During the plenary, S.D.F Senator for the North West, called a point of order raising the issue of compatibility of office of Senator with other jobs as spelt out in section 162 sub 2 of the electoral code. This motion, The National Times learnt, caused so much embarrassment to the regime. It attracted widespread public criticisms about the holding of cumulative posts by Government officials. In order to stem the tides of the scandal, an urgent meeting of the Central Committee of the ruling C.P.D.M was convened.
It was during the meeting on Wednesday, 2nd May 2018, that Senators in the abyss of incompatibility were advised to either resign from the Senate or from the position of the Board Chair that many of them hold.
Four verification boards that were set up shortly after the plenary marking the start of the second legislative period identified sixteen cases of incompatibility.
Just because nobody raised the issue of incompatibility during the last legislature, the Senators violated the law by holding other positions that are legally at variance with their status as Members of Parliament, MPs. The remunerations they got from both ends is stark violation of the laws. This explains why many critics described the taking of two salaries from the State as embezzlement of public funds. Many observers hold that such Senators and other officials in the same situation ought to refund what they got unduly from the State purse, because, of incompatibility.
The issue of holding cumulative posts is not only with the Senate. It spans across the whole gamut of Government establishments. The S.D.F Parliamentary group leader at the National Assembly, Hon Joseph Banadzem, triggered debates on the issue during one of the Parliamentary sessions in 2012.
Photo credit: CRTV news
What the Law says; The Electoral Code
In chapter III of the Electoral Code relating to incompatibilities of Law no 2012/001 of 19 April 2012 relating to the Electoral Code, amended and supplemented by law no 2012/017 of 21 December 2012,
Section 1162 stipulates that,
(1) The office of Member of Parliament shall be incompatible with the office of member of Government or of persons ranking as such, member of the constitutional Council and of member of the Economic and Social Council.
(2) The office of Member of Parliament shall further be incompatible with the office of senator, mayor, government delegate to a city council, president of a regional council, with any other non-elective public office and with the duties of president of a consular chamber, board chairperson or with the status of wage earner in a public establishment or public and semi-public enterprise.
Section 163 stipulates that,
- The occupation of one the posts referred to in section 162 above shall render the parliament seat vacant.
- No member of parliament shall cause or allow his name to be followed by any reference to his capacity as parliamentarian in any advertisement concerning a financial, industrial or commercial undertaking.
The above legally binding dispensations prompted the issues raised during the plenary.
All sixteen senators gave up their duties and opted to hold on to their position as senators. The reports were presented by the Reporteurs of each of the verification boards.
- Senator Aboubakary Abdoulaye, resigned from his position Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Urban and Rural Land Development Board and Chairman of Board of Directors of FAO/WFP management committee.
- Mrs Afane Gisele Solange Bidjang, civil servant step-down from her post of Head Mistress of presidential Guard Nursery School Group A.
- Amrakaye Martin, Civil servant also resigned from duty at Maroua district Hospital
- Mrs Ankie Affiong Rebecca Amah, civil servant, gave up the job of Head Mistress of Government School Isanguele Bakassi
- Baroua Nyakeu, Contract Worker, Deputy Controller N0 2 at the Divisional Delegation of Public Contract for Djerem suspended his contract.
- Didjiatou Oumarou, municipal Treasurer at Marouare Council left the Job
- Fon Chafah Isaac, Magistrate, Director of Affairs at Electricity Sector Regulatory Agency ARSEL
- Koungou Edima ELiane, Journalist, Service Head of the Radio News Editing at CRTV.
- Fon Mukete Esemingsongo Victor, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Camtel.
- Hamadou Paul, Chairman of Board of Directors of Cameroon Public Expansion also gave preference to the senate.
- Mrs Rougayatou Asta Djoulde, resigned as Bureau head for mails and Archives at the Regional Delegation of Post and Telecommunications of Adamawa
- Sale Charles, chairman of the board of directors of Gyneco-obstetric and paediatric hospital Yaounde
- Zang Oyono Calvin, Deputy General Manager of Cameroon Oil Transportation Company, COTCO
- Ze Nguele Re, Chairman of board of directors of the institute of Agricultural Research for Development, IRAD
- Mamoudou Mazadou, civil servant, General Supervisor at Tignere District Hospital
- Mrs Ngangoube Aminatou, Municipal Treasurer at Koutaba Council also resigned.
The session was attended by a cross section of the government, members of judiciary, parliamentarians and members of the diplomatic corps and other dignitaries