Cameroon’s Directors and Ministers should declare their Assets
In a country where more than 10 million families live on less than 2 dollars per day, it has been revealed that Cameroon’s former Director of Budget owns castles worth billions of dollars. Scripture says, “In his riches man lacks wisdom, he is like the beasts that are destroyed” (Ps 49:21). This is far from an isolated case, but it is the pattern with the top public servants of La Republique du Cameroun, yet the same government mustered the audacity to target Bishops and proprietors of confessional schools, charging them to pay over 90 million dollars, claimed to be damages for their inability to function during this time of crisis. How ridiculous! It doesn’t matter whether the summons has been postponed or not at this time. The corruption still festers. If the regime claims that the inability of confessional schools to pay teachers has badly affected the state’s treasury, then they are woefully mistaken. Tax money in Cameroon doesn’t usually the serve the purpose for which it is intended.
May I kindly remind the cabinet directors and their ilk that if you truly care about taxes, you must first uproot all the thievery among your ranks. Begin by declaring your assets publicly. Why should we keep paying taxes to a government that is not accountable and transparent? Why should we keep paying taxes when a vast segment of the population lives below poverty level at the expense of a few exorbitantly rich civil servants? How can we keep paying taxes to a government that doesn’t care about our infrastructure?
If the regime’s stooges are sincere they will admit that the cup of structural injustice and corruption of La Republique has been full to overflowing a long time ago; it was only a matter of time for the people to rise and stand up for their rights. Let the Bishops, the Presbyterian authorities and other proprietors go! This is a distraction at the height of a genuine Struggle.
I seriously advise Francophone parents whose children are enrolled in Catholic schools and other confessional schools in the English-speaking region to be calm and considerate in this time of crisis. The non-resumption of schools is not the fault of the proprietors. Keep in mind that if Southern Cameroons was an independent nation, your children would be paying international fees and tuition.
Father Wilfred Emeh