Representatives of political parties and board members of ELECAM assigned to Meme Division, Southwest Region, have been discussing witchcraft, corruption and influence peddling as virtues that discredit the electoral process in Cameroon.
During a consultative meeting on Monday, May 29 at the ELECAM Divisional Branch office in Kumba, party leaders expressed disgust that in 2013 witchcraft was used to dissuade voters from vote and influenced the choice of others.
According to the National Vice President of the National Alliance for Democracy and Progress, ANDP, Elisius Asa’ah Agbor, Mbonge Subdivision remains a hotbed of witchcraft practices during elections.
Agbor specified that Ngwandi was the heart of witchcraft practice in the last political consultation.
“We see witchcraft practised on the eve of elections. You report to those concerned but nothing is done.
Ngwandi is a perpetual headache to elections in Mbonge,” Agbor stated. He urged ELECAM officials to initiate a rotatory transfer of its staff in order to protect them from the fangs of regime barons because, according to Agbor, regime barons hijack ELECAM staff.
Agbor said if such staff are not moved, the parties aggrieved would know what to do when the time comes, adding that the practice is worst in Manyu Division.
To Christopher TambeTiku, ELECAM board member, ”ELECAM cannot be involved in issues of witchcraft.
These are allegations and anybody who thinks he or she is a victim of witchcraft should make a formal complaint to the legal department. Witchcraft is an offense but it is not ELECAM to start investigating issues of witchcraft; we don’t have that competence.”
Tambe Tiku said there might have been some problems in Manyu in 2013 but asserted that at the level of Meme Division, the ANDP made strides thanks to the transparent stance of ELECAM in the process.
“Mamfe, I have agreed, is problematic but in Meme your party performed because of transparency. If there was none of such incidents in Kumba then we are on a good footing,” Tambe Tiku observed.
‘‘We are neutral and want to make sure that the playing field is level. We have no interest to support any political party.
That is why I invoked the penal provisions of the electoral code that people can be prosecuted for electoral fraud and this year we will not only end at handing over people to the police but see that they are prosecuted. In fact, some fraudulent militants were prosecuted in the Northwest,” said Tambe Tiku.
He described the meeting with political stakeholders as a wake-up call for concerted action towards the organisation of credible and transparent elections next next year.
Tambe urged potential voters who have attained 20 years and above to register massively on the electoral register.
Rufus Oum Bigda, SDF District Chairman for Kumba III, questioned ELECAM on the procedures on elections day with the presence of military men in Kumba. He questioned if they would be allowed to vote in order to swell the votes of one party or they would be allowed to exercise their civic rights like every other Cameroonian.
CPDM, ANDP Clash
The CPDM delegate to the meeting for Mbonge, Bernard Enow Tambe, said the board should be considering causing the ANDP to change the colour of its ballot paper.
Enow said the ANDP has been a thorn in the flesh of the CPDM, earning undue votes in the process because of similar ballot papers.
Meanwhile, the Meme Divisional head of ELECAM, Divine Mokoto Mewanu, said registration of more voters this 2017 suffered a setback as a result of the social tension in the Northwest and Southwest Regions.
Mokoto disclosed that in 2016, within the same period, 6,500 potential voters had registered compared to 654 potential voters registered for the period spanning January 3 to May 29.
The meeting also provided a platform for the introduction of former Southwest Governor, Thomas Ejake Mbonda, to the stakeholders as the board member previously working in the Littoral.
Mbonda is now in the Southwest in replacement of Dr. Dorothy Limunga Njeuma who has been moved to the Littoral Region.