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

 

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