By Tata Mbunwe
Cameroon’s Lower House of Parliament has opened its last ordinary session for the year today by paying tribute to victims of the Mamfe massacre and the Mbankolo landslide.
The two tragedies that befell the nation in October and November claimed at least 50 lives.
The Parliamentary session commenced with a somber minute of silence honoring the lives lost in the Egbekaw, Mamfe, and the Mbankolo landslide in Yaounde.
The Egbekaw massacre, resulting from an Ambazonia separatist attack, claimed the lives of at least 25 civilians on November 6.
It added to the nation’s mourning following the Mbankolo landslide a month earlier, which took the lives of 30 individuals.
House Speaker, Hon Cavaye Yegue Djibril, urged members to honor those “brutally murdered” in Mamfe and the victims of the tragic Mbankolo landslide during his opening speech.
The CPDM-majority Assembly has faced criticism for its passive role in the ongoing armed conflict in the English-speaking Regions.
Despite over 6,000 Cameroonian lives lost, the law making body has never initiated a discussion on the conflict since it started in 2016.
This particular parliamentary session is dedicated to scrutinizing and voting on the 2024 budget, already proposed by the Government.
Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute, following a cabinet meeting on the proposed budget, attended the opening session of Parliament.
Over the coming days, Government Ministers are set to field questions from the assembly concerning their proposed budgets and priorities for the next fiscal year.
At the cabinet meeting that was held last week, Finance Minister Louis Paul Motaze articulated the government’s intention to reduce reliance on oil revenue by diversifying revenue sources through taxation.
The National Assembly is also pushing for the government to maximize revenue collection in the mining sector next year.
The assembly convened under a shadow of recent losses, mourning the passing of two members in just one month.
Hon Nganbaye Antoinette, a CPDM Parliamentarian from the Lom and Djerem East Constituency, passed away on October 2.
This November 9, the house was struck by another loss as Hon Fama Marguerite, a CPDM Parliamentarian from the Upper Ngong Center Constituency, departed.
The ongoing Parliamentary session signifies a critical juncture for the National Assembly, as it confronts national tragedies and crucial decisions for Cameroon’s future in the face of ongoing challenges.
Mimi Mefo Info