Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Albatross Affair and Operation Sparrow Hawk Sleep in Different Beds

Here is the problem: when we see something like this, we make headlines, but we do the same thing. How many of you are living in the US and still claiming salaries in Cameroon? You could be wanted for defrauding the state. How many of you have filed false asylum claims? You could be wanted for false statements and perjury. How many of you are married just for the papers destroying innocent lives that truly want love? You could be wanted for murder. How many of you are sleeping with people’s wives and husbands? You could be wanted for adultery.

Let us not always be quick to judge. I don’t see many of you manifesting the same zeal when your tribes people are arrested for corruption. When someone is accused, let the person be tried first before being found guilty. What you are doing is influencing the court of public opinion to find him guilty before he is even tried. Do you know if he is sick? Do you know what communications he has been having? How is he even wanted when he is still living in his official residence paid by the state? Everything in the Newspaper is not always correct if not people would not have been jailed during the Homosexuality list they could not prove.

I am conscious many people had their problems with Mendouga but no matter how much we hate him if he has been accused let us wait until we hear the full details and evidence against him. The Albatross case could sink many high ranking officials because the subordinates could lure you into error. If you send someone that: “go and verify to make sure that plane is fine” and the fellow goes there, he is bribed and he comes back saying: “Patron, it is superb; the president will live forever if we buy this one”. How will you know when you are not an aeronautic technician?

One time I wanted to renew my passport with the embassy. The secretary in charged took my file and kept it for almost two months. Then I began calling and no one was picking up the phone. Finally, I got hold of one lady and told her I will be taking it to appropriate quarters. She gave me Mendouga’s line. He told me he has not seen it but he will make sure I receive it as urgent a possible. We may be blaming Mendouga but this was not his fault; rather that of the Bakweri guy who was there trying to extort money from me and others. How many relatives of presidents are convicted each time for taking money to act as middle men for favors which the president is not even aware?

This case is a very trickish one and we must wait until we hear all the facts before accusing any of them. If you have ever signed a document then you could be involved in something you have just no idea.
Moreso, the president is furious because his life was at stake. How many lives has he jeopardized himself? Is his life more important than the millions of lives he is leaving in poverty who die of lack of health care, proper nutrition, proper education and other ills? The money we lose daily in public service through bribery and extortion is more than what they lost in the Albatross saga. Yet the Albatross saga seems to be more important than those issues because the president thinks it was a plan to give him a bad plane so he will die young. This case is not about corruption; it is about a man: the president trying to eliminate the close Beti elites he thinks pose him the challenge indirectly. It is not today that President Paul Biya knew Mendouga had embezzled. Many accusatory fingers have pointed his way with facts and evidence but because they did not concern him directly he did not bother. Why are Cameroonians hailing the president for a selfish act?

Until then, the Albatross persecutions have nothing to do with Operation Sparrow Hawk.

Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk

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