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« Patience Dabany: The Forgotten Chapter in Omar Bongo's Storied Personal Life | Main | U.S. Ambassador Janet E. Garvey: Cameroonians Should Take Ownership of their Country »

June 17, 2009


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Jean Paul Toure

Barack Obama withdrew U.S. visa to some corrupt camerounian politicians

The Post | Yaoundé , Cameroun | Publié le 17-06-2009

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U.S. President believes that some officials are corrupt and that their bank accounts in the United States are disproportionately' ' furnished '' compared to the level of living in Cameroon. In a note signed and sent to the Head of the Cameroonian State through the U.S. embassy in Yaounde, the Obama administration is the listing of the Cameroonian politicians banned from the USA Saturday.

America justifies this decision by the results of investigations by their agents on the accounts of some Cameroonians abroad and on U.S. territory. FBI agents and CIA have found that certain politicians in Yaoundé had too many accounts ''furnished' ' in contrast with the general standard of living of the average Cameroonian. They have thus reached the conclusion it is the taxpayer's money diverted. Hence decide not to issue visas for the United States for these per sons, their wives and children. Anyone already in possession of a U.S. visa and whose names appear on this list will have these visas simply suspended.

It should be recalled that the former USA ambassador to Cameroon, Niels Marquardt had repeatedly said that the United States prohibit the entry of any person whose property in the United States are considered suspicious or ill-gotten . He had at one time, pleaded with members of Cameroon for the respect of Article 66 of the Constitution which requires any person who accesses a political office to declare their property. This law has never been applied starting with the first of Cameroonian, President Biya.

The threat has been implemented . Most recently, the current ambassador of USA in Yaounde, Janet Garvet, affirmed her support to the Cameroonian authorities in appropriate cases where they wished to repatriate assets held by some Cameroonians pinned under the operation hawk . She then stated that the U.S. secret services will provide full support.

Please find below, the list of 44 billionaires submitted by the Americans to Mr. Biya to continue the EPERVIER operation he started last March 2006. The list was published by a local newspaper called the Le Jeune Observateur and listed the billionaires in order of importance:

1. Polycarpe Abah Abah

2. Alphonse Siyam Siwe

3. Emmanuel Gerard Ondo Ndong

4. Gervais Mendo Ze

5. Remy Ze Meka

6. Pierre Desire Engo

7. Akame Mfoumou

8. E.N. Etonde Ekoto

9. Atangana Mebara

10. Marafa Hamidou Yaya

11. Zacheus Mungwe Forjindam

12. Njankou Lamare

13. Charles Metouck

14. Peter Akumchi Awa

15. E.E.Etoundi Oyono

16. Talba Malla Oumate

17. Aristide M. Okouda

18. Yves Michel Fotso

19. Jean B. Bokam

20. O. Olanguena Awono

21. Iya Mohamed

22. Josep Edou

23. G. Roger Belinga

24. Louis P. Motaze

25. Meva Eboutou

26. Roger Melingui

27. Pierre Titi

28. S. Mounchipou

29. Gregoire Owona

30. Patricia Enam

31. E. Mongori

32. Nyamsi Mongue

33. Charles Tawamba

34. Laurent Nkodo

35. P. Ngamo Hamani

36. A. Manga Massina

37. Rebecca Ndedi

38. Alain Edgar Mebe Ngoa

39. Perrial Nyodog

40. Lucien Meva

41. J. Njomatchoua

42. Caroline Abah Abah

43. Foumane Akame

Wirndzerem GB

This is an interesting interview that provided me with a refreshing read, especially as it touches on salient and sensitive issues about our literature which is living a difficult time : not that of productivity as such ; but that of saleability, visibility, availability, readabilty and criticism. I concur with Joyce that wwe most evolve original strategies in this direction, and she rightly suggested Ekwensi’s domesticated and indigenized strategy of hawking. I must tell i was elated to read and advert the other day calling on holiday makers to apply for hawking positions to hawk Cameroonian books ! A door to door marketing ploy that falls in line with that suggestion. Our local home movie-makers and music-makers understood that ahead of us, i ve seen them hawk from door to door, office to office, at church, at njangis etc ! we must catch up. There is the book-fair way, places like Zimbabwe have bercomme popular hubs in the african book industry because of their fairs ! we should understand that evey place where two are gathered is a potential market for books sold affordably.

She states interestingly that « As long as foreign publishers remain the mid-wives of our stories, they will keep determining the nature of these stories ». But as i said elsewhere : what are we doing with the cheap cyber media when it comes to taking the bull by the horns as other africans, (esp anglophone african countries and their online mags and anthologies) are already doing while waiting for hardcopy publications ! Just the case of the Pala Pala initiative selflessly promoted has met significant indifference from our critical academia inspite of the several times that they have been forwarded all issues thru e-maillistings, especially by Mr Dibussi. Appropriation has been apathetically shirked. Theree is deafening critical silence, esp in the instantaneous & lively online feeedback…That said, i am happy with Joyce’s benign contradiction to her above-cited statement, that afterall : «Any opportunity to showcase African literature is welcomed.» and also adds in same vein regarding Achebe’s Penguin (another foreign midwifery structure) function that « Achebe is going to be an Editorial adviser…However I applaud Achebe’s appointment because he more than any other African, understands the politics that control writing ». Well, these are the situations (which marxist and new historicists understood well when they analyse the power dynamics in the capital/ideology/production complex) we have to live with while we reorder our cultural priorities.

As for Nganang’s disturbing dismissal & discount of status in what Joyce eloquently particularises as ‘visibility’ ; it begs the question of what could have become of a great writer like Nganang in terms of relative anonymity to the wider audiences, critical and demotic, if we substract the ostentation of the Marguerite Yourcenar prize ! it is both a status maker, canon maker and a sales booster, you cant discount that my dear Nganang ! and couple that with an outing and handshake from the head of state and minister of culture with the national press screaming your works…mark you, you will inspire a thousand local readers and young ones who will see in writing a dignified & venerated vocation : a literary culture with greater momentum will be evolved, not for the « individual » writer’s prestige but for the symbol & symbolism he rightly incarnates ! ask me why USA has laureates, state and national : it is not about « money » it is about « wealth », collective cultural wealth, that is what this valuation of status symbolises ! He is a writer and should best master the importance of symbol which is one the fulcra of his trade !

Dr. Joyce Ashuntantang

Interesting feedback. I enjoyed reading this.

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