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Accumulation Of Public Offices: PM Clarifies Lawmakers

The first question time plenary sitting for June 2014 held in the National Assembly on June 20, 2014.

The Prime Minister, Head of Government Philemon Yang and two other cabinet ministers during the Question Time plenary sitting in the National Assembly on June 20, 2014 provided answers to questions on a number of issues including the functioning of the Special Criminal Court, cumulating public positions, the fourth National Population and Housing Census and use of vehicles  with tinted glasses.

Cumulating Public Positions

On a question by Hon. Awudu Mbaya  on whether the holding of two or more public duty posts by one person being a mark of efficiency or insufficiency, Prime Minister Yang said from the legal stand point, it was possible for an official to hold two or more duty posts when they are not incompatible. 

Mr Yang said it was due to government’s quest to satisfy the need for highly experienced man-power, stating that public authorities by doing so ensure that the positions fall within the area of competence of the people appointed. Other cases, he explained, concern transitional situations where the official appointed holds the two positions waiting for a replacement.

From the managerial stand point, the Prime Minister said positions such as board chairpersons of some State corporations and institutions were part time services and do not really weigh down on the officials appointed nor affect work. It is intended to economise resources. He stated clearly that the plurality of office by one person is fought in compatible cases citing the laws governing legislative and municipal elections.

Special Criminal Court

Prime Minister Philemon Yang also answered Hon. Martin Oyono’s questions on why the money recovered by the Special Criminal Court from convicted embezzlers of public funds was insignificant compared to hundreds of FCFA billions they are said to have embezzled, the freeing of detainees that does not  match with public opinion and the difficulty in have a clear idea of the amounts embezzled as Article 66 of the Constitution has not been implemented.

He said the recovery of the money was satisfactory, citing  the report of the Minister of State for Justice on March 25, 2014 during a question time plenary sitting in the National Assembly.  The Minister of State disclosed that the amount so far recovered  since the entry into function of the court was FCFA 2.4 billion that represented only the restitution of corpus delicate.  He said government was determined to continue recovering the money.

Concerning the freeing of people, the Prime Minister said Cameroon was a State of law and magistrate render verdicts based on the law and their conscience. Court decisions, he said could not be submitted to referendum.

Population and Housing Census

Hon. Mbah Ndam asked the Minister of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development, Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi whether the periodicity of the fourth National Population and Housing Census will be respected in 2015 and guarantees that the results will be published in time and will be accepted.

Without stating that the fourth National Population and Housing Census will hold in 2015, the Minister said there were preparations at the technical, financial and institutional levels. He disclosed that in the 2014 State budget, FCFA 905 million was allocated for the preparation of the census. All efforts, he said were made to ensure that the census respects international standards and carried out using appropriate technology and by efficiently trained personnel at all levels.

Vehicles With Tinted Glasses

Answering a question on the criteria used in permitting people to circulate in vehicles with tinted glasses, the Minister Delegate at the Presidency in charge of Defence, Edgard Alain Mebe  Ngo’o  said it was violation of series of laws he cited. He said the glasses have to be sufficiently transparent to guarantee the security of users of the vehicles and forces of law and order.

As to why many senior officials drive in cars with tinted glasses, the Minister said the law has to be applied to all, stating that some Policemen and Gendarmes allow the officials based on security reasons the officials advance. Fines for violating the law were FCFA 36,00 instead of the FCFA 25,000 some unscrupulous security officials have been extorting from people.

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