|Mayor Mbella Moki: Senatorial Candidate|
By Christopher Ambe
Born 40-something years ago, Charles Mbella Moki, hails from Likoko Membea village, in Buea Subdivision. He is married and a father of several children. He is President of Fako III CPDM Section and Mayor of Buea
The sagacity, so far, displayed by this CPDM apologist in the political terrain has left many people -from all walks of life, either in a pensive or cheerful mood.
Mr.Moki’s political forward- march towards the sky- from a simple CPDM militant, to YCPDM section president, to CPDM section president and then two-term plus mayor of the historic and strategic town of Buea leaves his many critics speechless and confused .There is no doubt that, his political leap forward is also attracting more admirers especially among the youth, who are tomorrow’s leaders.
It is no exaggeration to say that, Mr.Moki is a household name in Cameroon’s political landscape; that although in the CPDM, members of other political parties, across the national territory, see merit in his courage and sense of commitment.
The Recorder has observed that Mr. Moki has transformed many of his challengers and detractors into admirers, by using his various achievements –whether as a local party leader or Mayor, as well as his outspokenness and power of persuasion. This is so because Mr.Moki fights-when he has no other option, what pundits call the Good Fight of Faith. He believes in victory, is determined and focuses, most of the times, on goals, and not people, as his guiding principles.
This career electrician-cum politician, who holds a City and Guild Certificate in Electrical Installation Works and did a correspondence course in Advanced Electrical Technology (Aldersmastav College, London), had before worked dutifully with PAMOL,Lobe;Alpha Engineering Enterprise and then SONEL,earning the admiration of his employers.
But Mr.Moki, his friends have testified, developed such soft spot for party politics and fell for the ruling CPDM.
Mr.Moki, described within Fako CPDM as a political tactician, started it like a joke by announcing well ahead of time, to a large audience, during the launching of Buea Transparency Initiative, at Capitol Hotel, Buea, his senatorial ambition.
Others with the same ambition were either shy or considered it premature to voice out their political intentions.
And it came to pass when the CPDM hierarchy in Yaoundé shortlisted Mr.Moki, from a long list of others, as one of their seven senatorial candidates for the southwest Region.
There were reports how some Southwest elite especially from Fako said a person of the caliber of Mr.Moki is not ripe enough to represent the Region in Senate, to be born after the April 14 senatorial election. In 2002, when he made public to gun for the office of Buea, detractors said he was not qualified to be mayor of a university town. But those who championed this line of argument were later ridiculed realizing that he did not only complete his first mandate but won a second.
In fact, known elites fought against his senatorial candidature. But a confident Mr. Moki did not bother about any smear campaign, conscious that such would instead serve as a springboard for him.
The Presbyterian Christian was overheard telling some of his supporters, “Let us leave this fight in the hands of God.” And so it came to pass that he was selected by CPDM hierarchy as senatorial candidate.
In June 2002, when the CPDM won the municipal election in Buea, Mr.Moki, against all odds, put up his candidature for the post of Mayor, to challenge Arthur Ekeke Lisinge, then Buea CPDM President and Municipal list leader.
What happened, happened: Mr. Moki defeated Mr.Lisinge by 22 to 19 votes, to become the Mayor of Buea.
“Mbella Moki’s democratic victory shocked many, mostly supporters of Lisinge and party bigwigs in Buea”, reported The Herald, now defunct. The paper reported that a huge smear campaign against Mr.Mbella Moki had been carried out, during which he was described as “arrongant, irresponsible, poor and academically weak”, to be mayor of a university town
“So angry with the smear campaign was Mr.Mbella Moki that he turned down requests from partisans not to put up his candidature”, the Herald reported.
“The smear campaign against Mr.Mbella Moki boomeranged as he instead gained more sympathy from the electorate”
Violence erupted in protest against Mr.Mbella’s election as mayor and Ngambi Dikoume,then Fako SDO suspended the session, pushing the election his deputies to some other day.
Even pressure by some Buea elite put on the party hierarchy in Yaoundé to cause the annulment of Mr.Moki’s election, which was free and fair, did not yield fruits.
Mr. Moki then remained mayor, battling, during his first tenure, with detractors and trying to execute his development blue-print for the municipality. At the end of his first mandate, he did his best in enhancing development in the municipality, but such was seen by critics as not enough
Surprisingly in July 2007, Mr.Moki was reelected Mayor of Buea and he became more development-driven, executing attention-catching projects to the satisfaction of the public and the Government. His realized projects are visible for all to see.
Having completed two five –year terms as mayor, came an extension of the mandate to end in July this year.
Calculative and foresighted, Mayor Moki decided to leap forward: to become Senator. He was cheered up by many, yet many disliked this new political plan.
As it now seems, Mayor Moki is likely to occupy a seat in Seante after the April 14 election.
Mr.Moki has held other strategic posts of responsibility elsewhere such as President of Southwest FECAFOOT, President of Southwest mayors, and is a Board member of CAMWATER.
Therefore, any reasonable person would just be doing Mr.Moki justice to say: He has what it takes to be a senator. Why not give him a chance!
Mr. Senatorial Candidate, we of The Recorder wish you well in your efforts to help build and modernize Cameroon. Can skeptics still say Mr.Moki is not an exemplar?
NB:First published in The Recorder Newspaper,Cameroon,of March 22,2013