The Parliamentarians and Senators in Yaounde have adopted a controversial bill that changes so many issues in the 50-year-old Cameroons Penal Code. While the need to change the bill is good, it touches on the very fundamentals of people’s rights.
Several groups have been calling on the Government to withdraw this law. The lawyers have protested and they still do, Journalists Associations and civil societies have written to the Government. The Government, however, gave a deaf ear to the Cameroons people, the parliament went on to adopt the bill and it is currently going to President Paul Biya so that he can promulgate the bill into law. Amongst the controversial provisions, the area which BaretaNews want to focus is on the tenancy law which punishes tenants up to 3 years imprisonment for failing to pay +2 months rents.
The Anglophone Journalist Association in their letter to President Paul Biya wrote ” The section which states that tenants, who will find themselves owing their landlord’s rents for just two months, could face the prospect of imprisonment. This is the clause that seems more of a provocation than any intention to rid the society of delinquents. On this issue, Mr. President, we would like to take the example of the public service alone, where new recruits into the various services often go for well over 24 months without pay while waiting to be integrated or are paid a little under half of their salaries to cope in villages and big cities alike. Where shall they be expected to live in order not to owe landlords rents for several months while hoping your government begins to fully honour its obligations towards them?
What of the case of employees whose employers accumulate months of unpaid salaries sometimes due to no fault of theirs, like it is the case of Camair-Co. Staff members today and a lot of our poor councils; what sanctions have been set aside to make them pay the workers so that they do not get thrown into jail by landlords?
Worse still, the unemployment rate in Cameroon is officially above 20% and this country does not have any programme that enables the unemployed to get stipends to manage on like it is the case elsewhere; shall there be enough space in the streets to accommodate these people who are barely surviving?”… the association concluded.
Recalled that most of these MPs and Senators are Landlords. They only want something which benefits them. Would you fold your arms and watch them do this to you? It is thus evident that this law affects everyone in the society. The heavily unemployed society, students and graduates are like, buyam sellams, Bendsikins, etc BaretaNews is, therefore, calling on Cameroonians not to leave this fight to lawyers alone. BaretaNews is challenging students from Buea, Douala, Yaounde, Kumba, Bamenda, Limbe, Bafoussam and all major cities in the Cameroons to rally. You must rally to stop this law on tenants. Numbers matter a lot. Students must rally and call on President Paul not to promulgate this law. Only the students alone can cause the Presidency to shake. Let us imagine students from all ten major cities in the Cameroons singing the same language. The law on tenants directly affects the students as such students must not sit quietly. Students must not fold their arms. You have the opportunity to use WhatsApp, Facebook, and rally. Join the lawyers and say ” Enough is Enough”. You have the opportunity now to stir change in the law rather than folding your arms, drinking beer and making nudes pictures. The Future is Yours- Take It.
God is still saying something.