Prof. Maurice Kamto speaking at the press conference
By Etienne Mainimo Mengnjo
The National President of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement, CRM, Prof. Maurice Kamto, has shamed and tasked the Government of Cameroon to take full responsibility in addressing critical issues plaguing the country.
Kamto made this statement October 13 during a press conference in Yaounde, aimed at drawing attention to pressing issues affecting the country.
The CRM Chair raised five key issues: the treatment of teachers; the organisation of the Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON; and the COVID-19 Task Force; military takeovers in Africa; the maltreatment of CRM members in the South Region; and the Mbankolo landslide disaster.
Regarding the Mbankolo disaster, Prof. Kamto expressed his dissatisfaction with the government’s handling of the issue. He was particularly shocked by some statements made by Ministers who visited the affected area.
“First of all, the Ministry of Territorial Administration has a department dedicated to handling such situations. The budget allocated to that department for 2023 is FCFA 7.3 billion, which is part of the Ministry’s overall budget of around 40 billion for this year. However, the way the government has handled the situation suggests a lack of means and an inability to effectively address the issue,” said Prof. Kamto.
“What shocked me the most was when the Minister stated that the Head of State sent blankets and mattresses as aid, despite the fact that all the houses were wiped out by the landslide. It’s the middle of the rainy season, and the soil is muddy. How can you offer just mattresses and blankets to people who desperately need shelter?”
Prof. Kamto also revealed the results of investigations conducted by the CRM party, showing that only 10 mattresses and blankets were provided to more than 10 families. He finds it ridiculous, given the resources available to the government. He described this as either incompetence or indifference to the suffering of the people.
“Regarding food, our investigations indicate that some people received only 5kg of rice and a small piece of soap. If this is true, it is truly shocking. We need to seriously examine what is happening in our country,” he stated.
As for the visit of Franck Biya to the disaster site, Prof. Kamto emphasised that every Cameroonian has the right to extend their condolences, and nothing prevents Franck Biya from visiting the site.
“I believe that what has caused many to react is not that he went to Mbankolo, but rather that he hasn’t been visiting other disaster sites before. There have been different disasters in the past, and he has never gone to any of them,” Prof. Kamto explained.
Concerning the recent military takeovers in Africa, Prof. Kamto strongly appreciated the government’s condemnation of the military takeover in Gabon. However, he expressed his disapproval that the Government’s spokesperson did not condemn CPDM officials who called for a military takeover, if the CRM Presidential candidate emerges victorious in the 2025 elections.
“No democrat will accept that, but what is even more shocking and unacceptable is that the Government spokesperson didn’t condemn CPDM officials who advocated for a military takeover. If they don’t publicly apologise to the Cameroonian people, we will not relent and we will continue to speak out,” he added.
Urging Cameroonians to take responsibility by registering in the electoral list, voting, and defending their votes, Prof. Kamto also called on everyone to allow the military to fulfill their duty of defending the nation.
Regarding the decorations made for the AFCON and COVID-19 Task Force, the CRM party Chair expressed his shock at what could have motivated such actions. He stated that these decorations should not have been done, especially when there are allegations of wrongdoing against those responsible.
He pointed out the situation of the Olembe Stadium and the mismanagement of COVID-19 funds, which led the government to initiate an inquiry through the Supreme State Audit.
The Party Scribe also expressed disappointment in how the CRM party was treated in the South Region, despite always adhering strictly to the law. He expressed sadness over the treatment of teachers, in spite of government’s acknowledgment of their problems. Prof. Kamto urged the government to take responsibility and solve these issues.