I had argued in several interviews that what the SDF did in 1990
was to force pluripartism into the Camerounese state. The SDF did not bring democracy (nor could it) and Fru Ndi did not bring democracy because the Founding FATHERS of the SDF (those who actually wrote the SDF MANIFESTO and Constitution) based their challenge on Social Democracy rather than Democracy. The two concepts are not quite the same. The forced injection into pluripartism into a polity operating on the purely Marxist Leninist module of a totalitarian, single-party, presidential system is hardly bringing democracy. Mr Biya cannot be said to have brought democracy either because 1. The man is no democract
and 2. La Baule force him to accept multipartism not DEMOCRACY. In
fact, since La Baule, Mr Biya has inented every crawl back or shield
law known to man to suvert multipartism and evenry apertura of
democracy that the Camerounese state had.
See the proofs..from this Interview I gave Pan African Visions years ago.
Pan African Visions: Are you satisfied with the role of the
international community on the democratization process of Cameroon, we
ask this question because unlike in other countries like Zimbabwe we
have heard very little criticisms of the regime despite the blatant
fraud that has characterized elections in Cameroon over the years?
Ntemfac A.N. Ofege. I have heard words like “democratie avancée and
democratie apaisée” used by Mr. Biya to describe his understanding of
democracy. The problem is that some people use words like parrots
without knowing what exactly the words mean. Political science knows
nine key elements to identify a democracy or the more politically
correct polyarchy. Those paradigms, not necessary in any order,
1. State of law, the respect of the law and equality of all before the
2. Freedom of expression (speech) and conscience.
3. Freedom of movement and settlement
4. Freedom of association, religion and trade union (groupings).
5. Freedom of the people to choose the leader (s) by any form of
electoral process, which process must be free and fair.
6. a governance system that allows for grass root or popular
(majoritarian) participation in government, state institutions and
decision making in one form or another;
7. Checks and balances within state-government institutions.
8. Freedom of enterprise, especially economic enterprise; the right to
employment, fair salary, etc.
9. Guarantee of fundamental rights or a Bill of Rights – rights to
life, freedom from inhuman treatment, slavery and forced labour; right
to personal liberty and property; right to family and private life
and, yes, FREEDOM FROM DISCRIMINATION.
It will take a complete website to prove to you point by point why
Cameroun fails in all of the paradigms of democracy. State of Law?
Cameroun has just passed a Penal Code wherein the Minister of Justice
or the president can interrupt any case in court at any time! Freedom
of expression? How free are the journalists in the s0-called
government-controlled media in Cameroon? Trained journalists at CRTV
and Cameroon Tribune operate under a government-tribal imposed state
of fear. And the Biya regime gags the private press by imposing taxes
on media raw materials and that in violation of a UNESCO Treaty to
free media raw materials. Also, the local troubadour administrator can
always ban or confiscate a newspaper in his jurisdiction. Then,
sedition, with a heavy penalty, was never erased. Sections of the 1962
Ordinance on Terrorism were simply shifted into the Penal Code.
Freedom of settlement? Do you know that the 1996 Constitution and the
Electoral Law in Cameroun label some citizens as settlers and others
as natives? Freedom of Association? Association, groupings, even
worship are subject to conditions laid down by the law. The Minister
of Territorial Administration can choose associations and groups to
legalize. Free and Fair elections? Let’s not go into this because you
know how corrupt the Camerounian electoral system is? In fact, Mr.
Biya practices every election rigging strategy known to man and those
unknown to man. Popular participation in government? This is probably
the only government on earth to ethnically cleanse its own citizens
from participating in government. How many of the 17.000.000
Camerounians did Mr. Biya weed out of the voters register at the last
election? It’s a crying shame. Checks and balances? The president is
the parliament. He is head of the magistracy. The Minister of Defense
is only a Minister Delegate. The president is the Minister of defense.
The man is a major tyrant and a dictator, a constitutional monarch, an
imperial president. I say it may be most interesting to undertake a
comparative study between Mr. Biya’s “democratie avancée or democratie
apaisée” and standard democratic practice worldwide. The difference
would be clear.
The International Community has a habit of using different lenses to
view different countries because of the so-called “strategic
interests.” The fact about the matter is that the International
Community seems to think that countries under the French sphere of
influence are a no-go area. Alternatively, they give France the
benefit of the doubt. Whereas, French complaisance and toleration of
Francophone dictators is one of the causes of the absurd lack of
progress and development in Francophone Africa. The other causes are
savage French exploitation and French neo-colonialism. You will
remember that French president Jacques Chirac actually said democracy
was a luxury to Africans. That is why the French view leaders like Mr.
Biya as approximate human beings leading approximate countries and
approximate citizens who must never aspire to the fulsome fruits of
democracy. You see, Mr. Ajong, democracy is not a goal in itself.
Democracy is only a means to an end, which end is the unfettering of
man so that man can maximize his potentials socially, economically,
intellectually, politically, etc. It is not for not for nothing that
the richest countries in the world are democracies. It is not for
nothing that the countries that best take care of their citizens are
those that guarantee almost total freedom to their citizens. On that
score, the savage capitalistic United States of America has a few
lessons to learn from the Scandinavian countries. I believe that it
is time for the International Community to look closely at what is
going on in Francophone Africa.