Elected as Mayor of Buea in 2002 on the platform of the ruling CPDM for a 5-year mandate and then reelected in 2007, Mr. Charles Mbella Moki has gathered more than 10 years of managerial experience in local governance. But this time around, this CPDM political tactician intends to run for Cameroon’s first senatorial polls billed for April 14.
Mr. Moki says he has what its takes to enhance Cameroon’s democracy through Senate. He sat down for an interview with Recorder Editor, Christopher Ambe in Buea.
|Buea Councillor Susan Mbua rejoicing with Mayor Moki for latter's decision|
Mr. Charles Mbella Moki,as mayor of Buea,you recently made public your intention to run for Senatorial elections. President Biya has just convened the Electoral College for April 14, 2013.How do you feel now?
I must be honest to tell you that I have been mandated by the people of Fako who are directly involved in the coming election- that is the councilors, to carry their dreams and aspirations of our people to the Senate. For me it is an act of God, and I am very thankful to the Almighty God for providing me with the opportunity to showcase the work that we have been doing all this while with the family of Buea Councilors and my time in leadership as YCPDM Section President and Section President. I want to use this occasion to thank everybody who has travelled with me through this journey-which serves today as a spring board for what is ahead of me-election into the Cameroon’s 100-member Senate. It is also time for me to extend my Gratitude to the President of the Republic for being so considerate by bringing this senatorial election at the appropriate time.
You consider the convening of senatorial election now –17 years after the Cameroon constitution provided for, as the appropriate time. But just so many people say President Biya has politically erred by billing senatorial election before municipal and Parliamentary elections; that such an important election would have come only after municipal and parliamentary elections-because the electoral college for senate who are the Municipal councilors are illegitimate, conscious that their mandate ended sometime in 2012,and was only extended . What is your reaction to this school of thought?
Let me say we are in country and the country has a government. You may have you say as an individual. But Government must have its own say and way. When the mandates of municipal councilors and MP’s were extended, nobody cried foul. It was done within the law. When the same legislators legislated and voted into law an extension of mandate, people applauded. No body complained. It is not because you find yourself in a disadvantage position that you paint black what is supposed to be white. It is not when you find your self in a disadvantage position that you cry loudest. I make bold to say here that President Paul Biya is a political strategist, who uses the appropriate time to take appropriate decisions to keep the country together and moving forward.
You may talk about the illegitimacy of some elected officials, but I wouldn’t side with you. I emerged from those elections and I am happy with the support that I have got from the electorate in Buea.I would like to send you back to the electorate to evaluate the time I have spent in the position was elected into. It has been a great time; our country is evolving; it is a process. We must move from one step in the process to another by accompanying the Head of State, President Paul Biya in ensuring that the right people are elected. Problems exist everywhere. The same problems people see in the CPDM are even greater in some other political parties. And so there is no perfect human enterprise and we are only trying to achieve success to the best of our ability.
Some aspirants are still hiding their intentions. So far, in Fako Division it is only Mr. Mbella Moki Charles who has declared his senatorial ambition. And you look so confident about it. What makes you that confident?
I have worked through the lengths and breadths of this region in providing support and assistance to every community. I have partnered with my brothers and sisters of this region to bring about development, happiness and satisfaction to the public. We have seen the actual situation of the region and know the feelings of our people. It is in this light that I want to imagine that, because we have not let the people of this region down, we have made ourselves available to serve them even more and give them the leadership this region deserves in trying moments like the one now. I am very sure that by the Grace of God and the best wishes of our loyal people our candidatures will go through hitch-free. I have confidence in the people of Fako, they too believe in me. This is a renewed moment for us to reinvigorate and energize the region with what we are bringing into legislative business in Cameroon. The time is now. Let every body wait and see the pleasant surprise we have for them; they should pray for us!!!
I was in your office the other day and you were granting an interview to a journalist. I overheard you say that you have what it takes to enhance Cameroon’s democracy through parliament. What do you mean by that?
I want you to know that the time I have spent in my local government career has enriched my political experience and leadership skills. I know how to bring people together, mobilize them for their own development and progress. There is no doubt that I have what it takes to enhance Cameroon’s democracy through Senate. When it comes to articulating the problems of my region and seeking for the solutions, I fear nobody in doing so. I enjoy advocating for meaningful development
In the Southwest, you appear to be the only lone senatorial aspirant who has gone public. Do you know any other senatorial hopefuls?
I am not the only candidate. There are other potential candidates. I believe that there are people who have more than what it takes to qualify for Senate. I presented my candidature at the appropriate time; other aspirants will certainly show up at their appropriate time.