Civil Society Findings, Fault Government for Catastrophic COVID-19 Cash Management

Immediate actors in the management of the COVID-19 incidence management funds in Cameroon have been faulted by a fact tracking finding in five regions in Cameroon on the mismanagement of the COVID 19 incidence management funds. The findings reveal a disturbing lack of transparency and accountability on the part of public sector stakeholders.

In the report carried out in the North West, Centre, South, East and the Far North regions, COVID-19 Transparency and Accountability in Africa CTAP, Action for Development Empowerment ADE and partners revealed a pathetic reality of the local public health units in these areas.

The report paints a picture of health units without portable water, electricity, poor access, insufficient personnel and medical equipment, even though a greater part of the COVID-19 incidence response budget, was dedicated to reinforcing the universal health coverage Cameroon, with emphasis laid on the provision of this facility in the concerned rural areas.

Nancy Saiboh of ADE, say grassroots Cameroonians in these regions feel completely left out of the COVID-19 incidence Management response fund; and consistently,  the current COVID-19 vaccination campaign from the government is not being trusted by them.

She wonders how covid vaccines will be conserved in local health units where there is no electricity. Their respondents in the five regions say they have never received a single face mask or hand sanitiser, since the launch of the COVID-19 response plan.

Reacting to the data collected, Civil Society actor and politician Edith Kah Walla said cTAP, ADE and Partners have played one of the most important roles in citizenship because public finance is the money that belongs to the public and whenever there are reports of stealing as clearly stated by the audit bench of the Supreme Court, Cameroonians should all rise and ask questions, demand accountability and transparency.

The report was presented to civil society actors in Yaounde, during a coalition meeting that focused on Gauging the Transparency of the COVID-19 incidence management response in Cameroon.

To Kah Walla who was the keynote speaker, she called on Cameroonian youths to stay quiet no more as the money stolen is that which has to be used in cre-dating jobs and strengthening the economy. She lauded the efforts of Actions for Development and Empowerment. "By gathering information, de-manding accountability, they are playing one of the most important roles in citizenship. We encourageCivil Society Findings, Fault Government for Catastrophic COVID-19 Cash Management them to continue in this work. We hoping to receive their report. I was very happy to see that they have gone to the field, they have the-ered data. 

There is no advocacy without data” said Kah Walla. She added, “It is very important to understand the public finance is our money; We as Cameroonians are the ones whichgenerate public finances through our taxes. ,So, whenever there is stealing which the audit report clearly demon-started, it is our right and duty to go and ask more questions and demand that measures be to taken so that stealing is stopped” 

To Dr Allain Martin Kofele of  the International Governance Insti-tute- Cameroon, Cameroonians spend more energy trying to fight insigh the systems messing up and the output is often insignificant. To him, capacity building of local  actors can produce better fruits.“Problems that have to do with transparency and corruption are in two phases; there is a problem at the Executive phase which is up and there is a problem of public participation at the bottom. Before now, a lot has been done in trying to change the executive bodies and the results are very few. What if we focus more on building local actors, empowering them to re-strategize?” said Dr Allain Martin. Ndi Nancy, the founder and Ex-ecutive Director of sit-up said this project is a Pan-African project running in many countries. She confirms the challenges she has faced with her team.

“It is no news that the freedom of information act is not yet ratified in Cameroon, so having access to information is so difficult,” she said. Irrespective of the challenges, she maintains that her organisation will stop at nothing to ensure that there is transparency and accountability in government that can enable citizens to have trust in the government leading them.



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