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« Prosecution Turns The Heat On L'Anecdote Publisher | Main | Cameroon Cycling Tour:Poor Results Blamed On Shoddy Preparations »

Friday, 03 March 2006

Comments

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Mathias Chefu

The chickens have come to roost! After whetting the apetite of the public with non-existent audio-visual evidence, it was only normal that Mr. "anecdote" would end up in Ngata. Now he can really write about homosexuality after his soujourn in Kondengui. Yes, he will becomes someone's wife. hopes he lives to tell the story. Nyamfucka!!!!

Glenn

Nyamfuka of the highest order.This serves Mr. Belinga right. I love the jugement.

Dr. A. A. Agbormbai

Considering the alarm that this homosexuality story caused it was quite shocking to find that it was all based on flimsy or non-existent evidence. Given this, it is quite fitting that this editor should be punished as a lesson to other editors to grow up, polish up their act, and stop misleading the public.

Nevertheless, the fumbling of this editor does not mean that homosexual practices are not going on in Cameroon. What it means is that newspaper editors must think before they act. They must never claim that they have the evidence when they don't. They must research and verify whatever they publish before publishing them.

Having said this, I must also note that other newspapers can learn from the current level of professionalism of The Post.

Riccardo


CAMEROON ON THE MARCH...
PEOPLE DESTROYING CAMEROON NAME AND PUBLISHING LIES AND SPAYING MESSAGES OF HATE AND DIVISION SHOULD BE PROSECUTED.

Riccardo
CAADIM

Tainted Child

2006 is already turning out to be monumental. What with Biya rooting out his homies and "homos" having the last laugh or should that read "the last shag". All this, and the year is barely into its 3rd month. No matter how pesimistic or cynical you view the predicament of our beautiful land, sh*t can only get better.

Pandora's box has been open, reluctantly, in Biya's case and spectacularly by the courts. All the same we should encourage both parties to continue doing the right thing, henceforth.

One parting advise to monsieur Jean Pierre Amougou Belinga, take this time out in "Ngata" and reflect on this sordid affair. Think of all those children who will suffer abuse from their peers because of your greed and self-righteousness. Re-evaluate your stance on greed, homosexuality and plain common decency.

And by the way, Jean, don't drop the soap!

Agborarrey

Na really Nyamfuka be this, It is not a matter of getting up in the morning and just publish rubbish because you want to grab the readers attention and probably make big box for the day. Folks y'all need to research before writing to the public. You want to inform us of the truth and not lies. Hopefully Belinga will have a taste of......In Nkundengui and will come to tell us soon.

Celestiine Nke Fosung

Did i hear the president saying that, journalists are other people should not pry into peoples private life. This statement was made during his february 11 speech to the youths. If this is true, is the president suggesting that, people could break the law, if it concerns their private lives? Or does the president not undertsand that Homosexuality and unorthodox sexual orientations are outlawed?

Jacob Tambe

It is regrettable the allegations were not based on hard facts. Let's believe this can serve as a lesson to fellow members of our fledgling media.
Peace

DaDiceman

When was this homosexuality story broken? A month ago? And the editor is heading to jail already? If Cameroon "justice" was this efficient with corrupt public officials, wouldn't the country be far better off than prosecuting newspaper tabloid editors?

Newspaper editors are not keeping the country poor and undeveloped, but corruption certainly is. Priorities, priorities, priorities! When would we ever get our priorities right?

Benard

It is very irrational to publish people's names in the newspaper without ocular proof.The verdict is in order.
However, I am astonished by the fact that this case was heard so fast and the verdict given with few adjournments.Was it because it concerned a minister?We have thousands of cases filed by the poor several years ago but the cases are still pending in courts.What has happened with the verdicts of the murders of Lawyer Eseme, Mr Khortem
and others?
The justice system in Cameroon leaves much be be desired.
Benard
USA

philip ndum

Speedy justice, another form of Cameroons injustice. This list was published in January, the case taken to court in february and a verdict passed in march. This just goes to proove that justice in Cameroon is for sale, to the rich, powerful and the highest bidders.
Selective justice is the same as justice denied. Belinga probably defamed Owona because he lacked the facts to prove his allegations and so had to pay a costly price. There are however many cases in Cameroon including those of businessmen like Glen Wilson, the murder of Kohtem, corrupt public officials and many others where the justice system grinds to a halt. If the judicial system in Cameroon has to be taken seriously, it has to treat every case with the urgency it deserves and errant judges have to be shown the way out.

Fon  Lawrence

Hope this will act as a deterrent to enervate some on this forum who hold the hubris that freedom of speech means one can say anything he or she wishes.Freedom of speech must be based on veracity and not mendacity.

King EL

The media when used correctly could be very influential in not only educating the public, but also in exposing the misdeeds of the government. In the western world, journalists act as undercover police officers. They snitch behind people and publish important newsbreaks. History buffs will remember the role Bob Woodward and his friends at Washington Post played in uncovering the Watergate scandal during Nixon's administration. If Washington Post is one of the most widely read newspapers in the world today, it is thanks to Wooward.
What I am getting at is the fact that Cameroonian Journalists should be able to do their homework each time they are publishing a story. If they do their devoir, then they will be able to defend themselves if need be. Whatever Belinga's motive was, he has disgraced journalism as a profession. The learning process continues though.

Andre Fokam

This indeed is a good development for democracy in Cameroon. the newspaper was not seized or shut down nor the journalist arrested arbitrarily like it used to be the case on the past! all was settled in court!
freedom of press was respected, law was inforced, journalist will learn to be more responsible in their freedom!
now let hope the justice system will keep this pace.

as someone said earlier, the year 2006 might turn out to be a very memeorable one.

Ngum

There are probably a lot of gay hot shots breathing a sigh of relief right now. I can imagine an emergency meeting a couple of weeks ago in which they said, "one of us, the least gay of us, on whom there could be no evidence, sue him and lock his ass up in jail". So Owona puts his hand up and says. I am not gay, never done any such thing and I will take him on and destroy him. Now this is speculation. It could even be correct. I could speculate like that but a newspaper cannot speculate in that same way. That is what these newspapers need to learn. Get some evidence first. Evidence does not always have to be dried semen on the blue trousers a la Monica. It could be a credible witness or witnesses who can describe unique parts of someone's body parts that only a wife could know or unique circumstances that cannot be challenged successfully. That is the lesson to get evidence before making allegations.

It is too early on this score to for anyone to state that Cameroon has changed. As some people pointed out, it is a unique case of very powerful people using the justice system when it suits them to get their way. There were too many international eyes on the case for them to screw things up by doing it their usual way of breaking some heads and locking people up extrajudicially. Moreover there was this surge of international support from gay rights people everywhere. This case might have a chilling effect on those who might want to step up to report government misdeeds to the press.

Then there are cases of government misdeeds and crimes of the powerful that have been ignored or prosecuted with the speed of snails. The Kohtem murder case. The Bakweri land thing. The gendarmes and police who have been shooting anglophones and getting away with it. Then there is the case of Biya unilaterally fingerpointing people for corruption. How does he know? Is this legal? Maybe in the French system it is legal. What is needed is an INDEPENDENT judicial commission to investigate and prosecute corruption with absolutely no interference from the executive and for that to be allowed to go where it may. To those who are rejoicing about a sea change, I think you are being taken for a ride again.

Akini Fred

Honestly, I think the publisher has disapointed me.
We have to be responsible when we publish these things. If the former PM Musonge takes you to the court, u'll get another 4 months. U did a great job but your list had names of people that has nothing to do with what we are talking about here. I have dis-agreed with the Yaounde Gov't. I don't support most of what most members of the gov't really thinks and do. But, I don't support allegations against her members without bullet proofs evidence.

Smith Elie

What has just happened was one of those incompatible things between us and our French-speaking kith and kins that, the late right honourable Dr. E .M .L Endeley MP former Prime Minister of Southern Cameroon's had predicted. French-speaking Cameroonians are a people who prosper on deceit politically and professionally.

Their practise of journalism is no different from what takes place in France. If not, why can a newspaper carry people's names for vindictive motives only? That is simply how it seems now that there was no wolf.

In France there are similar extrapolations in the Press or better still, in France there are sacred people or topics that are seldom touched. Homosexuality being one of them.

However, if you are black or of North African stock, you are good material for defamation in a section of the Print media and audio visual Press. That said, I will never celebrate when any person is in trouble or in the difficulties. Even if he was the seeker of his present travials.

It has to also be pointed out that, for a while now, French-speaking papers in Cameroon have been fraught with libelous and bogus information churn out as news. But this time around, they have bitten more than they could chew.

In spite this sad face and phase of the Cameroonian Press,once again, the English-speaking Press, led by the editorial team of The Post Newspaper, have shown that, come what may, in Cameroon, English-speaking Cameroonians shall remain pace setters. Congratulations to the editorial team of this noble newspaper called The Post.

Yesterday as always, in the area of politics and today in the Press, English-speaking Cameroonians have shown the stuff out which they are made. The formidable team of The Post newspaper are simply the best.

Who doesn't err? Nobody, The Post has committed one or two mistakes, but its vigilent chief of staff quickly called its troops to order.

That is how professionals operates. Not as those other papers full of marchants of hate and cogs to the progressing wheels of Democracy, respect for human individual and collective rights in Cameroon.

Elie Smith,
Bonneuil-sur-Marne
France.
www.eliesmith.blogspot.com

Henriette

Elie Smith,
you are making a gauche extrapolation by omission.
The responsible press in Cameroon have voiced their outrage at their colleague's lack of professionalism. The Post has its own share of "Ahhh - hem!" journalistic faux -pas.
Overall I think cameroonian press has a good standing. Even Cameroon Tribune is making some progress.
This ANECDOTE case will also serve as a lesson to the public; readers will be more sophisticated when digesting allegations.

ftroit

I'm trying to find out why the prosecutor (procureur) got involved in this matter. I understand that sometime around mid-90s Cameroon's libel and diffamation laws changed, but am not sure what role the government has to play in a diffamation suit which should be a civil suit. Moreover, if it is a civil suit how come Mr. Belinga has been landed a jail term. I've read all articles pertaining to this Matter but i'm unable to determine what the particular charge against Mr. Belinga was, or whether this was a civil or criminal case. If any body can help. Thanx

ftroit

i think i found IT. It's true that Mr. Belinga is wrong, but i believe Cameroonians are missing the big picture here. The penal code prescribes prison sentences and huge fines for defamation, or dissemination of false news. Now, we all no this is unconstitutional in the Cameroonian context. Considering that international treaties form part of the law and in Cameroon are superior to the constitution once ratified, Cameroon's Penal prescription on such matters severely flouts the International Treaty on Civil and Political rights that guarantees freedom of expression and to which Cameroon is a signatory. Cameroon's laws talk about Criminal defamation without defining the circumstances that qualify it criminal. Most civilized nations would classify defamation as in the case at hand as civil and non-criminal and so spare the author of any restraint to his freedom (imprisonment). I think the Biya government IMPOSED such legislation in order to limit journalists from reporting. In fact although it is currently the law of the land and it is expected that any person who flouts it would do the time and pay the fine (e.g. Belinga), the law in itself is less void of criticism and scrutiny. Too bad the constitutional council is yet to be established as according to the constitution it is this body that is charged with ensuring conformity of legislation to constitutional and international norms. Mr. Beling: oops

Smith Elie

Hello my dear Henriette,
I am not a gauche in any sense of the term. Perhaps I said being black or of North African stock in France these days means a passport for bad Press, may have made you run amok in categorising me.

Second, I know that Cameroon Tribune is making progess. Nonetheless appreciate the fact that you pointed it out.But it does not mean that a tree can make a fotress.

I stand firmly by what I said, which was a selective and in my humble opinion, a criticism targeted at a core of rebellious and un professional group(The Post not being party to it) newspapers in Cameroon.

The have one hallmark, they are all French-speaking and I repeat, they are simply doing what is done by a section of(not all French Press) the Press in France.

However, your conclusions jars pretty well with mine. Even though I think it is just wishful thinking, for the public in Cameroon seems to relish rumours.

Elie Smith,
Bonneuil-sur-Marne,
France.
www.eliesmith.blogspot.com

eye

The lack of evidence that these people are guilty does not imply evidence that they are innocent. I never believe that there can be smoke without fire. As time is the only true revealer of thing things, I have the patience to give this thing a few more episodes. Pedofiles and homosexuals are secretive rogues. Do not be swayed into hasty conclusion. I hesitate to think that a paper would do this, motivated only by greed.

Ngum

ftroit makes a powerful point. Criminal defamation with limitless elasticity creates a situation in which the powerful can get any journalist locked up anytime. While conceding the need for journalistic responsibility, journalists in free societies use "protected sources", witnesses to crime, whose identities must be protected for their own safety. Without this kind of leeway, journalists lose their edge and become toothless. This comes with a lot of responsibility and the way to develop that responsibility is through independent journalistic professional associations. There is a sector of a mature journalistic spectrum that includes the sensationalist tabloids. A seasoned market does not take those tabloids seriously. Responsible newspapers are largely self governing and there are stories that would not pass editorial muster and never make it to print. Journalistic independence is something to precious to sacrifice without serious thought. May the market mature.

Jorge K.

A lot has been written about Biya, Owona and co. about their corrupt acts in Cameroon. I am still waiting to see them sue. oh Boy!!!...there'll be a lot of evidence. I wonder what these so call fake judges would do.

OKOLLE

I really want to support what Eye said. There can be no smoke without fire and i believe jailing of this journalist together with the fine to be paid by the publisher will help to release more stories about homosexuals in Cameroon - time will tell. Again, like Eye said, lack of evidence is not evidence of absence.

T-boy

What a fast and straight forward judgement.
Perfect indeed, I hope the judges will also apply the same speed and rapidity in judging all courrupt leaders in the country.

Roki of Shanghai

I support eye's judgement. If anybody thinks that L'Anecdote published those names just for fun, i am not one of them. For someone to have had the courage to stand up against the practices of Ministers of Gov't, musicians, clergy, businessmen, journalists and all what not, he must have balls to do such a thing and the fact that the sentence has been passed and the arrow has shot the publisher on the forehead doesn't necessarily mean those people are not doing those things he said they are doing. Was it only Gregoire Owona's name on the list? Where are the others? Why didn't they drag the publisher to court too? There's really no smoke without a fire.It's just a matter of time and the wind will blow again stronger.Then we'll see the fowl's rump.Everything in Cameroon is corrupt especially the court rooms that are suppose to stand on justice.I wonder what happened to the machines i read on the this website that the publisher was about to mount in the courtroom to show the whole world how the minister does it.I can't just throw insults at Mr. Belinga.There's something fishy here.I personally don't think all the display in the courtroom was just for fun or to increase tension. I sense it but i just don't know what it is. I keep my fingers crossed hoping time will open these wounds again so that the truth can be known.

Fritzane Kiki

This is a sample of the poor governance of the Biya courts.There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.How can a case be verified and confirmed within 1 month and no form of appeal is accepted?

I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just that his justice cannot sleep forever.This is a matter of homosexuality that should be scrutinised to the fullest with proofs and make sure it doesn't occure again amongst this top government officials who want to remain in power by sexing young boys' annals.

I come to realise that this journalist and the Anecdotes newspaper are just merely suffering the pangs and fate of the Biya regime,because whatever the human law may be, neither an individual nor a nation can commit the least act of injustice against the obscurest individual without having to pay the penalty for it.Look at a bunch-of-faggots homosexuals going scott-free and the publisher is being punished for his truth.

There is no point of justice here.One had better die fighting against injustice than die like a dog or a rat in a trap.They are paying fines for speaking the truth.

Time will tell when Biya will become another Saddam in his hidding hole.You do not lead by hitting people over the head - that's assault, not leadership.Littlew doubt that Bi Mvondo ordered his judges to pass these controversial verdicts irrespective of any proofs against his clansmen.

I'm not crazy about the reality of this case, but it's still the only place to get a decent fact about this corrupt government.There are as many homosexuals as the Anecdote and other newspapers did published.I believe that the moment is near when by a procedure of active paranoiac thought, it will be possible to systematize confusion and contribute to the total discrediting of the world of reality in Cameroon and Cameroonian alike.

The rate of corruption in Cameroon affects all walks of life in this country because justice is indivisible,injustice anywhere affects justice everywhere.Cameroon no doubt tops the chat of the most corrupt country in the world.I do believe all these malpractices are not excluded in the count.

I will always forgive my enemies, but I will never forget their names.Number 1 is 'Biya'his term of office is coming to an end.Pray it gets over ASAP...We are sick and tired of being sick and tired of his 'nouvelle ambition'.....

Fritzane Kiki
Hong Kong

GT

Hey Noble people,
I was personally suprised at the pace which this gay "polemique" was rushed. I wonder why the corruption issue can´t be done at this pace so that Cameroonians can get hold of what was stolen from them. I am also wondering if a case can be rushed at this pace in Cameroon if it were an ordinary Cameronian that was accused?. I also want to ask a question to the impatial judge and Mr Owona that handled this matter. Can you Mr Judge search your concience and find no fault in the judgement passed on this matter? Can you Mr Owona search your concience and be proud you won this case fairely, Weren't any persons threatened or paid not to present their evidence in court?. However if truely your are not gay erhmmmmm...., i mean bisexual then i must say congratulations.
To Mr Belinga, when next to step on the toe of a tiger be well armed and prepared for a long, long, fight.
"Justice for Sale?"

alex henry che

WHY ARE THEY INTERSETED ONLY ON PERSONAL AND MINPR PROBLEMS WHEN NATIONAL AND GENERAL PROBLEMS ARE DEMINING AND PLAGUING THE COUNTRY?I ADVICE THE SO CALLED JUDGE TO USE SAME SPEED TO JUDGE THE CORRUPT LEADERS IN THAT GOD'S LOVED COUNTRY BY BEGINNING WITH HIMSELF.GREG., TELL US THE TRUE,ARE U NOT ONE?...ANYWAY,TIME WILL TELL.

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