May 2024

There was a time when the Ministry of Territorial Administration (MINAT) was considered one of the most important in the country, using few words, with quiet habits, discreet power and all the more respected. It was the convenient symbol of a competent administration with a good understanding of the law. It has now sunk into vulgarity and excesses, ignorance of the texts governing its missions and permanent abuse of power.

On 23 May 2024, while we were still discussing the confiscation of the celebration of our country’s National Day by the regime acting under cover of the Minister of Territorial Administration and the excesses committed against the CRM members having participated in the parade, with the approval of the competent DOs, in certain areas of the country, the Minister of Territorial Administration made public a press release demonstrating ignorance.

As every time a leader of an opposition political party expresses himself in a way that does not meet his expectations, he criticizes, in expressions that are similar from one press release to another : after having treated the leaders some political parties of the opposition, who are doing efforts to get Cameroonians massively registered on the electoral lists, of “adventurers in need of nitoriety”, in his Communiqué of the 23rd of May, he belittled against what he calls “certain opposition political actors in need of notoriety”. In fact he is talking about himself, he who is chasing a notoriety which he sorely lacks, because there is no basis his notoriety could rely upon.

Regarding the organization of public meetings and manifestations, it is appalling to note that the Minister in charge of the protection of public liberties, who controls political parties, writes that he “reminds the leaders of political parties that only the DOs (…) can AUTHORIZE the organization of political activities (congresses, rallies, meetings)”, thus displaying his incompetence undoubtedly based on a superficial knowledge of the appropriate legislation. Indeed, these activities of political parties are regulated by Law No. 90/055 of 19 December 1990 governing public meetings and manifestations in the Republic of Cameroon, section 3 of which provides: “(1) Public meetings, whatever the reason, ARE FREE (2) However, they must be first DECLARED. Section 6 sub 1 of the same law provides for its part: “All processions, parades, marches and gatherings of people and, in general, ALL MANIFESTATIONS ON THE ROAD are subject to the obligation of prior DECLARATION”. In other words, the scheme of meetings and public manifestations is, in the Republic of Cameroon, that of DECLARATION AND NOT OF AUTHORIZATION!

The Minister of Territorial Administration claims that “only the DOs” carry out this mission which would, according to him, be to authorize or prohibit public meetings and manifestations, “under the supervision of the SDOs and the coordination of governors.”

Should I remind you that it is on the basis of Fax-Message no. 003134/MFX/MINAT/CAB of 14 September 2020 from this Minister that hundreds of peaceful protestors from our party were arbitrarily and illegally arrested on the occasion of ‘a demonstration duly declared and not prohibited by any DO; that they were tortured, then meted out heavy prison sentences with the complicity of magistrates who had renounced their oath for a long time.

The said Minister barely surpasses himself when, through ridiculous threats, he believes he can prohibit anyone, without any legal basis, from using this or that expression, or take control of political parties through illegal acts and through his liege men and other straw men.

This is the occasion for me, the CRM militants and sympathizers and its leaders, to express our strong support for MP Cabral LIBII, National President of the PCRN, and Barrister Paulin DJORWE, Acting National President of the MDR, in the judicial and political fight that they courageously carry out for the respect of the laws governing the creation and functioning of political parties in Cameroon. It is a shame that a Minister who was very active in rigging the elections, in particular those of 7 October 2018, using false polls and false international observers from Transparency International, collusion with Elecam, lacks so much probity and judgment, because if he had even a bit of it he would be careful not to act as a mentor insulting and unnecessarily threatening.

Everyone must understand that although the CRM is deeply committed to peace and has worked tirelessly to preserve it in our country since its creation in 2012 to date, it will no longer accept violence, wherever it comes from – from the CPDM or state services- without reacting.

Peace will reign in our country from now on today and tomorrow if we all want it together, in particular by respecting the laws of the Republic, by refraining from rigging the elections and blocking the activities of other political parties on the field to favour the CPDM, in a logic of a single party.

As we have said, we will dance today and tomorrow, particularly in 2025, to the rhythm that the regime will impose on the political life of the country: if they want it to be peaceful, it will be peaceful; if they prefer to hide into disorder and violence, so would it be. There is no point in shouting and blaming anyone. It is the regime in place, which exercises power, supported by the CPDM. They cannot reign unchallenged, systematically rejecting for more than ten years the slightest reform, such as that of the electoral code, or preventing political parties of the opposition from carrying out their most republican activities, and they want to attribute to others the responsibility for possible violence.

Cameroonians say: IT IS ENOUGH!

Done on 25 May 2024.

The CRM National President

Maurice KAMTO