultimate victors," as George Ngwane avers, then what is the achievement of Mugabe? Of what is he an ultimate victor? I wonder whether Ngwane can tell the multitude of Zimbabweans scavenging for a living as refugees in South Africa that Mugabe is a hero. Even more, to claim that Mugabe is endeared to most Africans is a hyperbole characteristic of much Cameroonian writing. Which Africans? Elistist scholars? The leaders who went to the European Union-African Union Summit? Most of these people are not even loved by their own people! To congratulate African leaders for rallying behind this dictator (Mugabe), explains much about why Africa continuously retrogresses. Intellectuals who should know better harp the achievements of underserving leaders and then we turn around and wonder why less educated people should be sending motions of support to Biya begging him to amend the constitution! I wonder whether Bate Besong would have joined Ngwane in this griotism. And then Bate Besong: a martyr? This is far from clear. Martyrs are those who are intentionally killed by those who oppose the cause which they press. It is clear that BB had many enemies who would have wanted him dead but it is not clear that they intentionally killed him. I am not aware of any clear investigation that came to the conclusion that BB & co. were intentionally killed (probably there is one, in which case I would love to be informed of it). This, of course, does not mean that BB & co. should not be honored, but they should simply not be called martyrs. In fact, we can still honor them without calling them martyrs. Ngwane's penchant for allocating the designation "martyr" to each and all is further evident in the list when he named many who died of "natural" causes. Kenyan Airways passengers are martyrs? This is indeed ridiculous. These are tragic deaths and the people deserve to be remembered but to call them martyrs demonstrates a profound lack of understanding of what martyrdom is all about. If martyrs are simply "ultimate victims," then all may qualify as martyrs, for it appears that all are ultmately victims. Then my father who passed away for lack of adequate medical care in Cameroon, is a martyr of the system. This is such a loose understanding of martyrdom that unknowingly breeds docility and even senility. A proper understanding of martyrdom and heroism will shorten the list considerably.