Anglophone Senators challenge bill on Bilingualism, say it undermines Biya’s Rigour and Moralisation policy

Speaking at the Senate, Senator Mbella Moki Charles challenged the bill on the promotion of English and French as official languages, explaining that it will in no way benefit all Cameroonians accordingly.

“By the character of the person you are, this would not have been the origin of your thinking in producing this bill,” he told Arts and Culture Minister Bidoung Mpkwatt.

“I plead with this House to have a feeling for those of us who are complaining … If this house and those who drafted this law imagine what is right is wrong then what is right in this country?” He went on.

To him, “You may be a Francophone and you think that these concerns are concerns that are emanating from English Speaking Cameroonians but let me ask you a question. Imagine the poor villagers you have around Molundu who may not be able to understand English language are faced with an Anglophone magistrate who prefers to communicate with them in English. In all honesty, tell this house how these villagers will feel”.

“While I totally subscribe to the need to promote English and French as vectors of bilingualism in Cameroon, I believe l that the working languages in the North West and South West regions on the one hand and the eight other regions on the other hand should first be underlined. These are sacrosanct,” he added.

Another speaker who mounted the rostrum at the Senate was Senator Anja Simon from Akwaya who noted that: “The problem with this bill is the contextual form of it.”.

This, he explained, is because “words are interpreted differently according to the language or the subject in which it is used”.

Citing President Biya’s rigour and moralisation policy, adopting the bill he noted “will be disgracing the president”.

Several others have spoken against the bill, with some legal minds stating that it is an attempt to dominate over the English language in Cameroon.

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