Elites split over sharing of mission ‘booty’

NEWS 24 Oct 2017
Elites split over sharing of mission ‘booty’

By Elah Geoffrey Mbongale
Government’s effort to solve the Anglophone problem and put an end to the ongoing crisis has understandably cost the state a lot in human and financial resources. This could be evidenced in the numerous trips by government officials to the affected regions and to numerous cities in the Diaspora to ‘dialogue’ with the Anglophone community home and abroad.
The heavy militarisation of the two affected regions in terms of personnel and military hardware, justified or not, is also burning a hole in the pocket of government coffers.
The peace and dialogue mission by some Anglophone elites to the North West and South West regions last week raised a lot of dust over the sharing of mission allowances amongst the elites.
According to our sources, the ‘peace mission’ cost the state circa FCFA 600 million and each regional delegation was expected to manage between FCFA 250-300 million.
The money was meant for transportation of elites and for food and drink during the talks with local communities. However, some of the elites who spoke to The SUN on conditions of anonymity queried why FCFA 500,000 was to be given to divisional officers and another FCFA 800,000 to chiefs of each division.
According to our sources, each division was entitled to about FCFA 2.1 million and the amount left nothing for the travelling elites who did all the field work, after the DOs and Chiefs’ cut had been deducted.
Rumours are also abound that some delegation heads confiscated the money meant for logistics and other members did not have their cut.
The SUN could not independently verify the authenticity of these claims as some of the elites and chiefs contacted remained tight-lipped.
Many Cameroonians have raised concerns over the amounts of money these trips, by government officials and pro-government elites, are costing the tax payer. Some are even suggesting that there might be a hidden interest to keep the flames of the crisis burning as many of these trips have ended in futility.
In August, the government sent multiple delegations to the Diaspora to try to explain the crisis to Cameroonians in the Diaspora. These missions that ended in total chaos in many countries also cost the state hundreds of millions of francs CFA.

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