Archive | September, 2013

Cameroon Government to Put Chiefs on Salary

16 Sep

Today I woke up to the irritating news, that
In a country where government is apparently the biggest career employer, this is how tax payers money becomes part of public expenditure. As auxiliaries of territorial administration and custodians of national traditions, chiefs in Cameroon are already entitled to several legal and customary benefits. As if the amounts already heaped on rubber stamping parliamentarians and senators is not enough, why put chiefs on salaries ‘again’ (following an earlier law in 1977), when there are millions of Cameroonians without career opportunities? Why don’t they fund the numerous existing fake specialized employment creation agencies or even fund the elitist and bureaucratic career development programs/higher education institutions?

Most of the powerful ones are already employed in other gainful career or activity. Given the politicized nature in which chiefs are gazetted in some localities or the fact that chiefs in certain communities reign over just a handful of homesteads as in the coastal and centre-south-east regions where chiefs where uniforms even, this is splendid wastage of the state budget. I once visited ”Quartier Non-Glace/ New Town Aeroport” in Douala and was amazed to see that ‘Bloque 1, 2, 3…’ each had a ‘chef’, chiefs who sat all day with short knickers and flip-flops on a bench near a bar, playing some local chess and asking for beer tips from inhabitants of their bloc. May be even our law enforcement officers who all go by the ‘chef’ moniker also have a stake in this daylight theft.

We should get prepared to see more ‘chieftaincy’ and succession disputes once the pay-checks start getting cashed. What a useless way to fight poverty and unemployment! While some countries are contemplating to scrap their ‘useful’ monarchies or in other countries where the traditional leaders actually wield real socio-political capital and power, most of their peers in Cameroon are parasitic do nothing regime sycophants who contest elections, sell out traditional titles and decorations to the highest bidder,  endorse the candidacy of party politics elites or aspirants. they have gradually and steadily lost their ethnic sources of legitimacy as the custodians of the customs and traditions of their society. Bearing in mind that Cameroon has over 250 ethnic groups, further split into thousands of clans, tribes, villages, quarters and scattered lineages, do the math and discover for your self how many 1st-2nd-3rd class chiefs would queue up at the government treasury. According to the presidential decree signed on September 16, 2013, first class chiefs would be entitled to a monthly salary of FCFA 200.000, second class chiefs would receive FCFA 100.000 while third class chiefs would earn FCFA 50.000.

Former constitutional institutions such as the defunct Southern Cameroons House of Chiefs played a very important senatorial role in the pre-post independence and reunification days, chiefs back then represented their people in the colonial and federal assembly, but since today’s decentralisation and regionalism which could directly empower citizens still exists only in constitutional ink-on-paper, and nowhere else physically, the role of chiefs is best suitable to be left to their mastered jurisdiction of customs and traditions.

Paul Biya the Fon of Fons and chief of chiefs is massaging the greed of his peers.

Further Reading: 

– Another misplaced priority -Biya put Chiefs under salary – See more at: http://www.cameroonjournal.com/another%20misplaced.html#sthash.MXMBk4QC.dpuf

– Les chefs traditionnels camerounais désormais salariés  – See more at: http://apanews.net/news/fr/article.php?id=207710#sthash.RWu9hAYo.dpuf   

– Magistrate Divine Metiege, Chieftaincy Law: Organizing Chiefdoms in Cameroon  http://nanjecreativethinking.blogspot.se/2012/08/chieftaincy-law-organizing-chiefdoms-in.html

 

There is No Honour or Nobility in War!!

7 Sep

War in this era knows nothing about distance or natural barriers! Countries have acquired the technological capacity to couple long and short range missile warheads in their kitchens and garages. Add to this the unending increase in ideological antagonisms which feed hate and blood lust or the interests of multinational corporations and stock markets? War is a legitimized genocide, a very irrational act and whoever lets them self to be swayed by the emotionless eloquence of politicians is as good as the charred remains of combatants. War is the folly of rich and powerful for which the poor always pay the ultimate price for vaguery such as valor, honour, patriotism, humanitarian… In this case, there is no need to sing  “Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.”

Is there such thing as a neutral country in this current world order? Concerning the Syrian Chemical Weapons Question on whether or not to carry out a Libya 2011 style rhetorical military invasion, the ongoing tug of words between the US and its allies or its minion on the ground Israel versus the uneasy alliance of Russia, China and Iran invokes to mind some Cold War memories of the world tethering on the edge of peace and eventually tipping off the balance of power relations between these camps who surpass each other only by way of propaganda and the institutions that sponsor the legitimization of violence.

The first and second world wars came about as a result of the ‘All for one and one for all’ system alliances. If the US and it’s NATO allies decide to hit Syria with bombs, what stops Iran from aiming at Israel? And if Russia and China honour their vows to come to the aid of the battered Syrian regime, then it becomes a proxy war that will eventually suck in regional states. With bombs and gunfire sparking in that neighbourhood, imagine that a trigger happy fellow pulls a shot in Kashmir or at the Korean 38 parallel? Previous wars in this era have shown that there is no such thing as brief war or a non-resort to insurgency by the vanquished in a conflict. Increased global interdependence means a shot fired in Yemen can have ripple effects as far and near as in Mali or a suburban American community. It takes political will and diplomatic options to win over an ideology which is politicized in the logic that force is the only ultimate argument left for it to express and survive.

Quick thoughts on Identity and Immigration

5 Sep

Mass entertainment and fashion celebrities, interns and volunteers, parachutist journalism, ‘humanitarian’ and NGO ‘activists’ have robbed Africans of their voices on the world stage! The plot and narratives of African life stories has been commercialized and reinvented for the redemption of a historical guilt upon which today’s society is built and sustained. A simplistic perception and sustainable way of living life has been cloned to a memory of endless misery, affliction and deprivation! Becoming mascots for games played about their very own lives and never as the actors or storytellers. As exotic trophy exhibits and specimen samples for a vicious problem which needs eternal fixing. Appearing on almanacs and front pages of organisations for the singular purpose of validating their description as being international… The media is there to turn humanitarian crises into elaborate movie plots and narrating them in a way that turns to desensitize people from true horrors.The endless hunt for breaking news and parachute journalism.

Start telling your story in your own voice!

Fact: 
Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984)
The jungle scenes of ‘Tarzan’s’ upbringing by apes and his life in ‘Equatorial West Africa’, were filmed at locations in Cameroon.
Has any of you ever paused to reflect about the numerous Afro-Euro cliches and contemporary stereotypes that form the plot and theme of this movie, it’s prequels and sequels? Other jungle stories such as the The Jungle Book (Mowgli) transmit a similar message. You got to look beyond the simplistic fantasy and entertainment intentions before you’ll see what I see in them.

Some years back I didn’t understand what the political term or leaning called the ‘Far-right’ meant, but these days news is filled with it. It seems to have become a very fashionable trend in “developed-liberal-democratic” countries. The ‘We’ and ‘Them’ thinking more than ever is being normalized in subtle systemic policies of exclusion by neutralization, masquerading as integration and assimilation, as well as outright xenophobic and other expressions of hate. Human is Right along with Human Rights.
Emigration and Immigration by humans is as natural as the Great Birds Migration that happens annually and on time, year in year out, violating in the process every international treaty as they move across open-air jails called countries and boundaries which confine and divide humans. I doubt whether building walls, having holding cells, building dormitory towns and tough immigration laws or even hate crimes and racism will stop it. The plunderers of human and natural endowments need to sort out the mess of conflicts, deprivation and poverty left behind after colonization, it’s successor puppet regimes … And there is still neo-colonialism and the one-sided definition of global security and flow of globalization with all its accompanying corporate minions and proxies to deal with too.