As a response to two articles on “private” justice- Cameroun - Cour suprême/Daniel Mekobe Sone (Premier Président de la Cour suprême): «La justice privée est une dérive intolérable dans un État de droit»-and Jean Francois Belibi : Cameroon, justice populaire, ces derives qui derangent- the issue of “private” justice is in need of further debate that begins with the necessity to make some much needed clarification on the state of justice and the balance of power between, the executive, legislative and judicial branch in Cameroon.1
At present, it’s important to make a clear distinction between the separation of power between the executive, the legislative and the judiciary in Cameroon.
The Cameroonian vast and bloated executive branch through its repressive police state intrudes into virtually every aspect of Cameroonian life and shut down internet right of Cameroonian when it see fits. The executive branch regulates almost everything in the country. The executive branch is staffed by legions of bureaucrats who enjoy job security and can do very well if they know the right people to please. The executive branch is de facto the legal authority that write and interpret its own governing statutes and expand the scope of its own authority. In its own spheres of influence, the executive branch acts as legislator, prosecutor, and judge. In this regime called “presidentialiste au pouvoir reinforce” which basically means the president as monarch with absolute right. Within this context, the legislative serves as a recording chamber and the judicial has no independence.
The executive branch is known to work not from the public good but its own self-preservation which means that the whole bureaucracy is geared toward the pleasure and satisfaction of the president. The only law is the law of self-preservation. As such, Marafa Hamidou Yaya is sitting in prison because, in his own words, he wrote that he had asked the president not to run in the latest masquerade that is being called election in Cameroon. Many others high ranking officials and elite member of the business class such as Jean-Marie Atangana Mebara and Yves Michel Fotso are languishing in jail sacrificed for the president failed plane “The Albatross” which never managed to fly. The president as the instigator of this failed plane acquisition in violation of the International Monetary Fund never had to explain his role in this failed business enterprise.
Now, regarding the lynching or “private” justice running amok in the country. The government is responsible for the security of its citizen, Security is an unalienable rights. It is welcome that the president of the Supreme Court mentions “private” justice but the president of the Supreme Court is not a policeman. His role is to interpret and judge the law not to get down on the streets and arrest lynches himself.
For time and time again, the executive branch has called for the justice to deal with its own incompetence and political conflicts which have nothing to do with embezzlement as the Marafa’s case. If we have an entire government in prison, the president has to explain why this situation is happening but he never does so and without consequence and, in the process, legalizing the incompetence he pretends to be fighting against. Thus, in practice, making corruption inconsequential by keep passing the buck.
Here, the executive, legislative and judicial branch have to accept accountability.
As a matter of policy, for examples, the legislative branch has to stop abdicating authority. That begins by casting hard votes such as term limits for the president. Nomination of high ranking officials have to be vetted by the Senate as in the United States to make sure competent people are in place to do the job and real civil service reform takes place.
The judicial has to judge the law and not getting into the business of resolving political conflicts or problems of ‘private” justice when the government is abdicating the responsibility to ensure ordinary people safety.
1-Cameroon-info.net, Liliane J. Ndangue feb, 2/23/2017 and Camer.be feb/24/2017