South West: Government To Assist Retired Council Workers

By Yai Martin, Cameroon Tribune (Yaoundé), 1 July 2003

Buea (Fako)—The burden of paying retired council workers hitherto faced by most councils in the South West Province has been resolved, even if just for the time being. Beginning this month council pensioners are expected to smile given that Government has paid in CFA 311 million to the National Social Insurance Fund to permit retired council workers in the South West Province benefit from their pension regularly.

Announcing this to a cross section of council Mayors and Government Delegates at the first provincial meeting of their Association in Buea recently, Governor Ejake Mbonda frowned at what he described as adverse practices observed in the daily management of some councils and municipalities during the first eleven months.

For example very tense relations existed between some Mayors and their Assistants, between them and the rest of the municipal councillors or between them and their Secretaries General and above all between Mayors and even the supervisory authority he said.

The Governor said such antagonism was caused by personified or poor management characterised by the embezzlement of council funds and the creation of parallel structures for their collection The arbitrary award of public contracts in some council areas was also the worry of the Governor. It was in line with this that he told Mayors that Government shall be merciless with those who shall be found guilty of what he referred to as a free and easy attitude towards the management of council finances and property.

From the active participation of Mayors at the two-day meeting and their visible desire to better understand management and municipal administration, Governor Ejake promised to organise at least one training seminar every year for the Mayors and their collaborators.

More than 95 percent of the mayor population in the South West Province attended the pioneer session of the Association of Municipalities and Cities of Cameroon- AMCC, whose success owes a lot to the collaboration of the Local Council Service in the South West Governor's office.