Thursday, December 26, 2019

'Cameroon is just a country of counterfeiters'

At the end of the pre-electoral litigation hearings on Thursday, December 19, 2019, the Constitutional Council created a precedent, by disqualifying a candidate on the grounds of dual nationality. Hervé Emmanuel Nkom, candidate on the Rdpc list in power for the legislative elections in the district of Wouri East, was refused this prerogative to aspire to an elective function in Cameroon, on the pretext that he is of French nationality. In another case which opposed Hervé Emmanuel Nkom to the Cameroon Bar Association 5 years ago, it was in 2013, the High Court of Wouri had rendered a judgment on November 8 of this year, which canceled the certificate of nationality drawn up in the name of the latter by the president of the Court of First Instance of Douala Bonanjo.

Law 

It should already be noted that Law number 1968-LF-3 of June 11, 1968 on the Cameroonian nationality code, stipulates in article 31 “Loses Cameroonian nationality a) Cameroonians who voluntarily acquire or retain foreign nationality , b) whoever exercises the right to repudiate the quality of Cameroonians in accordance with the provisions of this law. ”This legal provision has been disputed at all times, and has even figured on the agenda of the great national dialogue on September 31 2019. Commission 7 of this dialogue, which counted on the role of the diaspora in the crisis and its contribution to the development of Cameroon, made the recommendation to “reform the Nationality Code for the adoption of dual nationality or multiple nationalities " 

Nothing has yet been done in this direction, this means that this 1968 law remains virtually in force in Cameroon. Virtually because, in fact, the Cameroonian authorities have long ago, without repealing the law, by government acts canceled its application. No doubt because its strict application would be at odds with modern requirements. If a law exists and is flouted on a daily basis by the highest state authorities, this means that they themselves do not feel comfortable with it. And since it is not a law that prevents an attack on the morals, the moral or the physical integrity of people, why not simply repeal it? 

Dual nationality and patriotism… 

The decision of the Constitutional Council with regard to the candidate Rdpc is unprecedented in this context, because with regard to dual nationality, there are many local elected officials who fall victim to it, without Cameroon further suffering measured. Célestine Ketcha Courtes was mayor of Bangangté, she is now Minister of Housing and Urban Development of the Republic of Cameroon. However, we saw her at the French Consulate in Douala in 2007, and she was not the only one, moreover, as a high personality of Cameroon, in the process of voting for the French president. The portal for Cameroonians in Belgium (camer.be). This did not prevent her from embarking on the quest for the Bangangté town hall a few years later. Plus, she appears today as the one who would have been the best municipal magistrate in this city, in terms of improving the living environment of the populations, Bangangté having won successive years the competition for the cleanest city under its magisterium.  French nationality has not removed its patriotic fiber, if we stick to this. And many Cameroonians are in the same situation, who have acquired foreign nationality to guarantee a certain fluidity of movement in the world, and even facilitate certain transactions, but who have lost nothing of their Cameroonianity.

The artists Richard Bona, Ndedi Eyango, to cite only these examples, travel with American passports around the world, but go up on stage like Cameroonians and make the star of 237 shine. Their mobilities would have been reduced if they wielded Cameroonian passports at the borders, because of the bad reputation that the country drags, with an image tarnished every day among other things by the validation of the elections by false international observers, fabricated for the cause by a whole ministry of the Territorial Administration. This leaves the international believe that Cameroon is only a country of counterfeiters, the example given by the government itself. 

… Or life insurance for prevaricators 

These patriots who honor the country are to be distinguished from other prevaricators of public fortune, who have established a refuge in the West by taking foreign nationalities, after having plundered the public funds of the State and contributed to the misery of the people. What they continue to do elsewhere. The problem in Cameroon, we will not stop saying, is not only the refusal to apply the law, but the insidious mania to apply it head on when it suits this or that, or often to give a vague impression of the neutrality of justice. 

If it is necessary to extirpate elective functions, government positions and management of public enterprises in Cameroon from holders of dual nationality, that this is done without exception. The partial application of the law on dual nationality or on any subject carries the seeds of division, hatred, frustrations whose accumulation leads to social and even political uprisings. We cannot prevent a Cameroonian from applying for an elective post to serve his country on the pretext of dual nationality, while at the same time we turn a blind eye to others who exercise the same functions and even more, with the same status . Although it does not hurt anyone that this legal provision is purely and simply repealed, because any modern state adapts its laws to evolution. 

By Roland TSAPI

Journalist: camer.be