By NFOR Hanson NCHANJI
Limbe, Cameroon-Sunday March 25, 2018-10 : 30 AM Local Time ( Cameroon News Agency) Senatorial Elections are taking place today in Cameroons 10 regions for the second time in its history and for the first time since the Anglophone crisis started but is the public satisfied with inputs of outgoing Senators? The answer is hanging in the air.
It will be a daunting task for the nation and Senators whose place in Cameroons political ladder is being challenged by critics positing that it is huge expenditure for a developing country to harbor both houses of parliament.
Today about 10,000 Councillors and Mayors( who are all Councillors anyway) will vote in about 81 polling stations across the ten regions of Cameroon.
Some 9 political parties are running in for the polls to have 70 Senators voted out of 100, 30 will later be appointed by Presidential Decree.
According to Chapter 1, Section 3 of Law No 2006/005 of 14 July 2006 to lay down conditions governing the election of Senators, “(1) Each region shall be represented in the Senate by 10 (ten) senators 7 (seven) of whom shall be elected by indirect universal suffrage on a regional basis and 3 (three) appointed by decree of the President of the Republic.”
The task this year is huge as security has been top on the agenda, reasons why Governors of the two English speaking regions have banned the circulation of Motorbikes in the entire regions. Even though Southwest Governor Bernard Okalia Bilai went further to ban the circulation of vehicles, persons and goods this Sunday March 25.
However the ban has not been respected as several bikes and vehicles could be seen circulating especially in the capitals of both regions; Bamenda and Buea.
The first Senatorial elections took place in April 2013 but the Upper House of Parliament has lost several of its members who have never been replaced according to the law, giving an impression that it is being run in all illegality.
The house which seemed to have an invisible hand from the Executive (evident in praise singing Senate President) has failed to respect provisions of article 219 of the Electoral Code, which states in article 1 that in case of death of an elected Senator and in accordance with provisions of article 155, the procedure for by-elections in the constituency shall take place.
Furthermore paragraph 3 of this section states that in case of death of an appointed Senator, a new Senator is appointed to complete the term, at the behest of the President of the Republic, who has never done to.
The 2013 breed of Senators have just used their five years in Parliament to hand clap and enjoy tax payers money without any concrete job done.
The ruling CPDM majority have approved bills tabled before them like a letter sent through the post office, no concrete scrutiny nor objection.
The hand clapping men and women, some closer to their graves have little or nothing to ride home about in terms of achievement, a good case in Senator Dinga Ignatius who was seen for the first time in a public meeting with Councillors in Ngoketundjia division since 2013.
Dr Nick Ngwanyam, whose list has been rejected twice by CPDM Central Committee once said that Northwest Senators have proven beyond all reasonable doubts that they have failed to live up to expectations. He disclosed that after offering some cheap Motorbikes to some individuals in Bamenda, Northwest Senators went comatose and have only resurfaced this year for another lie.
Dr Nick told CNA that the political games at the Central Committee is so big and beyond comprehension, leaving this reporter to conclude that files are chosen not based on the capabilities of the candidate but of the ties, friendship and or huge brown envelopes that exchange hands under the table at the detriment of millions of Cameroonians who need good roads, water, schools, electricity, health coverage, good laws, justice,equity and fairness.
The Senators of today do not only have these challenges, also that of the Anglophone crisis which their predecessors skillfully avoided due to party discipline and or the invisible hands of the Executives.
History will however remember the oldest member of the Senate and Paramount ruler of the Bafaws, Senator Nfon VE Muktete who despite party stance, made powerful outings on the form of the State, suggesting that only a return to Federalism and solve the Anglophone crisis. Such rare and hard stance has been lacking within the ruling CPDM party.