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Civil Servants, Appointees Abandon Duty Posts To Witness Installation of Biya’s Cronies

Cameroon (National Times)-Some public office holders in Cameroon Monday, January 7 abandoned their offices across towns and cities to live the installation ceremonies of new Ministers appointed by President Biya over the weekend.

Unlike on public holidays which are sanctioned by Presidential decrees, the festive mood and pleasantries that come with such appointments in Cameroon meant most offices had to be without their occupants.

In Yaoundé, the nation’s political capital, work at most Ministries was below output. Ministers, Directors and other top functionaries spent the entire day witnessing the brief installations of their friends and colleagues.

Most people who travelled from other parts of the country for official business in Yaoundé had a difficult time going through with their affairs.

The razzmatazz in the installations and celebrations with families, friends and tribesmen meant work had to be temporarily suspended.

In cities such as Limbe in the restive South West Region, the deserted nature of most offices was more evident. Here, almost every top office holder had zoomed-off to Yaoundé to witness the installation of Ibrahim Talba Malla as new Public Contracts Minister.

Talba Malla, had until Friday, January 4, been serving as the General Manager of the National Oil Refining Corporation known by its French Acronym as SONARA, with headquarters in Limbe.

The practice of crowds from places of work and former stations accompanying persons appointed to higher positions of public service are a common practice in Cameroon.

In some cases, elite from the areas of those appointed end up sending motions of support to President Paul Biya.

Critics have for years been castigating the Biya regime for such outlandish parties that come with cabinet reshuffles as contributing to deplete the state treasury.

Yet, regime apologists see such as the best way to set the tone for a new assignment in services to the State.

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