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Anglophone MPs Split Over National Dialogue Forum 

By Yerima Kini Nsom

Hon. Joseph Mbah Ndam

CPDM Members of Parliament, MPs, of the Southwest Region, have rejected a proposal by a prominent Anglophone elite, Dr. Simon Munzu, to end the current Anglophone Crisis through the National Dialogue Forum.

The MPs registered their disapproval of Dr. Munzu’s initiative in two tersely worded disclaimers.
One of them is a general disclaimer in English, while the second one in French was sent to the Secretary General of the CPDM on Friday, July 7.

The letter was signed by the Deputy CPDM Parliamentary Group Leader, Hon. Muyali Boya nee Meboka and one of the Vice President of the National Assembly, Hon. Emilia Lifaka Monjowa.

The letter was the outcome of a meeting the Southwest CPDM MPs had in Yaounde on July 7.

In the letter, the MPs told the CPDM Scribe that they disown the correspondence, Dr. Munzu, the Interim Coordinator of the Anglophone Dialogue Forum, ADF, wrote to the Presidency of the Republic on their behalf.

The disclaimer reads: “We, the undersigned members of the National Assembly from the Southwest Region do hereby disavow ourselves from the letter from Dr. Munzu Simon or his associates, sent to the Head of State, calling for a ‘National Dialogue Forum on the Anglophone Crisis in Cameroon.

We remain loyal and hopeful to the course being carried out by our National President, His Excellency President Paul Biya aimed at resolving the Anglophone Crisis”

An attempt, The Post learnt, to let Northwest CPDM MPs issue a similar disclaimer, hit the rocks of disapproval. Those who rejected the idea of a disclaimer argued that Munzu only made a proposal to the MPs and did not send any letter to the President of the Republic on their behalf.
Dr. Munzu’s Proposal

On March 6, 2017, Dr. Munzu addressed a letter to Anglophone MPs, lobbying them to take the lead for a peaceful resolution of the Anglophone Crisis through a National Dialogue Forum.

The letter was sent to some prominent Anglophone MPs including Senators Simon Achidi Achu, Peter Mafany Musonge, Nfon Mukete, Fon Teche, Hons. Emilia Lifaka, Joseph Banadzem and Enow Tanjong.

When Dr. Munzu waited and did not get any response, he wrote individual letters to all the Anglophone MPs, reiterating the need for them to be leaders in pressing for the convening of a National Dialogue Forum for a peaceful resolution to the crisis.

Dr. Munzu, who was one of the brains behind the All Anglophone Conference, AAC, in Buea in 1993, went ahead and drafted a letter which the MPs could endorse and send to the Head of State.

It was when copies of the draft letter were sent to MPs for appraisal that Southwest MPs came out with disapproval. Thus, no letter was sent to the President of the Republic on behalf of the MPs.

Some MPs who refused to be part of the disclaimer argued that Dr. Munzu proposed the draft letter to them and it was the right of any individual to take it or leave it. They said Dr. Munzu could not send a letter to the President of the Republic on behalf of the MPs without their signatures.
Munzu’s Proposed Draft Letter

Dr. Munzu proposed letter to the President of the Republic that helped the MPs to draft on July 7:
Yaounde, 7 July 2017

His Excellency President Paul Biya
Unity Palace

Subject: Request For A National Dialogue Forum On The Anglophone Crisis In Cameroon
Your Excellency,

We, undersigned Members of Parliament of the English-speaking extraction, do hereby respectfully request the convening of a National Dialogue Forum on the situation prevailing in the Northwest and Southwest Regions.

As is well known, since October 2016, these Regions have been gripped by socio-political crisis with profound implications for the peace and unity of our country and for our experience of living together as the children of one nation.

As representatives of the people, we observe that, despite the efforts made by Government, a pervasive sense of malaise and grievance continues to be felt among the population of the Southwest and Northwest Regions in the cities as well as in the rural areas.

Under these conditions, a frank and comprehensive national dialogue on the “Anglophone Crisis” appears to be necessary to restore trust within our communities and, as Your Excellency stressed in your end-of-year message to the Nation on December 31, 2016, to “Maintain peace, consolidate our country’s unity and strengthen our resolve and our day-to-day experiences of living together”.

We therefore, recommend and respectfully request Your Excellency to convene the said National Dialogue Forum, to be held preferably before the scheduled commencement of the next academic year in September 2017.

In doing so, we are encouraged by the fact that, with regard to the situation prevailing in the Northwest and Southwest Regions, Your Excellency repeatedly stated in your above-mentioned message to the Nation on December 31, 2016, that “frank dialogue” was the appropriate way to find lasting solutions to the issues raised.

On this occasion, you invited Cameroonians to listen to each other” and to “remain open to constructive ideas”. These sentiments were subsequently echoed in both Houses of Parliament by the Speaker of the Senate and National Assembly, respectively, as well as eminent voices in the international community.

In anticipation of the requested National Dialogue Forum, we hereby inform Your Excellency that we intend to convene a preparatory conference of delegates of the Southwest and Northwest Regions to be held in Buea, capital of the Southwest Region, on the 18th and 19th August 2017.

We thank Your Excellency for your kind attention and look forward to a positive response to our request.
Signed: (see attached)

Observers are wondering why the representatives of the people are rejecting this wonderful proposal that could go a long way to arrest the Anglophone Crisis that has been ailing their constituencies for over half a year now.