Sunday, September 23, 2018
You are here: Home » Literary Corner » Vox pop: Decentralisation: Reality or Smokescreen? Bookmark This Page

Vox pop: Decentralisation: Reality or Smokescreen? 

Compiled by Lydie Yuri, *Jude Fuhnwi, *Albert Arrey, *Mbaze & *Ngana Marie

Decentralisation is going on gradually. You know with our government, things are so slow but with time, I think it will come to reality. In ten years, I think, full decentralisation must have been achieved.
Joseph Meoto, Businessman, Buea

It Is On-going
Decentralisation I think it is really on going. With a little effort, it will definitely come to be a complete reality in our country.
Monica Ndumu, Student Lawyer, Buea

Government Is Unwilling To Decentralise
The 1996 Constitution had put in place a machinery to decentralise the powers of the central government in Yaounde. I think in Cameroon it is somehow working. We see, for example, that the local council practises some sort of decentralisation because they raise their budget themselves and try to manage it. But the situation of decentralisation itself is not really given to its fullest because the Divisional Officers still supervise the councils. So, the government has given something and in a way put a control over it.

So, I cannot say this is purely decentralisation because the administrative arm of the government still has a way of controlling the decentralised authority. Except this government wants to do something useful, top officials will not want the local or decentralised entity to manage more budgets than them.
Barrister Tony Tchan, Buea

It Can Never Be Reality
The government can never make it realistic because it doesn’t serve its own interest. It just concentrates the money around itself; spends the money for its own purposes. Decentralisation can never be a reality in this country except the government starts working for the interest of the people. The state fears that if it empowers the common man, it will be very difficult for it to control him the way it wants. So, I don’t see decentralisation happening even in the next ten years.
Barrister David V, Buea

There Is No Decentralisation In Cameroon
There is no decentralisation in the country. Everything is done in a centralised manner. We are, however, hopeful that one day things will change and then we will have a decentralised system where there will be no bottlenecks.    
Susan Ebai Ntui Arrey, Teacher   

Not A Reality
I think it’s not a reality in Cameroon. When you look at the various ministries and representation in the regions, you discover that they only serve as auxiliary to the central administration. They process documents but they cannot give the final say, but only have to send them back to Yaounde where the final decisions are made. If you go to the Ministry Of Secondary Education, you discover that little decentralisation is being done. 

But when it comes to advancement it is only at the level of Yaounde that the decisions are made but those decisions are supposed to come from the Regions. Those at the regions like the Delegates are just stooges and that is why you discover that when it comes to the disbursement of public funds, what actually reaches the regions are crumbs which cannot be used to do any serious job.
Charles Obah, Teacher, Bamenda
 

Not Too Sure
It is only after going through the exercise that I will know if it is actually a reality. In effect, I’m from Yaounde; they sent me back to Bamenda to process my documents.  When I try it here, I’ll get back to Yaounde and it is then that I will know if decentralization is in place.
Valentine Evi, Student, Bamenda

It’s A Smokescreen
I don’t think decentralisation is a reality. In fact, is it a smokescreen because everyday you still hear people complaining that they have been asked to go to Yaounde and compile their documents.  So I don’t really think it is a reality.  The government is just using it to dissuade us.
Paul Mbani, Businessman, Bamenda

It’s Bogus!
This our decentralisation is a smokescreen because; first when we talk of decentralisation, we talk of autonomy. If there is no autonomy, then there is no decentralisation. For instance, they are talking of councils.

You cannot talk of the councils when supervisory powers still lord it over the councils. The council budget cannot go through if the Divisional Officers refuse and these DOs are appointed from above. Even with the said decentralisation, there is still a tentacle of power which is right up to the top because the DO must work according to the man who appointed him.

They talk of regional authorities, but the Governor is still appointed by the President and he will normally be working for the man who appointed him. This is not decentralisation because there is no autonomy. Look at the Ministry of Finance, it is still centralised strongly in Yaounde; documents are still treated there. So what are they struggling to decentalise?
Christopher Neng, Teacher, Bamenda
 

It’s A Gradual Process
As for me, I think it will work out. It’s just that we need time for it to work.
Gladys Neh, Bamenda
 
 It’s A Paper Tiger!

It is not a reality because for it to work we need competent officials to let it work.  But where do you get them when everybody is corrupt?  If ministers are being imprisoned who do you think can make it work?  I see decentralisation on paper and not in practice.
Olive Sirri, Economist, Bamenda
 

Decentralisation is a smokescreen because civil servants still have to go to Yaounde to chase files when we have representatives of the various ministries in the Regions. We can not be appointing government officials and at the same time seizing power from them to be directed to particular directions. For decentralisation to be a reality, decisions must also be taken at the Regional levels and communicated to the central administration.
Larissa Ngeh, Bamenda

Not A Reality
I think it’s not a reality in Cameroon. When you look at the various ministries and representation in the regions, you discover that they only serve as auxiliary to the central administration. They process documents but they cannot give the final say, but only have to send them back to Yaounde where the final decisions are made.

If you go to the Ministry Of Secondary Education, you discover that little decentralisation is being done.  But when it comes to advancement it is only at the level of Yaounde that the decisions are made but those decisions are supposed to come from the Regions.

Those at the regions like the Delegates are just stooges and that is why you discover that when it comes to the disbursement of public funds, what actually reaches the regions are crumbs which cannot be used to do any serious job.
Charles Obah, Teacher, Bamenda

 Not Too Sure
It is only after going through the exercise that I will know if it is actually a reality. In effect, I’m from Yaounde; they sent me back to Bamenda to process my documents.  When I try it here, I’ll get back to Yaounde and it is then that I will know if decentralization is in place.
Valentine Evi, Student, Bamenda

It’s A Smokescreen
I don’t think decentralisation is a reality. In fact, it is a smokescreen because everyday you still hear people complaining that they have been asked to go to Yaounde and compile their documents.  So I don’t really think it is a reality.  The government is just using it to dissuade us.
Paul Mbani, Businessman, Bamenda
 
It’s Bogus!

This our decentralisation is a smokescreen because; first when we talk of decentralisation, we talk of autonomy. If there is no autonomy, then there is no decentralisation. For instance, they are talking of councils. You cannot talk of the councils when supervisory powers still lord it over the councils.

The council budget cannot go through if the Divisional Officers refuse and these DOs are appointed from above. Even with the said decentralisation, there is still a tentacle of power which is right up to the top because the DO must work according to the man who appointed him.

They talk of regional authorities, but the Governor is still appointed by the President and he will normally be working for the man who appointed him. This is not decentralisation because there is no autonomy. Look at the Ministry of Finance, it is still centralised strongly in Yaounde; documents are still treated there. So what are they struggling to decentalise?
Christopher Neng, Teacher, Bamenda
 

It’s A Gradual Process
As for me, I think it will work out. It’s just that we need time for it to work.
Gladys Neh, Bamenda
 
 It’s A Paper Tiger!

It is not a reality because for it to work we need competent officials to let it work.  But where do you get them when everybody is corrupt?  If ministers are being imprisoned who do you think can make it work?  I see decentralisation on paper and not in practice.
Olive Sirri, Economist, Bamenda
 

Decentralisation is a smokescreen because civil servants still have to go Yaounde to chase files when we have representatives of the various ministries in the Regions. We can not be appointing government officials and at the same time seizing power from them to be directed to particular directions. For decentralisation to be a reality, decisions must also be taken at the Regional levels and communicated to the central administration.
Larissa Ngeh, Bamenda

(*Journalism Students on Internship)

    Add a Comment

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    *


    *