By Tata Mbunwe
The Cameroon Journalists’ Trade Union, CJTU, has frowned at government’s silence about investigations Communication Minister Emmanuel Sadi said were being conducted regarding the murder of journalist Martinez Zogo.
Journalists fear government’s silence on the progress of the investigations, one week after the journalist’s body was found, could mean no investigations are being conducted.
This is because the government made a similar promise in 2020, when journalist Samuel Wazizi died in detention, but three years later, a comment has not been made about the supposed investigations.
“CJTU notes with regret and bitterness that, on the 7th day of the death of Martinez Zogo, no official information on the investigation has been made public. We ask the Attorney General at the Court of the Center Region, with the prosecutors of Mfoundi and Mfou, to work, certainly in serenity but with speed, so that justice is done for the biological, professional and the media family,” CJTU said in a communique signed by its Secretary General, Hilary Homekoue, on January 29.
The release furthered: “CJTU cannot understand why the investigation is stalling. The investigation should not stall because the Press and the people are thirsty for the truth after
Bibi NGOTA, Jules Koum Koum and Samuel Wazizi.”
On Monday, January 23, one day after Martinez Zogo’s mutilated body was found on the outskirts of Yaounde, Minister Emmanuel Sadi said the government will do everything to bring the perpetrators to justice.
He termed the journalist’s killing a “heinous, unspeakable and inadmissible crime” and promised that an “open investigation” was being conducted to “bring to justice the perpetrators.”
More protection for journalists
To mourn their colleague, journalists in Cameroon will have to dress in black on Wednesday, February 1.
“Wednesday shall be day of mourning in the press. All workers are expected to dress in black for mourning,” CJTU said.
But it won’t limited to this. CJTU said they will also be asking authorities to offer more protection to journalists.
The trade union asked journalists to organise themselves at various chapters on Wednesday and go to the Governor’s office where they will present a message calling for greater protection of journalists.
“On Wednesday, February 1, 2023, media workers at the level of each chapter shall meet and go to the governor’s office to deliver the position statement of
CJTU because journalists are in danger and seek the effective protection of the State.”
The peaceful march follows several other calls journalists have made, calling on the government to ensure those who killed Martinez Zogo are punished.
Zogo was the managing director of Amplitude FM, a private radio station based in Cameroon’s capital city, Yaounde.
Before being killed, he was host of a popular programme, ‘Embouttiellage’, which exposed corruption, mismanagement and wrongdoing by government officials.
Reports say he had been investigating embezzlement allegations concerning pro-government billionaire, Amougou Belinga, prior to his death.
Journalists and media institutions have termed his murder an attempt to silence press freedom in the country.
President Paul Biya’s government, which has been noted severally by the press freedom index for repressing the press, has claimed it is doing everything possible to ensure journalists practice freely in the country.
Journalists say it is now left on the government to honour this pledge by bringing killers of their colleague to book.
Mimi Mefo Info