Thursday, May 29, 2014

Buea Council ’s Failing Communication Policy: Who Is Misleading The Mayor?

By Christopher Ambe
When Ekema Patrick Esunge, on October 16 2013, was elected as the Mayor of Buea, this commentator, in fairness to the new mayor, penned a commentary titled “Mayor Ekema Patrick, Fight The Good Fight! The article, which was published in The Recorder of October 28, 2013, was a piece of advice on how Mr. Ekema   can make great strides in his new office and keep the trust of the public.
Mayor Ekema Patrick: Will he revise his communication policy?
The piece advised Mola Ekema to work in collaboration with all development stakeholders within his reach who have the modernization of the municipality at heart if he must transform his victory into concrete project realization”.

The development stakeholders mentioned above include the independent and public media. After all, one of the surest ways for an elected public figure to be accountable to the electorate is through the media. Many a political observer had thought that, Mola Ekema would maintain a warm relationship with the media -so to communicate his executed projects and his blue print, as his predecessor Charles Mbella Moki (now Senator) did for years and won public confidence.

Mayor Ekema himself admitted to have read The Recorder commentary, which also cautioned him thus: “There is no doubt that [you] will face challenges in the performance of [your] mayoral functions. Like it or not, there are people surrounding you and pretending to be friends, who will be secretly pulling you down. But a development-focused manager has the moral duty to identify his challengers and transform them into admirers”

 But that is not the case as Mayor Ekema -certainly ill-advised by some of his closest but pretentious supporters, has reportedly opted to cut links with the vibrant private press purportedly because some media institutions have always spotlighted his setbacks. This CPDM mayor too rarely makes himself available to the official media especially CRTV even when serious allegations are leveled against his person and or management style.

If there is one thing a public office holder must do very often in this ICT –conscious era, it is for that officer to mass-communicate his actions and plan of actions to the public, his electorate. That is accountability, which is what is expected of any public figures-no more, no less!

 As a public figure, Mayor Ekema should know that he has –knowingly or unknowingly opted for public scrutiny of his activities and his lifestyle. In fact, he is under the public scanner. He must learn to live with this,instead of thinking that, any criticism about his leadership by some newspaper has been sponsored by his detractors.
Mayor Ekema must be informed that, democratically –elected leaders fall in love with the media and not the other way round.  When the media criticizes a leader constructively, it is helping him/her to take correctional measures for the common good. That in another way is free consultancy for him.

In appreciating the important role of the media in the development of society, Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the United States of America and the spiritual father of the US Bill of Rights, on January 16, 1787 said,“…were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter”

Recently, a drivers’ syndicate in Buea filed a complaint against the mayor telling how he had pulled out a pistol and threatened to shoot members for trying to operate in the town .As serious as the allegation was, journalists tried to get the Mayor’s re-action to the allegation but he deliberately maintained sealed lips

As tension mounted and many wondered why he was not arrested, the mayor had a second thought and then refuted the allegation over the state-owned broadcaster CRTV and elsewhere, claiming it was the handiwork of his detractors.

In Cameroon, the private media is more vibrant than the public media and Mayor Ekema knows this too well that, millions of Cameroonians rely on the former for information and critical analyses of the country’s socio-economic and political landscape.

If the Mayor was initially reluctant to speak out on the gun issue, at least his Communication Unit would have issued a statement. But unfortunately, the communication unit of the Council did not. What kind of Communication office that does not communicate to the public?
The duties of the communication unit of any public office include helping the boss reach out to the public. But that of Buea Council has little or nothing to do with the Media. The Journalists working in the Council’s Communication Unit, according to my investigation, are not allowed to do their job when the image of the Council is at stake, on suspicion that they may not be loyal to Mayor Ekema.Yet, they are paid !

 There is no doubt that since Mola Ekema became Mayor of Buea he has launched a war against the vibrant Independent media,for their critical reports on his leadership. Several Journalists have complained how apparently on instructions of the mayor they have been chased away from the office of the mayor as they try to have access to him. What a shame!
The Mayor should be informed that Law no.90/052 of December 19, 1990 on Freedom on Mass Communication gives Journalists the right to access information. Section 48 (1) of the above cited law states “Unless otherwise provided by law and regulations, Persons shall be free to have access to official documents. Section 48(2) defines the documents concerned as “files,reports,studies,minutes,statistics,directives,instructions,circulars,memoranda and all documents relating to acts of positive law"

How can the media perform its duties well, when the mayor-a public figure has blacklisted some media organs making it rather too difficult for them to report on the Council activities?

Surprisingly, as the Mayor’s communication policy is failing, Dr. Ngange Lyonga kingsly, a communication consultant and journalism lecturer (of the University of Buea) is one of the 41 councilors of Buea. Why can the mayor not ask him to develop a public relations/communication strategy for the Council, instead of ignoring him?  Dr. Ngange Lyonga, I think, is an added advantage to the Mayor, in so far as public relations and public communication are concerned.

Charles Mbella Moki (now Senator) who was Mayor of Buea   for 11 years was a true friend of the press. He was constantly in the news not only because of his successes; some media outlets sharply criticized his leadership style, yet Mola Mbella Moki never launched a war against any media house. Instead, he drew lessons from his media critics to forge ahead with his blue print. And he succeeded to modernize the city of Buea, now known as the Town of Legendary Hospitality

Isn’t it time for Mayor Ekema to revise his communication strategy and start reaching out to the public, instead of paying attention to so-called friends and advisers, who want to see him fail by encouraging him not to work with the Media?

This commentator thinks it is time Mayor Ekema put a full stop to bad advisers who pass for his supporters but are envious of his position. Mr. Mayor, “Time flies and waits for no body!”
The venerated Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time”.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Cameroonian government and Actis make AES deal official

(Business in Cameroon) - The British investment fund Actis LLP and the Cameroonian government, represented by the Ministers of Finance and Energy, have taken-over all of AES Corporation’s assets (AES Sonel, Kpdc and Dpdc) in the electricity sector in Cameroon. According to Basile Atangana Kouna, the Cameroonian Minister of Energy, the formalisation of the partnership agreement with Actis was concluded with the signatures of both parties, including one that concerns the shareholding agreement and the guarantee of the Cameroonian government to AES-Sonel’s lenders.

The content of the agreements has not been published, but the Cameroonian government representative explained that Actis’ arrival should not worry the public. “Actis is committed to continuing the investments begun by AES in Cameroon. It is also committed to saving the jobs that will be left behind by its predecessor and also indicated that it would be giving 5% of its capital to employees. There is therefore no reason to fear the arrival of this new investor in the sector,” explained Minister Atangana Kouna.

For his part, David Grylls, who represented the investment fund indicated that Actis is taking its new responsabilities very seriously and will honour its engagements with regards to the Cameroonian government and its populations. “Our vision for Sonel is based on five major components: continuity of service, investment, operational performance, consolidation of management and staff and optimal governance,” he declared when he intervened.

Globeleq to manage KPDC and DPDC
With regards to the Dibamba and Kribi thermal plants, Actis LLP would manage them through its subsidiary, Globeleq Africa, which, according to a document distributed to the press at the May 23 ceremony,  and would share its experience with two other AES Corp subsidiaries in Cameroon, KPDC and DPDC, which produce energy for AES Sonel from the two previously mentioned thermal plants.

The deal between Actis and AES Corporation should close without difficulty as the British investment fund has already secured in 2013, through Actis Energy 3, the funds needed to meet its financial obligations towards the AES Corporation. AES announced in early November 2013 that it had reached an agreement with Actis for the sale of its shares in Cameroon’s electricity sector for a total amount of 220 million dollars (around 110 billion FCfa).  

The 1.15 billion dollars (over 500 billion FCfa) raised by Actis Energy 3 should enable the organisation to cover this amount. Nevertheless, Actis will be joining the Cameroonian electricity sector at a time when there is more and more pressure on Cameroonian people. This requires a more stable energy at more sustainable prices. Actis has not downplayed these challenges, but, in an interview with Financial News in November 2013, Mr Grylls had indicated that the greatest difficulty that Cameroon presents is a political one as is the case in most of the markets in which the fund has operations.
Idriss Linge

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

US Government Commends Cameroon National Day

By Christopher Ambe
As Cameroon today celebrates its forty-two(42) National Day,the Obama Administration yesterday issued a statement saluting the Cameroonian People for this important event, while hoping that warm cooperation between both  countries will continue . Following is the press statement ,issued by John Kerry,US Secretary of State:

"On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I congratulate the people of Cameroon as you celebrate your national day on May 20.

The United States and Cameroon have enjoyed a productive relationship since we first established diplomatic relations in 1960. Our bond has strengthened over the years, in part through our shared commitment to support peace and stability in central Africa.

Our governments work together on many fronts. We are working to curtail illicit trafficking. We are working to protect the environment. We are working to improve maritime security. We are working to address the threat posed by terrorism. And we are working to support the stabilization of the Central African Republic through the provision of U.S. equipment and training to Cameroonian troops deployed there as peacekeepers.

Our trade and economic relationship continues to grow as U.S. investment in Cameroon steadily rises. As Cameroon prepares to celebrate 42 years of unity, we welcome the opportunity to strengthen our partnership. Together, we can help bring greater security and greater prosperity to the entire continent.

I offer you my best wishes on this important anniversary. The United States looks forward to continued cooperation to promote democracy, human rights, and shared prosperity in Cameroon and across the region."

Dr. Fru Richard: A Magnet of Excellence Awards!

       By Christopher Ambe

Kribi Mayor hands award to Dr Fru (in shirt)
 Dr. Fru Richard, Chief Executive Officer of the Garden of Eden Naturopathic Institute of West Africa (GENIWA), with head office in Buea-Cameroon and an ardent advocate of traditional medicine, can be described as a magnet of excellence awards, for his contribution to the promotion of traditional medicine, as well as his philanthropic activities.

By the end of March 2014, he had many national and international awards to his credit in recognition of his contribution to the well-being of humanity, yet the awards keep coming.

Last April 4, Dr. Fru was again one of 35 laureates honored at Hotel Framotel in Kribi, Ocean Division of the South Region, the French language weekly L’Essentiel”,during a ceremony chaired the SDO for Ocean ,Bisaga Antoine. According to the organizers, the 35 laureates in different fields of activities were honored for their contributions towards Cameroon Vision 2035.

The President of the award jury was Professor Pierre Titi Nwel, a Board member of ELECAM with Bingono Francis Bingono of CRTV as one of the jury members.

An elated Dr. Fru had his award (a certificate and a trophy) handed to him, amid thunderous applause, by the Mayor of Kribi 1

After receiving the award, Dr.Fru remarked, “I feel elated and happy. It is usually said that hard work brings awards. I think it is because of our continuous efforts in the promotion of natural medicine in Cameroon, Africa and the rest of the world that we have been honored here again.”

   After the Kribi award, then came this year’s World Press Freedom Day on May, which coincided with Cameroon Herald Media Awards –which ceremony took place at Chariot Hotel, in Buea.

  Here again, Dr Fru was honored for his “outstanding contribution to humanity in the year 2013”

Friday, May 16, 2014

Cameroon:HELP-OUT Graduates Pioneer Batch of Professional Housekeepers

By Christopher Ambe
     A Cameroonian Human Rights non-governmental organization (NGO) based in the town of Buea, called HELP-OUT, has sent out its pioneer batch of Professional Housekeepers, after eight (8) weeks of intensive training.
 The intensive certified training program for house keepers and child care providers by Help-out is organized in collaboration with The Professional Housekeeper, USA.
   The program is intended for trainees to acquire “essential skills as professionals and explore the hundreds of employment opportunities abound in Cameroon and overseas.”
The trainees display their certificates in happiness
   The pioneer trainees, five in number who are all women, were recently handed their end-of –training certificates during a public ceremony in Buea that was attended among other dignitaries by Clara Manga, who represented the Southwest Regional Delegation of the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment & the Family.
She was happy with such a new training program and offered words of encouragement to Help-out.
   The training program was also lauded by Mr.Anu Vincent, member of the Advisory Board of the Help-out Professional Housekeepers program.
“We should encourage young people to enroll…The quality of the training and didactic materials are very good”, Mr.Anu said.
    Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Clarkson Obasi, Director of Help-Out, which started in 1997 focusing on human rights, prison/legal/democratic reforms, alternative dispute resolution, said due to the urgent need of professional house keepers in Cameroon, he contacted Marta Perrone, the founder of The Professional House keeper Training Program in California (USA) for the facility to be opened in Cameroon. “She immediately bought the idea and shipped in training materials,”Mr. Obasi said, adding, “She knew once the girls and women are a life skill, they will be respectfully and gainfully employed”
HELP-OUT Director .Obasi Clarkson
   The Director said the program is not meant only for destitute girls and women and encouraged house wives, nurses, university students to enroll. There is always something to learn”
  Talking about the impact of the training, he disclosed that “I visited one of the trainees already placed in Yaoundé and her host family was very appreciative of her input in their residence and they were the more surprised that the training is just two months intensive”
  The program ,the Director said, is mobile-meaning “we move to where trainees are and train them …except when they have to go on internship but then internship placement can also be near their homes if we find suitable places”
   Although physically absent at the graduation, Marta Perrone,founder of the Professional  Housekeepers in California USA,sent  a letter of encouragement to both the Director of the Help-out Professional Housekeeper Training Program and the graduating trainees.
   Part of the letter read: “Although I cannot be there to witness the joy in your faces for this great accomplishment, there is no doubt that all of you should feel proud and very excited.
“There are many necessary skills and attributes to work in the private service industry. You have now learned the skills. As you apply your knowledge, my hope is that you continue to grow and always strive for the best”
Trainees and officials in family picture
   The spokesperson for the graduates was full of praises for the training offered by Help-Out. “We are very grateful we have acquired the skills and we say ‘thank you’ to the initiator. It is never too late to learn”, she said, beaming.
  The pioneer graduates are: Mesdames Dimla Mirabel,Nyah Yvonne,Mojoko Mary,Lilian Bate and Belinda Tingen
The training, according to a Help Out leaflet, “has become necessary so as to curb the much -talked about child-labor and human trafficking phenomenon; that those certified are included in the database of Help-Out and are assisted to be respectfully and gainfully employed.
   Training modules include: Career Development, Housekeeping, In the kitchen, Laundry, Basic child care, Health and safety, Effective Communication and Protocol.
( For information, contact Help-Out,Buea-Cameroon Tel: 00237 77622112 Email:helpout­  Website:  or )

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Sudanese pregnant mother sentenced to death for ‘apostasy’

Western Embassies have expressed deep concern for a Sudanese woman who has been sentenced to death in Khartoum for ‘apostasy’ [converting to Christianity] as well as to 100 lashes for committing adultery.

Meriam Yahia Ibrahim, who is 27-years-old  and 8-months pregnant with her second child, received her death sentence on May 11. Despite her claimed faith in Jesus Christ,  Sudanese authorities are claiming that she is a Muslim by virtue of the fact that she was born in Sudan.
Amnesty International reports that she has been given until her next hearing on Thursday May 15 to renounce her Christian faith, otherwise she is likely to be sentenced to flogging and death.

 According to Justice Center Sudan, she was initially arrested and released on bail under suspicion of committing adultery in September 2013. Her  brother lodged the criminal complaint against her, claiming that she was Muslim and therefore illegally cohabiting with a Christian man. It was later established that Ibrahim and her partner were married, in a church in 2012, and that they even had a 20-month-old son together.
On May 11 the Criminal Court in Al-Haj Yousef (an area where many Christians live in Khartoum) convicted Ibrahim of adultery, after declaring her church marriage invalid on account of her Muslim faith and upbringing. The evidence used in court was based on a number of her family members’ accounts. The penalty for adultery under Article 146 of the Sudanese Penal Code is 100 lashes for offenders who are not married. 

Ibrahim was raised as an Orthodox Christian in a small town located in Western Sudan. A graduate of Khartoum University, she was a practising medical doctor when she married her husband, a South Sudanese Christian with US citizenship, Daniel Wani. Despite the Sudanese government’s refusal to recognise the couple’s marriage for Ibrahim; the adultery case which was opened against her husband was dropped on account of his undisputed Christian faith. The court also confirmed that he had married Ibrahim in a church.

Their first born child has been in prison with his mother since her arrest because the authorities regard him as a Muslim and will not allow him to be raised by his father who is a Christian. Ibrahim’s unborn child is expected next month. If her death sentence is upheld her children’s custody would be granted to the government, as the husband is not granted any rights over his children due to being a Christian. 

Justice Center Sudan, a local human rights organization that is appealing Ibrahim’s case on her behalf,   said Ibrahim has been under pressure to convert from Christianity to Islam with the promise to reduce or eliminate the charges, but there are no confirmed reports regarding her  response.
This case is unique to Sudan, as there are no other documented sentences from Sudanese courts that  are based on people of different faiths coming together in marriage.
The African Centre for Justice and Peace  Studies says this case demonstrates “the internal contractions of Sudanese law and its incompatibility with Sudan’s diverse population and international commitments”.

Sudan is ranked as the 11th most difficult country to be Christian of 50 countries to be ranked on the 2014 World Watch List.

The World Watch List is published annually by Open Doors International, a charity that supports Christians who live under pressure because of their faith.
  Courtesy:World Watch Monitor

Monday, May 12, 2014

Fako West Constituency: Hon. Lifaka Back to Field to Thank Electorate for Her Victory

By Christopher Ambe
Hon Emilia  Lifaka addresses  Maumu Electorate
    In keeping with what has become her tradition after electoral victories, Hon. Emila Monjowa Likafa, who was on September 30, 2013 re-elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for Fako West (Buea Rural), for the third term running, on Sunday May 11, returned to Maumu village, one of the localities in her constituency to say “Thank You” to the electorate.
    Hon .Lifaka, who is also Substantive Member of the running CPDM Central Committee and Vice-President of the National Assembly, carried along to Maumu bags of fertilizer, umbrellas, some kitchen utensils and a financial package which she happily donated to the electorate, apparently to make her Thank You Message not only personal but also tangible.
Praising the Maumu electorate for voting overwhelmingly for the CPDM in the 2002, 2007 and 2013 parliamentary elections, an elated Hon. Lifaka, told them: “I have come here to tell you, ‘Thank You’.”
She added, “When you befriend a hunter, you can hardly lack beef in your soup, and in your house.” Her statement was heavily applauded by the crowd of CPDM partisans present.
Warm welcome accorded Hon. Lifaka
    The VP urged the CPDM supporters in Maumu sub section to remain loyal to the CPDM which, she noted, is a party for meaningful development and progress.
     Conscious that Maumu is a cosmopolitan locality, the VP called for the reinforcement of Cameroon  Government’s policy of national unity and integration in the locality ,which -because of its rich volcanic soils, has attracted many non-natives especially North westerners who now settle there(for agricultural reasons).
“It does not matter from wherever someone has come and decides to settle in Fako,he/she  is considered also as a Fako person”, she told the crowd of jubilant  CPDM members and sympathizers who turned –up  to listen to her address them.
Hon Lisinge with hat & Mbome M.
    Earlier in her welcome speech, Mondoa Kulu, President of Maumu CPDM Subsection, described Hon. Lifaka not only as a duty-conscious MP but also as a caring mother, who has always communed with them, supporting their development efforts by assisting social groups, helping to build their school, donating school needs to less privileged children etc.
    But Mr. kulu, cited some pressing problems faced by Maumu such as lack of a health centre, a secondary school, a good roads which are begging for quick attention. He urged Hon.Lifaka to use her office and powers to follow up the realization of the mentioned projects in the locality.
Hon.Lifaka salutes crowd
    Replying to the worries raised by Mr.Kulu, the VP promised to lobby hard for the realization of the mentioned projects.
    Hon. Lifaka was accompanied to her “Meet –the- People Tour” in Maumu by Hon. Lisinge Arthur Ekeke, MP for Buea Urban and Emmanuel Mbome Motomby, 1st Deputy Mayor of Buea; there, both elected officials publicly rallied support for the VP and the CPDM party.
Bakweri  dance group displays
Choral singing and cultural dances added colour to the MP’s Maumu visit.
  The visit to Maumu was preceded by a similar one to Idenau a few weeks ago, during which Hon. Lifaka also made financial and material donations to the electorate.
    The VP is expected in the Bonjongo Court Area today May 12; on Thursday May 15 in Lysoka Area and on May 16, at the BONAVADA Area in continuation of her “Meet -the -People Tour

Friday, May 9, 2014

Insecurity in northern Cameroon draws hotel industry to a standstill

(Business in Cameroon) - Cancellations have been pouring in for rooms and meetings held and financed by western lenders while restaurants lie deserted. According to hoteliers in Northern Cameroon, this is what hospitality entities have been facing daily in the three northern regions of Cameroon for several months now.

Speaking about this in the Cameroonian government’s daily publication, Mr Saliou, deputy director of the Relais St. Hubert Hotel in Garoua, in the North, confessed that, “occupancy rates and restaurant patronage have fallen drastically. From the former average of 100 tourists per month per resort seen in previous tourism seasons,” he specified, “we have now fallen to barely two tourists per month.” The same knell has sounded for Benoué Hotel.
According to internal sources of the Extreme-North Regional Tourism Board, the situation is more serious. Without going into the figures, our sources declared that the current tourism year has been depressing in the region where most of the country’s most significant touristic sites are found, such as Waza Park. 

Indeed, it is the rising insecurity in this part of Cameroon for several months that is at the root of the deterioration of tourism across the three northern regions of Cameroon. Several western embassies have placed these regions on their black list and have advised that their citizens not come to these destinations. 

One can recall that two Italian priests and a Canadian nun were kidnapped by armed men in Extreme-North almost a month ago. This is the third kidnapping in two years following those of the Moulin Fournier family (seven were taken) and Father Georges Vandenbeuch, respectively in February and November 2013. In the night of May 1-2, 2014, 18 Cameroonians were taken hostage then later freed by the Cameroonian army not far from Garoua Boulaï in the East, neighbouring the country’s Northern provinces.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Cameroon GCE Board Set for Smooth Start of 2014 Examinations

  *But Warns Candidates Against Exam Malpractices
  By Christopher Ambe

Officials of the Cameroon GCE Board have said all is now set for the smooth take-off of this year’s certificate examinations the body runs. But they have strongly warned against exam malpractices, noting that a network has been put in place to root out any form of malpractices and get perpetrators prosecuted.

Sir.H.Ekema Monono
     Sir Humphrey Ekema Monono,GCE Board Registrar and Denis Mofor, Deputy Registrar In Charge of Examinations who had  an exclusively  joint conversation with The Recorder in Buea, last Wednesday April 30, confirmed that,  the exams will start on May 6 with the practicals and run through the month, then followed shortly by the written part.

    This year’s exam session has been placed under the watch words of “Vigilance, Responsibility and Citizenship.”
    A total of 164,789 testees are expected to sit for all exams the GCE board runs, which include GCE General and GCE Technical in both the ordinary and advanced levels.  This gives an absolute difference of 9,876 this year compared to number of candidates in 2013 and a percentage increase of 6.9, the Board officials revealed.
   Following is the breakdown of this year’s candidates: Ordinary Level-96,056 candidates; Advanced Level GCE general -47068 candidates;GCE Technical O-Level-8012;GCE Technical A-level-4801candidates;BAC Technique-1745;Bevet de tecniciens-1252;probatoire technic-3637;Probatoire de BT-2218.

Indeed, 6918 examiners have been shortlisted for the exams, to be supervised by 447 subject officials.
   Talking about the state of preparation, the Registrar said: “These are very trying moments for both the GCE Board and the candidates. All of us are tense-the Board is fighting tooth and nail to get materials ready for the exams; the students-going through their last minute notes to ensure that they give their parents including the public the results they expect…

“However, the Board is sailing smoothly on, preparing hard and fast to make sure we don’t leave out any details of what is expected of us.”

Sir Monono assured the clientele (parents, students and the public in general that “the Board is prepared and ready for the exams”, particularly wishing the candidates good luck.

    On attitude expected of GCE testees and even the public, Sir Monono said: “There are so many Do’s and Don’ts. For now, candidates should not think that the exams are coming from the moon. It is coming from their teachers and from the syllabuses prescribed by the GCE. So, their concentration should be a combination of efforts between teachers and students, and the schools. Don’t write the exam for somebody-that is a malpractice; don’t get to the exams with pre-prepared material (either a ruler, computerized wrist watch; electronic gadgets-for if they are seized you may be forfeiting your own life development-because you may be banned for up to three years. Those are the types of attitude we condemn.

“Let your teacher not step in and do the exam for you. I hear, if you touch your nose it means it is an A; your mouth, it is some other character for the multiple choice; your C is your ear. I don’t know; your eye is something else. Those are don’ts. Collusion is not allowed. Cheating is punishable. Some testees spend time putting facts on their palms or laps or shirts. Those are attitudes  we strongly condemn.

“Parents should make sure they care for the health and wealth of their protégés; give them enough support and attention-psychological and otherwise, so that they face this life’s challenge with ease. It is a choice we are making just as you have multiple choice. So if you know that you are not ready for the exams, don’t come and disturb others.”

The Registrar called for collective responsibility, noting that the rules and regulations are clear. “If you miss them, you are in trouble with yourself, not the Board or Mr.Monono; you are in trouble with the public, which will mete its justice on you”, he warned testees.

    Buttressing the Registrar, Mr. Mofor who is Deputy Registrar in charge of Exams, strongly warned against what he called the common practice in Buea, Bamenda and Yaoundé where university students are paid to write the GCE for others. “We have set up a strong network for that and no fraudster will go free,” he stressed, calling for cooperation from the public.
    The Exam officials said the Board is doing its very best to ensure that certificates are error-free. “Even when we publish the result and give them the result slips, we give candidates four months  to check and report any changes for correction”, said Mr. Mofor, who regretted that “some don’t check, and once we print the certificates we cannot change”
     Still on the Board’s efforts to minimize errors on certificates, Sir Monono added:

“There are four stages of correction. During registration, the candidate reads documents with the registering officer, obtains a time table; secondly we send the G2 back to the field for verification. I want to inform you that tons of those G2’s we sent out have come back without the candidates themselves appending their signatures certifying that their entries are correct. Lots of them have come back with few signatures.

 “On a school of about 400 candidates only about four have signed that the information is correct, which is a big problem. If they don’t correct at that stage, during the written phase, there is a form call GT14 where the invigilators/superintendents can still tell the Board that, ‘there is a mistake on this candidate’s date of birth or name’ for it to be corrected.

“Before we produce the certificates, we still go on the air, and so after we have done the certificate-I mean it is clear, this is legal tender, you don’t change it at the whims and caprices of individuals. It becomes a public commodity and should be defended as a purely legal document.”

     On how fast a candidate can obtain his certificate from the Board, Sir Monono said: “Certificates are given and we say that three months after you receive your slip, it becomes invalid. If you imagine that results are produced in August, in December certificates should be there; so candidates should know that by that time certificates are ready. If we have difficulties, it should not take up to a year to get one’s certificate.

Talking about missing certificates, the Registrar said:“If you have your certificate damaged  or you misplace it, you are free to ask for a duplicate so far as you obtain an attestation of loss, justifying that, that certificate is missing or damaged at a cost of 50,000FCFA.We don’t change certificates or do duplicates because of wrong dates of birth or wrong spellings of names”
    Appreciating the quality of certificates awarded by the Board, Sir Monono noted: “Our certificates are respected because they are hard-earned and the exam procedures follow international norms -from item preparation to testing and marking. The exams are marked by very qualified and competent teachers, overseen by academic dons of the universities…our certificates are valid legal tender. ‘They are worth their weight in gold.’ The certificate is valid in and out of Cameroon...”
    The Board executives concluded their conversation with The Recorder by giving the assurance that, all necessary arrangements have be made to ensure that marking dues and out-of station allowances will be paid in keeping with the means available.