The first ordinary session of the Parliament has opened today in Yaoundé both at the Senate (Upper House) and the National Assembly (Lower House).
At the Senate, the session was chaired traditionally by the eldest member of the house, Senator Nfon Victor E. Mukete who turned a century old last December. He called on senators to exhibit a high sense of responsibility in the performance of their duties and to support the organization of the 2019 Elections.
At the National Assembly, deliberations were chaired by the eldest Member of Parliament, Hon. Enow Tanjong who began his speech by calling for a minute of silence for deceased members of the house from the UPC and CPDM parties who died earlier his year. He also congratulated the Prime Minister, Chief Joseph Dione Ngute on his appointment in January this year. Chief Dione Ngute was attending his maiden session of parliament as Head of government.
The 2019 first ordinary session of parliament is coming admist the sociopolitical crisis in the two English speaking regions Cameroon that has persisted for close to three years and has deepened even further lately. It is expected that the situation will be one of the major issues that will be put on the discussion table.
While opening the session at the Upper House, Senator Victor E. Mukete decried the sociopolitical situation in the two affected regions. Here is an excerpt of his speech.
“Ordinary session opens within the context marked by persistent barbaric acts continuously perpetrated by some Compatriots who have gone astray within the national triangle in the North West and South West Regions and some representations of our country abroad. Your eldest member regrets these acts which bring zonal upon Cameroon”
Senator Emilia Nkeza from the Social Democratic Front (SDF) however reacted differently to the speech of Senator Mukete. This is her reaction “ He was reminding us about what is happening in our country, instead of preparing us to deliberate about what is happening.
Hon. Enow Tanjong also underscored the need for government to redouble efforts in resolving the crisis in the two restive regions while condemning violations of human rights. According to him secessionist are committing violations on human rights including adoption of school children, assassination and arson. Making reference to the Kumba district hospital set ablaze in February this year, he considered the act abominable and reiterated that hospitals are sacred and have to be protected even in times of war. He added that no nation in the world would be complaisant about such barbaric acts.
Reacting to Hon. Tanjong, Hon. Joseph Mbah Ndam of the SDF stated clearly that souls have been lost and they as Parliament have not done anything and there is therefore no reason for the Eldest member of the house to call on the international community.
This present session of Parliament is the first after the November to December session that saw the promulgation of eight bills into law. During this session, a new executive bureau is expected to be elected for the Senate and the National Assembly. The session will also enable the senators and members of parliament prepare for senatorial and parliamentary elections later this year.