By Yerima Kini Nsom
The Chair of the National Anti-Corruption Commission known by its French acronym as CONAC, Rev. Dr. Dieudonne Massi Gams, says his organisation has received many appeals from various stakeholders, including Barrister Akere Muna, to investigate the corruption scandal in which the Anglo-Swiss company, Glencore, allegedly paid bribes amounting to FCFA 7 billion to some Cameroonian officials.
While answering questions from reporters during a press briefing he organised in Yaounde to mark the commemoration of the 6th edition of the African Anti-Corruption Day on Monday, July 11, the CONAC boss said they have decided to be very discrete about the Glencore affair.
“There is an African proverb that says when you are hunting a big animal, you do not make noise,” Massi Gams said, adding that CONAC investigations on the Glencore affair are shrouded in discreteness and secrecy in order to achieve best results.
Harping on the 6th edition of the African Anti-Corruption Day, he said the theme this year is hinged on the theme: “Strategies and Mechanisms for the Transparent Management of Covid-19 Funds”.
“We must admit that the response made by governments to fight this pandemic have constituted a great governance challenge in African countries. The public has witnessed all forms of misconduct: theft, misuse, mismanagement of covid-19 funds, and violation of the rules governing public procurement, among others,” Massi Gams remarked in a preliminary statement at the occasion.
He said, as the world is recovering from the COVID crisis, the African Union is convinced of the need to build strong mechanisms for transparency and accountability in the management of resources committed to restoring the economies of member states. He observed that the Audit Bench of the Supreme Court of Cameroon conducted an audit on the management of the pandemic funds.
To him, such a move was in tandem with the provisions of law no.2003/005 of 21 April 2003 to lay down the jurisdiction, organisation and functioning of the Audit Bench. Hear him: “CONAC commends the efforts made so far and seizes the opportunity offered by the commemoration of the 6th edition of the African Anti-Corruption to discuss the best practices in the anti-corruption drive, in order to empower some stakeholders in this struggle, particularly the chairpersons of anti-corruption units to update their intervention capacities”.
It was a bid to surmount these challenges that he said a training workshop on the Commonwealth Benchmarks would hold in Ebolowa on July 14 and 15. Besides banking on this year’s theme, Dr. Massi Gams said the African Union Advisory Board against corruption has permitted national anti-corruption agencies to organise their relevant activities to enhance the fight against corruption.
The CONAC boss urged all Cameroonians to stay focused on combating the scourge by reporting any act of corruption they may witness or may be victims of.