Barrister Gladys Fri Mbuya is restless by nature. She sits atop the Mutengene based Libra law firm where from every indication she oversees a thriving business.
Barrister Mbuya read law in Yaounde, attended the very reputed Nigerian Law School and was thereafter called to both the Nigerian and Cameroonian Bars. She propped up her knowledge with a Masters degree from The United States of America. She has also attended several law clinics across Africa and elsewhere.
Before she was elected to head FIDA Cameroon last week, she was the Regional head of the Association for Africa. She talked to The Post about her plans and vision for the association. Congratulations, Barrister Mbuya, on your election to the exalted office of FIDA Cameroon Chairperson.
How did you convince the majority of your peers to be trusted with their votes?
Barrister Mbuya: Thanks for your interest in my new charge. On Saturday, August 16, 2014, I was elected as the FIDA Cameroon Chairperson; this was during the FIDA Cameroon General Meeting that held at the Holiday Inn Resort in Limbe. All the members present voted by secret ballot and I emerged as the chairperson. I imagine that they, at least trust me to lead them.
Barrister can we know what FIDA stands for and its Cameroon component?
FIDA stands for the International Federation of Women Lawyers. It is a non-political and non-profit organization with principal objective to enhance and promote the welfare of women and children. FIDA Cameroon is an affiliate of FIDA International and carries out the objectives of FIDA International.
What is your vision; your plan for FIDA Cameroon now that you are in charge?
I have a vision and a mission for FIDA Cameroon and that is to make the works of FIDA impact the lives of many more women and children in all the 10 Regions of this country. The indefatigable immediate past chairperson of FIDA Cameroon did a lot already towards achieving this and actually set the bar very high before leaving but you will agree with me that there is still a lot more to be done . Unless and until we enhance the status of women in all the four corners of this country we will not relent.
And how do you envisage achieving this mission?
First, I will embark on growing the membership of FIDA Cameroon because the more members we have, the easier it will be for us to reach out to women and children whose lives we are out to enhance. I am encouraging female lawyers in whatever region they are exercising their profession in this country to start holding meetings in their Regions with the aim of creating branches of FIDA Cameroon. My dream is to inaugurate 10 branches of FIDA Cameroon before the end of my tenure.
Consequently, may I, through this medium, humbly appeal to female lawyers to seize this opportunity and organize meetings in their regions and once they have a membership of at least 10 lawyers, they should apply to the National Secretariat and we shall examine their application and fix a date to go and inaugurate the branch. That way, we will spread our tentacles far and wide and we should be able to meet women wherever they are in this country at any given point of their need. Enclave areas will not be left out, I can assure you.
Barrister, the last time we chatted, you were the FIDA International Regional Vice President for Africa. How are you going to be grappling with these two functions?
You are right. I double as the Regional Vice President for Africa and I am pleased to state here that I discharged my duty as Regional Vice President for Africa very successfully. I organized a Regional Congress for FIDA International in Yaoundé that brought together about 300 female lawyers from 10 African countries the United Kingdom and India.
At the end of that Congress the FIDA International President Sheela Anish, who attended the Congress all the way from India announced to all present that out of the four Regional Congresses she has attending, mine was the best in terms of everything. My term of office as RVP will be ending this November.
As to how I will handle the two offices I think that as liaison officer between my Region and FIDA International, it will be easier and faster for me to coordinate the affairs of FIDA Cameroon in terms of channeling their difficulties to FIDA International and feeding the home front with updates from FIDA International.
We understand that you are equally Co-chairperson of the Southwest Regional Task force on Trafficking in Persons. Is this in any way going to help you in the discharge of your duties as Chairperson of the FIDA Executive Committee?
Absolutely yes, it will. These two functions compliment each other in a way because the task force is in charge of identifying trafficked victims, investigating and prosecuting Traffickers in Persons. FIDA Cameroon equally investigates and prosecutes Traffickers in Persons; a synergy between the two will ease our task of putting an end to the heinous practice of trafficking in persons.
Your last word…
Well, I wish to congratulate the immediate past Chairperson of FIDA Cameroon; Justice Mrs. Betty Luma for the marvelous job she did during her tenure. In fact, I will never forget the passionate manner in which she led FIDA Cameroon and the numerous achievements she scored. I will equally extend my gratitude to all the members of FIDA Cameroon who were present during that general meeting and assure them that together we shall take FIDA Cameroon to another level.
Thank you Barrister
Thanks for having me.