The fight against corruption in public establishments in Cameroon
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The need to talk about corruption in Cameroon was and remains very crucial. But let it be said that the existence of corruption within a society is not specific to Cameroon alone. In principle, corruption is a scourge which has existed since human beings started organising themselves into communities, indicating that corruption exists in countries in the World over. What generally differs from country to country is its dimensions, its intensity and most important, the way the Government and the Society at large deal with the problem so as to reduce or eliminate it.This study discusses the fight against corruption in public establishments in cameroon. It makes use of the doctrinal research approach. Findings reveal that public figures have faced the Special criminal court timelessly due to corruption and misappropriation of funds in public establishments.It is recommended that,there should be a Public sensitization and punishment for violations as well as Improved training of officers
This chapter provides evolution of the corruption in the background to the study, discusses the problem that necessitated the research, the methodology employed, the objectives to be achieved and the significance and justification for the study, amongst others.
Corruption is a canker worm that has invaded the Cameroonian society. It cuts across all sectors in Cameroon, be they the Public or Private sector and, not even the church is free of corruption. It is an age-old phenomenon that has plagued the Cameroonian society notably in the Health, Educational, Judicial, Financial, Military, and in the Law and Order departments. Cameroon has twice topped the chart of the most corrupt states in the world-1998 and 1999 as per Transparency International indices. Corruption is manifested in several forms including; bribery, nepotism, graft, fraud, speed money, theft, pilferage, embezzlement, falsification of records and influence peddling.
Corruption (commission or omission) is punishable under section 134 of the Penal Code of Cameroon: It indicts “Any national, foreign or international civil servant or public employee, who for himself or for a third party solicits, accepts or receives any offer, promise, gift or present in order to perform, refrain from performing or postpone any act of his office. Also indicted under this section is anyone who receives a reward as remuneration for having already performed or refrained from performance of an act. The popular notion of a corrupt person suggests that only the ‘receiver’ is corrupt. However, this is far from the truth as the ‘giver’ commits no lesser evil. The Cameroonian Penal Code goes as far as punishing the corruptor. It provides that, “Whoever makes promises, offers, gifts and presents or yields to requests liable to result in corruption in order to obtain the performance, postponement or abstention from an act or one of the favours or benefit … shall be punished in a like manner as under section 134(1) above whether corruption produced its effects or not”. Other sections of the Penal Code punishing corruption in the public service include; s.137 (Indulgence), s.142 (Undue demand), s.160 (Compulsion of public servant), s.161 (Procuring Influence), s.312 (Corruption of employee), and s.184 (Misappropriation of public funds).
The classification of Cameroon as the most corrupt nation in the world in 1998 and 1999, made the government more willing than ever to fight the ill. The slogan “Corruption kills the nation” was adopted by the government in its fight against corruption. The national newspaper – Cameroon Tribune had a column devoted every day to corruption. The aim of this campaign was to educate Cameroonians on the ills of corruption and the potential damage it could do to the nation if it persisted. Government media actively engaged in the denunciation of acts of corruption in all sectors of public and private life, with the state newspaper – Cameroon Tribune – championing the battle by examining the illicit swelling of bills in Administrative services, graft in Educational facilities, the Police and the army, customs, health institutions, post and telecommunications services and the railway company among others.
In the early 1990s, Garga Haman Adji the then Minister in charge of Supreme State Audit and Public Service waged a war against embezzlers of state funds. He went as far as submitting names of corrupt officials to the Presidency, requiring that they be punished. The sum of funds embezzled totalled 357 million francs CFA. The response he got was rather discouraging as his Ministerial portfolio was modified, limiting his competence to civil service and administrative reforms. He thus lost his authority over the Supreme State Audit. He resigned from government believing that the modification was due to his hard-line stance against corruption.
In as much as this primary phase of the fight against corruption had its weaknesses, a number of achievements were recorded. These included; the arrest and sentencing of certain high-profile embezzlers such as Professor Titus Edzoa (former SG of the Presidency) and Michel Thierry Atangana by the Mfoundi High Court.
Corruption is a daily reality in Cameroon. There is no sector that is not infected: the army, customs, police, justice, national education, health services, public transport, public markets, the media, the electoral process, the civil service, and the private sector, basically all public and para-public activities, the relationship between the administration and individuals, and between individuals themselves………………………………………..CONTACT US TO HAVE THE COMPLETE COPY