Saturday, March 28, 2020

Etoudi: an important letter arrives on Paul Biya's desk

The candidate for the legislative elections of February 9, 2020 in Bandjoun in the Koung-Khi, western region sent a letter to President Paul Biya to propose urgent measures to fight against the coronavirus. offers you the full letter. 

To His Excellency Paul Biya, 

President of the Republic of Cameroon 

Subject: Urgent measures concerning the CORONA Virus. 

The state of emergency is essential 


At this critical moment when the life of the nation and millions of Cameroonians is threatened, I find myself obliged to make you this missive that I wish to see prominently in the basket of proposals from citizens concerned about the fate of those who can be saved from this disaster. 

At the outset, I would like to congratulate you on the first 13 steps that you kindly took on March 17, 2020. 

However, these measures, although appreciable, seem to me not only insufficient but suffer from a deficit of legality which alter their strengths and their power. 

By way of illustration, the limitation of fundamental freedoms in duration, cannot be backed by a regulatory text, even if it was the Head of Government. 

In addition, the regime of privileges which has structured the decrepitude of Cameroonian society for more than 05 decades, cannot be tolerated in the management of the COVID 19 crisis. This is the place to deplore the tolerance and irresponsibility of Cameroonian leaders having led to the admission of M Cavaye Yégue to the full session of the Cameroonian Parliament, leading to a priori suspicion of contamination of several other Cameroonians. 

Mr. President, 

In light of what is happening in friendly countries like Italy, it is now clear that if this pandemic were to settle in Cameroon without an effective management system, Cameroon would risk to be deleted from the world map. It is in this perspective that I have given myself the obligation to send you the few proposals below. They will relate to the legal, social, economic, political and health plan. 

A- On the legal-political level

"The urgency of the state of emergency and the need for a political break" 

We must accept the undeniable truism today that we are in a serious crisis that threatens the survival of the Cameroonian Nation. It is therefore imperative to make use of article 9 of the Constitution by declaring a state of national emergency, or even a state of emergency. This would imply, among other things, the dissolution of the National Assembly and the Senate allowing the President of the Republic to legislate by Ordinance. Moreover, such a decision would only be a return to normal when we consider that since 1992, the Cameroonian Parliament has been nothing more than a simple “Registration Chamber” of the decisions taken by the Executive. But in a COVID 19 crisis, this will have several advantages from an economic, legal and operational point of view. 

At the economic level, Cameroon will save a substantial budget allowing it to strengthen the management fund of COVID 19. 

At the legal level, it will make it possible to include all the restrictions made necessary for the management of the Covid-19 crisis in an indisputable legal framework . 

At the operational level, it will help save time in decision-making at the national level, at a time when time is positioned as a fundamental determinant in managing the crisis. 

On a purely Political level 

It is urgent to set up a National Salvation Committee COVID-19 involving the actors of all socio-political components of Cameroon. 

This purely advisory committee should meet every day in order to analyze the plural proposals of Cameroonians, to contextualize them under the prism of different constraints, and to emerge from the recommendations addressed to the Government which manages the crisis at the operational level. 

B- On the Socio-economic 

level B1- On the Social level: of the debate on Total containment 

"We can easily confine in the enclosures of the rich, but not in the townships of the poor" 

One of the most widely applied measures in the world today to curb the spread of the Pandemic is Total Containment. This confinement presupposes that all citizens stay at home and possibly leave only for exceptional reasons such as medical emergency, supplies and / or assistance for the elderly. This form of confinement is simply not applicable in Cameroon. Indeed, if in countries like France, basic services (water, electricity, gas, etc.) are present in all houses, this is far from being the case in Cameroon. In cities like Douala and Yaoundé, there are still many districts where a single WELL of water constitutes the source of water supply (not always potable) for 100 to 200 families; 

In addition, with a country where the informal sector supports around 90% of the population, it would be smart to analyze (and very quickly) the type of confinement suitable for our country. Because most of these actors in the informal sector live on a day-to-day basis and less than 20% of the Cameroonian population has a freezer to possibly acquire the food reserve necessary for such confinement. In any case, it is absolutely necessary to avoid confinement being perceived as a measure against the poor who constitute the majority of the population: such a perception would necessarily create resistance or worse, a rebellion in the face of the measure. 

Also, in view of all these reasons, and many others, if the "Cameroonization" of containment is not well thought out and especially if it is not done quickly with adequate support measures, a good part of the population will risk being faced with a difficult choice: choosing to die from COVID-19 by refusing confinement, or choosing to die of starvation by confining themselves.

It is here that the role of the National Salvation Committee COVID-19 is important insofar as each decision will be taken taking into account all the specificities of the Cameroonian populations. 

Also, to make containment in Cameroon effective, I propose: 

1- Take measures for containment by neighborhood in all the cities of Cameroon 

2- In urban areas, create in each district, a COVID-19 Committee which includes, in addition to neighborhood chief, 01 representative of local associations, 01 representative of political parties present in the neighborhood, 01 representative of each religious denomination present in the neighborhood. 

3- In the rural areas, this same system will be implemented with the only difference being the administrative delimitation which will be the Municipality here and not the district 

4- This Committee should be the interlocutor of the State for the implementation of measures related to compliance with confinement 

5- The State should take measures to provide the neighborhoods with drinking water, essential products, disinfectant, masks, soap, etc. In this perspective, the contribution of the system of the national body of firefighters is essential. 

6- The State must set up a distribution mechanism to all populations in need of a "minimum food ration package" during the confinement period. 

7- In the districts and villages, the seasonal markets, under the leadership of the Ministry of Commerce, and the supervision of the security and defense forces, must be organized each week for the supply of confined populations. However, access to this market will only be possible for traders and citizens with a mask, gloves and respecting the distance of 01 meter prescribed by the WHO. 

8- Intercity travel must be suspended, except for medical emergencies. 

9- Urban travel, essential, must only be done with taxis accepting conditions such as: compulsory masks, 01 single passenger (himself having a mask) 

10- Based on the effectiveness of the state of emergency, the Government must put in place an effective “financial package”. 

at. Tax exemption for telecommunications companies for the crisis period; in return they will offer internet and communication services with an 80% price reduction 

b. Tax exemption for 03 months of companies therefore activities are affected by containmentvs. 80% drop in water and electricity prices for a period of 03 months renewable 

d. Creation of a special business support fund to allow job security on the one hand and guarantee operation after the Crisis on the other hand. 

11- It is imperative to stop any new non-essential investment and to devote the budget relating to the management of the COVID-19 crisis. To this end, the State must release a forecast of around 1,500 billion FCfa in the kitty of the Crisis. This sum could be freed from the 440 billion in oil revenues provided for in the 2020 budget, savings freed from the dissolution of the two chambers of Parliament, and around 900 billion freed from the restrictions on state operating expenditure. 

C- On the Health Plan. 

I consider that our experts in this science are already doing their job well with the limited means at their disposal. It is the place for me to congratulate the brilliant Minister of Health for his pragmatism and his availability for this civic cause. The same is true for medical personnel from hospitals already involved in the management of COVID-19 cases. 

However, there is an urgent need to try to remedy in a few days what we have refused to do in several decades. Also, I suggest launching a National COVID-19 Neutralization Program (PNC19). 

As part of this program, shock measures should be taken. These should include: 

1- Activate Chinese cooperation to provide our sanitary system with sufficient quantities of appropriate equipment for the caregiver and the sick (masks, gloves, respirators, waterproof suits, etc.). 

2- Systematize the wearing of masks (mufflers) within the confines of hospital formations for the duration of the crisis 

3- Prohibit the sale of foods and other foods exposed in the vicinity of hospital formations 

4- Carry out a recall of the "soldiers and generals reservists" of the health, in particular the doctors and other nurses / the retired nurses and the students finishing in medicine. A substantial salary should be allocated to these "reservists". The operationalization of this measure involves the creation of an Internet platform or a web application from which these "health soldiers" could immediately register without facing displacement constraints or bureaucracy. 

5- Requisition certain prestigious infrastructures which will be fitted out in emergency to receive patients. 

6- Requisition non-essential administrative cars (CA) from their current users and assign them to the national COVD-19 Neutralization program 

7- Equip the entrances of the commercial spaces, administrative buildings with water seals with tap and soap for cleaning hands

8- Centralize in each corner of towns and villages the places where people are boarded with prior disinfection and hand cleaning with soap 

9- Impose the wearing of disinfectants and mufflers by each transporter 

10- Prescribe hand cleaning before any entry into a transport vehicle. 


I remain convinced that these measures and many others that Cameroonians of good will offer you, can constitute serious endogenous determinants in the battle that our country is waging against this pandemic. 

Finally, because symbols count, there is no valid reason to justify your current silence since the start of this pandemic. While recognizing the excellent work carried out by the Head of Government and his team, the citizens need to see their President at the front of the war against this pandemic which threatens the survival of the entire Nation. 

Very respectfully. 

Hilaire KAMGA 

Mandate for the Orange Offer 

Spokesperson for the Civil Society Platform for Democracy