Another great Cameroonian politician has fallen. Barrister Henry Kemende, a lawmaker in the country’s conflict-stricken North West region has died from bullet wounds.
Reports say he was shot by yet-to-be-identified gunmen and gave up the ghost shortly after being rushed to a medical facility.
Also a Senator, Kemende was seen by many as one of the few lasting voices in the Social Democratic Front party which has for the past years been characterized by a silent power tussle.
Colleagues and loved ones have since been expressing grief over his death.
“Senator Henry Kemende was murdered in Bamenda. My heart is bleeding,” wrote Hon Nintcheu Jean Michel of the SDF party.
Filmmaker, Agbor Gilbert like others, bemoaned the Senator’s murder.
“A good man is gone… You shot and killed this gentleman man for nothing. Jesus Chris!!! When will you stop killing the best of us?” he wrote on Facebook.
Kemende the politician
In his time alive, Senator Kemende spared no ounce of his energy fighting for social justice and equality. He was among frontline politicians that urged the government to render account for Covid-19 funds.
“An elderly senator colleague died in Yaoundé because there was no oxygen to administer on him. You can’t imagine that basics like oxygen are lacking, but we hear the huge sums mismanaged,” he had told Zenger News.
“The funds,” he added, “would have gone to prevent people from dying, to rush them to treatment centers”.
He pressed on: “… Imagine ambulances were bought on paper but were not supplied, hotel bills for quarantined patients were not paid, whereas there were funds to handle these cases until they got well”.
Regarding the armed conflict in the Anglophone regions, he believed that government action was not genuine.
In 2019, he told the German outlet, DW that the choice of special Status for the regions was coming later than it should have.
“It is too little, coming too late … What we would have expected is to empower the regions to determine policies over the educational, judicial, legislative and executive system, to determine issues at a national level, and not just a local level,” DW quoted him as saying.
Despite his stance, he remained held firm to the belief that the conflict could be solved through dialogue, and denied heeding separatists’ calls to leave parliament.
Unlike many other politicians with a similar resolve, however, he did not evade the conflict zones, as he continued to live there till today when he was sent back to his maker in the most gruesome of ways.