The Minister of Public Service and Administrative Reform has come under attack from French speaking political elites following a recent press release issued by his ministerial department on May 15, 2017 for the recruitment of 80 Southern Cameroonians into the judiciary as magistrates and court registrars. The Francophones now say the minister should have said the examination is for English-speaking candidates and not the people of the North-West and South West regions.
A senior aide to President Biya was quoted as saying that “Although these two regions of Cameroon are of Anglo-Saxon culture, they do not have the monopoly of the English language. Therefore, even Francophone Cameroonians who have studied in the Anglo-Saxon system are also eligible for this special recruitment at ENAM.”
The Minister of Public Service and Administrative Reform, Michel Angouing announced on May 15, 2017 a competitive examination to select 80 candidates from the Northwest and Southwest regions. The official communiqué by Michel Angouing, said: “Following standing instructions from the President of the Republic prescribed within the framework of the resolution of the concerns expressed by the Cameroon Common Law lawyers, two competitive examinations for a special recruitment of 50 magistrates and 30 court clerks into the National School of Administration and Magistracy (ENAM) shall be carried out for the academic year 2017-2018 “.
The Ministerial Order further stated that the examinations will be written exclusively in the English language and will take place in the chief cities of the Central, North, North-West and South-West regions.” A Francophone tabloid based in Yaoundé opined in a recent editorial that by including examinations centers in the Center and North regions, the recruitment process cannot be only for Anglophone Cameroonians. The Francophone political elites are now using statistics provided by the anti Anglophone Minister for Justice, Laurent Esso and are making a mockery of the Cameroon Common Law Lawyers. It was revealed that there are 2,086 lawyers in Cameroon and 1,390 are French speaking while 696 are Anglophones.
The Francophone politicians say in the geographical distribution of lawyers, no Francophone lawyer owns a practice in the South West region and that only one is installed in the North West. But in the Francophone regions, there are 129 English-speaking lawyers. The country has 69 notaries none of whom are Anglophones. There are 514 bailiffs, 499 of whom are Francophones and 15 Anglophones. There are 1,542 active magistrates in Cameron. 1,265 are Francophones and 227 are Southern Cameroonians.
By Rita Akana and Eyong Johnson with files from CIN