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CAMEROON: Operation Epervier: Vendetta justice

Epervier the chicken, must come home to roost

In the wake of the indictment and the incarceration of M. Gervais Mendoze, we the people of Cameroon should not relent from calling for full and complete justice to be served on behalf of the people. All the people who have stolen our country’s money must be brought to justice, punished to the full extent of the law, and the money must be recovered in full. As a people, we must have a zero tolerance for these public thieves and embezzlers.


However, the timing of this –second-- indictment of M. Mendoze coincides with the ongoing civil unrest in Burkina Faso that ousted the 27 year tyrant in Blaise Compaore. So timeline of this event leaves us with some interesting questions.

It is alleged that M. Mendoze embezzled most of this money between the years 2000 and 2005. So that begs for the question why now ? Why was he not arrested sooner ? Why some 9 years later ? Is there a status of limitation of the crimes that are levelled against him ?

First, let us look at the charges against M. Mendoze. By some accounts, it is estimated that this guy embezzled about FCFA 3 billions between the years 2000 and 2005. How did he get his hands on this money ? Where is the money today ? Why didn’t the system audits discover it then ? Where was the President during the time of this massive theft ? What did the President know about it and when did he first know about it ? Was he asleep at the switch ? If so, should he be held accountable too ? Is the Government going to recover –at least some-- this money on behalf of the Cameroonian people ? This is the money we need build hospitals, decent housing for our people, get clean water and electricity to our people and more..

Justice should not be exercised only at the President’s own timing and discretion. Justice should not be administered to any citizen just because the President decides it. When justice becomes personal --even for the right reasons--,  it is no longer justice. It is called revenge or vendetta. And, as a people, that is not how we want a modern system of justice to work.

This President is a master of triangulation. He is playing chess with the Cameroonian people to buy time. The guy has learned how to play defense as he proudly alluded in a recent interview on “Boko Haram” were he bragged about surviving the so called “Operation Villes Mortes”. This President has mastered the art of diversion politics, the science to switch off the hot topics and survive public pressure and scrutiny. He understands that the country is at the verge of possible civil unrest --courtesy of Burkina Faso--, so he goes witch hunting using “Operation Epervier” as his ultimate weapon to distract and quiesce the public anxiety.

We, the people have to be vigilant and not let him of the hook this time. He has screwed up our country and he must be held accountable. The buck must stop at Etoudi.

If “Operation Epervier” wants to prove to be an effective tool, then it must seek fire everywhere where there is smoke. And nowhere is there more smoke than the President’s own wealth. Forbes, an American business magazine estimated M. Biya’s wealth at some $200,000,000, mostly invested in Europe.

This is approximately FCFA 100,000,000,000 --with standard exchange rate of $1=FCFA 500--. So the elephant in room is, how did the President make this money ? What is the annual salary of the head of state of Cameroon ? How does he account for this wealth ? “Operation Epervier”, sooner or later must give us an account. As the cliché goes: “Le poisson pourrit par la tete”. 

Furthermore, what is the estimated wealth of the President’s son ? The last time I checked, his son has never had a day time job. Let us assume that he is doing some kind of Business. Where did he get the capital from ? If he took a loan from the tax payers’ money, how much is he paying back ? What is his estimated wealth ? How much is he worth ?

The First lady, by many accounts has done some great things in Cameroon. We welcome her generosity and applaud her philanthropic endeavors. But the First lady does not hold a position in Government and the last time I checked, her last job was a Hotel maid. Where did she get the money to embark on all the philanthropic deeds that are attributed to her ? Philanthropy is great, but is best done with your own money and not the tax payers’.  Because if it is done with our country’s money, then our people deserve to know. “Operation Epervier” will have to say.

As of M. Mendoze, he is surely guilty of chronic public theft, but certainly too, is the President. And as the old saying goes, what is good for the goose, surely is for the gander. And if no one is above the law, then “Epervier” has to rummage the skies and go wherever there is smoke and bring the truth to the poor people of Cameroon.

The President, in setting up “Operation Epervier” is playing with matches and will surely walk into his own trap sooner or later. And when the “genie” jumps out of the bottle, the Master of the circus will surely get snatched by the very same Epervier.

Go “Epervier”, fly as high as you possibly can. The sky is the limit ! No one should be above the law. No one should be off the hook. We know how the script of the tale ends: the witch hunter, in the end will be the hunted, and the tale of “Operation Epervier” will surely be no different.  Epervier,  like any chicken, will in the end, come home to roost.


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