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« Cameroon - The March Forward | Main | Time for Armed Opposition in the Republic of Cameroon »

Tuesday, 19 April 2011


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Tita Morfor

Great that some one is also making this argument. I have been making a similar argument to many cameroonians but is unfortunate that no matter how well you try to explain, many of them keep buying into this nonesense talk about someone wanting to take our resources. I read the green book of gadhafi when I was in high school and back then I saw him as a revolutionary and some one who stood up for something greater than himself. But today it is clear that he is just like the rest of them (leaders) in Africa who want to create a monarchy. I really don't understand why Africans are really supporting Gadhafi and Gbabo. When I tell people that India, South Korea and all the countries you mentioned above were former European colonies they argue that 'those countries have acquired true independence while we have not'. I don't know what that means but if you go to South Korea, Japan (even Germany) you will find American troops stationed there supporting American interest. But these countries have still succeeded to find a way to developed their societies and insttituions.

Louis Egbe Mbua

Mr. Ndifor,

I believe in free speech but as a writer, it is of importance that you differentiate between human rights violations and your so-called western economic model. If we follow your logic, you appear to believe that Africans have no rights as long as there is an economic advantage; that rights must be trampled on to accede to political utopia.

While I will never support dictators and tyrants, you must realise that the land problems in Africa were never created by Africans; and that nobody has the right to seize lands from indigenious peoples with the pretext of "globalisation".

You wrote:

"Zimbabwe, for example, was forced to import food after its production collapsed following confiscation of lands that were given to new owners not ready for land management. The same logical economic arguments have been raised in some forums about the Bakweri lands of Cameroon"

It seems that you take the same uninformed route as other African intellectuals you are accusing.

The question here is about human rights and NOT about globalisation. Globalisation has never replaced fundamental human rights -- the right to live, own property and land, speak.

The Zimbabwe case is not about economics but about indigenous land rights. There is no reason for 1 percent of the population to control 99 percent of the land. The problem is how Mugabe went about it and NOT whether he was wrong to correct this elaborate injustice meted onto the indigenous people of Zimbabwe; who were robbed of land and livelihood for almost 500 years.

You talk of the Bakweri land. According to your analysis, the Bakweris should surrender their land rights and livelihood to thieves in government in Cameroon in the name of globalisation. Well, this is not only wrong but criminal: situations where the indigenes have absolutely no right in their own land. Now, have you checked whether this is the case with your admired Korea, Germany? Have the Koreans surrendered their land rights on property to thieves and corrupt autocrats in their respective countries? Are there no land tenure laws present in these countries? What happened to land rights and laws in Africa? Are we to respect the West for respecting their own laws while denigrating natives in Africa for insisting on taking back their rights?

Besides, the Bakweri lands have been exploited for the general economic l good in Cameroon for more than a century without any benefit to the indigenes. Are you in favour of these gross human rights violations? All the indigenes want is that ALL their lands be returned to them so that they can have a living. Nobody said the CDC or SONARA etc will be destroyed. So, please, it is essential that you do not inadvertently mislead the public fortuitously conceived dissimilar comparisons that infringe on the basic rights of man.

The rule of law is what is lacking in Africa. And why Africa fails to move forward. While you are right to espouse that Gbagbo and Ghadaffi violate Africans' rights, it is equally wrong to justify land theft by colonialists (including La Republique du Cameroun) as the reason behind the long-complained African leadership madness and the subsequent predicament of the masses.


Austin Ngenge

Africas problems stems from leaders who campaign on patriotism and positive change but once in power, they become exactly what they had been fighting against.There are many points for which i am in accord with Mr Ndifor and others. sadly enough, there are many africans who now believe perhaps a return to colonialism might be the only way out.And how will one dispute that when we see the long lines at every embassy and people even want to try Yemen?.How can the claim be disputed when we consider the way African leaders rape the wealth of the continent.They are bad politicians,bad economists,bad managers of the wealth of the continent. What good politics was behind Mughabes move to confiscate land from a productive group of people without preparing the group he intended to hand over the land to? This is similar to Amin who chased out Asian businessmen and handed thier businesses to ugandans who knew nothing about that sector.What is worse is that there seems to no way out considering the fact that the collective mentallity of the people has been programed to resign to the mess initiated by the so called leaders.The time is long past when people should focus all their energies on blaming the west for Africas woes when every one who acceds to the pinacle of power has only one objective-the enrichment of his family and tribe to extents which have shamed every iota of sanity left to us as a people? If the mentality of the people is not fine tuned to reject this pervasion, Africa is doomed for more than a generation for people have now accepted corruption,tribalism,nepotism and some warped xenophobia to be the norm.

Louis Egbe Mbua

Mr. Ngenge,

Mugabe did not "confiscate" any land. Rather settlers confiscated lands from the natives. Heard of Cecil Rhodes? The lands were originally owned by the native Zimbabweans.

It is not a question as to whether the land will resort to the actual owners but the conduct which Mugabe went about it; and that the British bungled the land reclamations claims as agreed in Lancaster House, London.

Mugabe was right to return the stolen lands to the natives. To believe otherwise is to support theft in the name of “economic” policies.

Bakwerlands must be returned to the original RIGHTFUL owners. Nobody should usurp human rights in the name of "management". And who told you natives do not know how to manage their lands? What makes some of you think the natives do not know how to manage lands? Do European people manage your farms in your various villages? Why don't you surrender your lands to Europeans (who know how to manage them)?

You must differentiate between oppression and economic policies. No doubt you will say tht slavery must continue since Black people had no education while White people were educated. This brings us to the African mentality problem.

If one is enlightened, why steal somebody's lands?


"It is not a question as to whether the land will resort to the actual owners but the conduct which Mugabe went about it"

Can someone please enlighten me by what type of conduct 1% of whites acquired 99% of the African land?

It sounds as if their conduct in acquiring all of this African land was one that was civilized and humane, with tea and biscuits shared amongst the stakeholders at the end on the process; unlike, of course, Mugabe's own conduct.


Mr Ndifor,

You may have a point on the knee-jerk reaction of some African intellectuals to Western interference in continental affairs, but such reactions are borne out of experience and precedence.

Democracy and liberty are contextually defined abstract notions. Only yesterday the government of Great Britain outlawed demonstrations planned to mark the upcoming wedding of Prince William and his intended. Imagine the furore in Cameroon should King Biya outlaw demonstrations against the public sponsorship of prince Frank Biya`s wedding. Political expediency is a reality, even in the oldest democracies. The minority of Republicans in England (about 30%) will not be allowed to oust the occupants of Buckingham Palace, if they so choose. The wishes of the monarchists should also be respected.

If a proportion of Libyans are still willing to lay down their lives for Gadaffi, it is because they share his vision. NATO and the tripartite (Britain, France and the USA), should acknowledge that and negotiate.

J. S. Dinga

Prevarication is taking us nowhere. Neither will the continued demonization of the past -colonialism. But what can move us one step ahead is a clear vision based on a careful analysis of today and a venture to do something about it.

It is very worrying when we try to forsake a forest of goodwill for one or two rotten trees. Field Marshall Idi Amin's expulsion of what he called paper citizens of Uganda, His Excellency Robert Gabriel Mugabe's seizure of lands for the use of his people certainly had their merits when those events took place. The mechanics of sharing the booty was problematic, no douobt. I believe the story capturing or seizing or regaining of Bakweri lands is still ahead. How can we start fighting over an animal if we have not first killed it? Internal squabbles about whose land is where should follow the total capture of the national land, I think. The same goes for independence; until we gain true independence and begin to manage our own lives, we simply play to the gallery with our encyclopedic knowledge of politics centered around mudslinging.

Let us concentrate on how to regain the serenity we need to organize politics and make life a little more livable for our folks. What is the way forward? That should be our focus for now.

Tita Morfor

There is no doubt that 'white' domination of land ownership in Zimbabwe was the result of injustice. The point, which Mr Ndifor is trying to make is that we have had the same injustice by Europeans all over the world and in many parts of the world where such injustice occurred the people have built strong institutions and economies while in Africa we seem to nuture the habit of dwelling in the past (which is quite OK) but doing nothing to move forward. Instead, we turn our eyes away from our own practices that are creating and recreating the conditions that produce poverty in the continent.

Did some one asked a question about whether land has been taken away from indigens in other countries as it is in Africa? Well, lets look at China. The Chinese cultural revolution in the 1960s introduced one of the most radical land refoms that one can think about, with the government of China grabbing land everywhere and transforming millions of rural chinese into proliterians. I am not saying that is a good think but just like to point out that the land reform in china is exactly like the one in Zimbabwe except that in Zimbabwe the pepetrators were from 'outside'. But still in China we know that even after the independence of China Hong Kong remained under British control until a decade agao in the year 2000 when Hong Kong was handed over to China. Remember that for a long time now China has been a nuclear power but we did not hear Chinese whinning about how England was occupying part of their country, threatening to go into war with England or about how the government of China has to retuned all the land that was taken from Chinese people in rural areas. Despite all of these where is China today on the Economic arena? The second largest economy with potentials to be the first.

So the difference is that other countries are facing similar (and even worst injustice) like what countries in Africa are experiencing. But what mr. Ndi is trying to point out is that we keep licking our wounds and expecting it to heal


Are you saying that the crimes and depradations of Francafrique in Africa, impeding individual initiative, imposing dictators, and channeling productive activity to the good of France and not the native population are mere fiction? One of the popular T-shirt or bumper stickers in America is "The fact that you are paranoid does not mean nobody is actually pursuing you."

Are you aware of a document called the Lome Convention, penned during the 1970s mostly? I had the privilege of reading elements of it. Basically, it allowed Africa to trade with Europe freely, as long as those exports to Europe was of raw material, commodities and unfinished products. My point is that there are actually institutional arrangements which block Africans. Are you aware that that the greatest world exporter of rare and expensive tropical woods is France? Where in France do they grow rare tropical wood? There are arrangements which will make it difficult, if not impossible for you, Mr Ndifor to produce finished wood products to export to Europe.

I appreciate the points you have made, but there is a sound basis for African intellectuals to have that loud anti-imperialist voice and posture. There are off course, alternatives. Countries can open new trade relationships with non-European countries such as the US, China, Brazil and so on. Let it not surprise you that Gbagbo in Ivory Coast and Lissouba in Congo Brazzaville were overthrown precisely for exploring those alternatives and attempting to break the monopolies of their erstwhile monopolistic partner.

American proteges such as Taiwan and Japan and South Korea have gone on to do very well. Britain could talk about Hong Kong, United States, Canada, Australia. Name me one, just one French equivalent of South Korea. There are other things at play here, and some of you young people are not learning the history well. But I get your general point. We should be looking for alternative ways of overcoming the colonial burden.

J. S. Dinga

Outsiders come to our countries and exploit us because they see our weaknesses - internal divisions. The exploitation would be much less so if we had solid institutions - courts, representative national assembly answerable to the electors, police, army, institutions of higher learning. What we have at the moment is the end product of decades of divide-and-rule politics that has reduced even those in the ivory tower to praise singers!

We can't even accept debates any longer because we are all narcotized by the oppressive sociopolitical climate that has pushed people into drinking as a means of dissolving their agony in amnesia. Empower the people with a properly elected persons at the national assembly, give the courts magistrates who apply the law as it should be and let the universities seek knowledge and dispense it to the needy society, and Cameroon will wake up like a sleeping giant, an old battery recharged. It is as simple as that.

At independence it was possible to enter the bank and cash a cheque in thirty minutes or less. Today, so many decades later, that simple process can take an entire day or more! The reasons are staring at us in the face - technology ill-adapted to the times and personnel who know not what they should be doing, thanks to their being recruited not based on know-how, but on patronage. What is true of the banks is equally true of other institutions, including our airlines which, I have suggested should be renamed "Air Peut-etre".

What else can one expect of a people who praise their leader for every inch of paved road as if it was the leader's money rather than their tax payments that made it possible? It makes you sick when the real heroes of development are maligned this way and made to play only second fiddle in a game that is rightly theirs. The Head of State can carry out his dirty manipulative politics, thanks to generous support from his bootlickers and Goebbels.


Man some your arguments are rife, but your inverstigations too superficial. dont compare the south korean economic growth tat sprang up through convention economic regulations and that of Africa, wherein, a country like france through Jacque fokard (rest in punishment)imposes give away prices on such raw materials and which are then sold at skyrocketting prices in the west. and that any african "leader" who fails to adher and support the french monopoly is overthrown ( example is Pascal Lisouba who was overthrown bc he dared to open up congolese petroleum exploraton to american companies in 1997)
Have u ever heard of the compte de depot inhe french treasury that centralises foregn currency of african countries.
The issue to me is not only about raw materials, but free trade and fair contract terms bt african countries and france.
Mr Ndifor, try to read further abouT JACQUES FOKARD,ROBERT BOURGI,ALAIN JOYENDET,JEAN CHRISTOPHE MITERAND,BRUNO MARICHAUT and as a whole, the FRANCE AFRIQUE RESEAU and how it empauvrished the african continent.
Boy that why i do not see with you atall.
Let me ask you this question, granted Laurant Gbagbo is a tyrant and dictator, do you think it was right for french forces to intervene in ivory coast?
Do you think it was right to have shown the images of this former president, half naked and completely traumatised on TV?(BRITISH BRAINWASHING CORPORATION, CONMEN NEWS NETWORK,FARCE24 OR ON RADIO FARCE INTOXICATION;
I think no.
This is exactly where my moral support for Ouattara died completely;


We need to look deeply when writing about situations in Africa. I want to refute a claim made here and to make comparism with modern day television.
Joseph M. Ndifor: "Even after the colonialists have packed their bags and left our shores.....".
Yes they did packed their bags but they did not left our shores. They looked for a few of yes Africans (leaders) and put them there so they can control from their country. See a few years ago when you want to put on your tv or change a channel what do you do? You move to the tv and punch a botton. Then there was innovation and a Remote was discovered, so what, No more buttons on the tv but sensors where you can switch the tv from distances. That is what happens to Africa colonization.
"Freedom is never given to the people, freedom is fought for"- Martin Lutter king Jr.
For the west under the cover of the UN to grant us freedom is a farce. Recent events speak for themselves. Every African problem from war to food, clothes and even love is dictated by our colonial masters.
How many times in a Year do african president visit the west (Biya in particular and France etc), how many times have Biya visited Buea, or bamenda or any other province.Does this tell who biya is accountable to?.Those who try not to pay as much visit always end up in Coup or something else.
As for the economy what is the blood of an enconmy if not money? Who is the Heart that pumps this monies around if not Paris or IMF?.Every project to run in Cameroon is dictated by who if not the IMF(The road that connect buea to kumba for example).Our democratic structures are nothing but a toys play.
Africa is not free.Colonization is still in control in Africa


Thanks so much Felix. I see with you.
Have you ever heard tat the AMF,(African Monetary Fund) was supposed to take shape in 2012, sponsored to the tune of 35.000.000 USD, and this is the sole reason Farce and the USA want to war against him?


Zimbabwe's indigenization law.The Road Map to Real Independence.


I find it quite interesting that many analysts use South Korea as an example of what is achievable in a democratic country. Personally, I`ve always argued that the importance of democracy as a percusor to development, has been overplayed. There is irrefutable evidence to show that technological advancement is achieved inspite of democracy and not necessarily because of it (look at China).

Let`s take the example of the quintessential dictatorship - North Korea. In the International Mathematics Olympiad they have attained the following performances: 6 gold, 14 silver, 6 bronze and 1 honourable mention (more than all African countries put together). If mathematical ability is considered an essential ingredient for scientific advancement, it is safe to say that North Korea (regardless of any political dispensation) stands a greater chance of making technological strides, compared to any democratic country in Africa. Of course one could also predict that a more democratic dispensation in North Korea would enhance their performance, but my point is, we need to examine performance holisticly (nutrition, climate, life philosophy...) and not assume that democracy alone will lead to increased productivity. The performances of countries like South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore could be attributed to aspects beyond good governance. One could argue that it is about ability inherent in the populations of these places.

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Thanks so much Felix. I see with you.
Have you ever heard tat the AMF,(African Monetary Fund) was supposed to take shape in 2012, sponsored to the tune of 35.000.000 USD, and this is the sole reason Farce and the USA want to war against him?

Miabe Godlove

The Bakweri land dispute, for those Cameroonians who defend the indigenes' rights to them on the human rights aspect, may be correct. But to defend these same indigenes on purely economic reasons-in other words, whether they can use the lands productively in terms of food production-would be difficult.

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He has a different opinion when it comes to an issue. This makes it easy to view a controversy from another perspective.

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So cute! I already like you on FB and also get your posts on Google Reader. :)

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