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Kah Walla In SDF 

By Joe Dinga Pefok

The Coordinator of the civil society group, Cameroon O`Bosso, Edith Kahbang Walla, popularly known as Kah Walla, will October 16 appear face the Disciplinary Committee of the Douala I Electoral District. Kah Walla, who is also an SDF councilor and member the party`s National Executive Committee, NEC, is being accused of anti-party activities, as well as lack of accountability in the management of party funds.

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The information is contained in a communiqué signed by the Chairman of the Douala I Electoral District, Adolphe Same Lottin, which was made public on October 5. It is stated in the communiqué that the decision to summon Kah Walla to face the Disciplinary Committee was taken at an ordinary meeting of the Executive Committee of the District, which held on September 30.  

Conflict Of Interest

The charges of anti-party activities leveled against Kah Walla are related to her controversial position on the issue of voters` registration. While the SDF has forbidden its militants from parting in the ongoing voters` registration, which is being organised by ELECAM, Kah Walla, through her group, Cameroon O`Bosso, has embarked on a campaign to mobilise Cameroonians to register for the 2011 Presidential Election.

But what the SDF has found disturbing is not so much the position of the NGO on the issue of voters` registration, but rather the fact that this association is being led by one of its militants, Kah Walla, thus generating a lot of anger in the SDF.  The SDF leadership has made public pronouncements distancing the party from Kah Walla`s campaign for voters` registration. She is thus said to be acting in her name and not that of the party.

Also, senior party officials have admitted that her campaign for voters` registration is creating a lot of embarrassment to the party, with many militants questioning why she was hastily co-opted into NEC. The SDF Constitution states that one has to militate for at least five years in the party to be elected into NEC, but Kah Walla joined the party in 2007. 

Anti-party Activities

Meanwhile, the communiqué stated that the Executive Committee, in its September 30 meeting, found Kah Walla`s campaign in favour of voters` registration as a flagrant disrespect of the decision of the party. The Committee stated that that all militants have to abide by the decision of the party and that it is inadmissible that the party should take a decision on a national issue and a militant of the party publicly stands against it. That no SDF militant is above the party, and it is inadmissible for any militant to place his or her personal interest above that of the party.   

"The Executive Committee of the Douala I Electoral District reminds Kah Walla that in taking the membership card of the SDF in April 2007, she tacitly accepted to adhere to the prescription, directives and decisions of the party and its organs, and to conform to the policy, the ideology and the programme of action of the party. But the Executive Committee has noted that Comrade Kah Walla has unfortunately decided to go against the decision of the party concerning ELECAM," an excerpt of the communiqué read.

The communiqué stated that Kah Walla shall face the Disciplinary Committee for; her manifested disobedience to the party, that she has been publicly carrying out anti-party activities, that she has been behaving in a way susceptible to putting the party in an embarrassment and that she has caused damage to the reputation of the party.

Unaccountable Management Of Funds

Besides what has been considered anti-party activities, Kah Wala will also answer questions on her "unilateral and opaque management" of over FCFA 30 million. It is said to be money she allegedly received on behalf of the Douala I Electoral District for the 2007 Legislative and Municipal Elections campaign.

Lottin, who was the Electoral District Chairman in 2007 also headed the SDF list for Municipal Elections in Douala I, while Kah Walla was on the list. She reportedly took charge of managing the campaign for the election of the SDF lists for the Legislative and Municipal elections in Douala I, which she christened the Douala Dream Team.

Fund Raising For Elections Campaign

On October, Lottin told The Post in a telephone chat that, in a bid to raise funds for the campaign for the twin elections in Douala I, the Executive Committee created a group, which was led by Kah Walla, to contact supporters, friends and sympathizers of the party, for financial assistance. He disclosed that an account with three signatories was opened at Union Bank for the funds. He said the three signatories to the account included himself, Kah Walla and Serge Fotso, who then was the President of a Ward.

He said, whenever a personality indicated that there was some money to donate for the campaign Kah Walla would sideline the other members of the group and go alone. According to him, the lady never deposited a franc of the money collected in the bank account, and that she went ahead to single handedly manage the funds. Lottin said the local party leadership decided then that it was good for the party to focus on the elections campaign, and not on the collection and management of campaign funds.     

No Transparency, Accountability

But he said at the stock-taking that followed the elections, Kah Walla admitted that she collected over FCFA 30 million from sympathisers. Lottin revealed that Kah Walla was reminded several times during subsequent meetings by the local party leadership to present an account of how she spent the money. He said many militants also started asking questions about the management of the campaign funds, and suspicion about the embezzlement of campaign funds mounted.

The District Chairman said Kah Walla promised a number of times to present an account of how the money was spent but never respected her promise under the pretext that she was too busy, or that she had to travel out of the country. Then, according to Lottin, since mid last year, she stopped attending party meetings in the Douala I Electoral District.

Lottin explained that the file about the lack of accountability in the management of campaign funds had since been pending and many had questioned why Kah Walla was not made to face the Disciplinary Committee. Thus, going by the District Chair, when it was decided that Kah Walla should face the Disciplinary Committee for her anti-party activities, it was also decided that she would also account for the funds.

Lottin said he and other local party officials found Kah Walla`s attitude in the collection and management of the campaign funds to be very embarrassing. He said they had initially held her in high esteem and that was why when she joined the party, they immediately put her in the party`s list for the municipal elections, and accepted proposals that she takes on some major functions in the campaign.

Today, Lottin went on, militants are blaming local party officials for having hastily bestowed so much trust and confidence in Kah Walla. However, by press time, The Post’s efforts to get Kah Walla to comment were fruitless.

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