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How Biya violated the constitution in Appointing PM, Ministers

Cameroon(National Times)-On January 4, 2019, Paul Biya appointed Chief Dr Joseph Dion Ngute as Prime Minister (PM) and Head of Government of Cameroon and barely three hours after, he appointed other members of Government in violation of Constitutional provisions which gives the Prime Minister the latitude to propose members of his team.

Looking at the interval of three hours which separated the appointment of the PM and other Ministers, it is abnormal for Dion Ngute, who was caught up in the frenzy and celebration to proposed a Government to Biya.

According to article 10 (1) “the President of the Republic shall appoint the Prime Minister and on the proposal of the latter, the other members of Government.”

Rather immediately after Dion Ngute was appointed he spent the rest of the evening receiving well-wishers, friends and family members who came congratulating him.

While Dion Ngute was still celebrating, Biya went ahead to publish a list of other members of Governmen,t which certainly had already been prepared at the time of appointment of the PM.

According to some political pundits, it is impossible for a PM to form within three hours a Government of close to 70 members. In other countries, it sometimes takes weeks before consultations are done and a final list is made.

Even though Dion Ngute claimed to have been surprised by the appointment, a Reverend Man of God (name withheld) confided in us that these men are always consulted before appointed.

He said before former PM Ephraim Inoni was appointed he called some of them to pray for him because he was already aware.

A retired Delegate of Education also told us that even when he was relieved of his former post to be appointed to a senior office he was already aware, and that it is impossible for somebody to be appointed to any high office without being consulted.

What we are told is that those who are appointed are always aware but those to be dismissed are not always informed which is why in the weeks after the swearing in of Paul Biya, there was serious panic in Yaoundé because of a cabinet shakeup.

Certainly Dion Ngute knew he would replace Yang at the Star Building of Cameroon, but what he did not know was members of his Government since he was not granted the Constitutional right to make consultations with possible players of the team and forward the list to Paul Biya for them to be appointed.

For example, most Ministers come into office with their Private Secretaries who have the rank of a Director in the central administration.

With administrative protocol forbidden a Minister to appoint his own Private Secretary, after settling into his new office, the Minister makes consultation with possible candidates who can be loyal and serve him. Thereafter, the name of the chosen candidate is forwarded to the Prime Minister who therefore appoints.

It is the same with most top officials of Ministries who are mostly mutated after the Minister must have done his consultations. In the case of Dion Ngute, he was never given the opportunity to form his Government and since loyalty to Paul Biya is more important than competence, Dion Ngute cannot raise a finger.

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