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General News of Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Source: cameroonjournal.com

Bamenda group wants Biya to dissolve Senate and ECOSOC within 21 days

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A coalition of civil-society organizations, CSOs, and trade unions of the North West region are demanding the immediate scraping of the Senate and the Economic and Social Council, ECOSOC.

They have given the President 21 days to heed their request.

The group claims that the Senate as created is a mere duplication of Parliament and serves as just another platform for the regime into injudiciously squander hard-earned tax-payer's money.

The demand came after the CSOs established that despite the series of meetings between government, on the one hand, and transporters' trade unions and other CSOs on the other hand, no sufficient reason was given for the increase of fuel prices.

The request is contained in a memo signed by leaders of hotel industries and tourism promoters' federation, organization of consumers' sovereignty and CCTU and forwarded to the head of state, President Paul Biya.

The protesting organizations have as part of the memorandum called on the government to reduce fuel prices and the exorbitant spending of some ministries, lest they undertake an endless strike action in the country and North West in particular.

Meeting at Necla Hotel’s Freedom Hall in Bamenda, last week, the civil-society organizations and trade unions condemned government's action to squander huge sums of money on fuel for ministers' and directors' vehicles while imposing hither-to impossible financial burdens on the common man.

"This is happening despite the 2008 decision to cut down on government expenditure by buying less expensive and more economical cars."

They argued that the so-called increase in civil servants' salaries does not in any way lighten the burdens of the great majority of Cameroonians, who are not civil servants and who must face the direct consequences of the price hikes in multiple ways.

The coalition regretted that, for the most part, fiscal policies are exploitative and fraught with loopholes, which allow for the unsympathetic extortion of the poor by unscrupulous state agents.

"Article 66 of the constitution of the Republic of Cameroon calling for the declaration of assets before assuming any high public office has been totally ignored.

The head of state in his 2005 end of year speech acknowledged the sacrifices of Cameroonians and declared that there was light at the end of the tunnel and in 2013, declared Cameroon a state for equitable distribution of wealth."

However, the group regretted that even basic utilities that should be freely provided for the ordinary Cameroonian are commercialized.

Harping on embezzlement, the CSOs enjoined the government to cause those who have embezzled public funds to pay back the money instead of keeping them in prisons and that salaries of civil servants be increased by 50%.

On fuel prices, the coalition demanded that super petrol be sold at 450FCFA a litre, diesel at 400 FCFA, kerosene, 200FCFA and cooking oil at 4. 500FCFA.

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