As government comes under criticism for its inability to provide accountability for the resources made available to the state meant to handle the COVID-19 pandemic, Cameroon’s Minister of Public Health, Dr. Manaouda Malachie says they have been accountable enough but people simply talk because they have to.
“Whatsoever the ministry has received as a donation from persons of goodwill, we have done our best to publicise the occasion, making sure the public knows how these funds have been used. It is normal for people to fidget on social media about embezzlement. They’re simply doing so for the sake of it. The Ministry of Public Health is transparent enough,” he revealed on state broadcaster, CRTV.
Distraught Cameroonians have been using the social media to air their opinions as to the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and why government must be more accountable.
“The press conferences never reflect the realities on ground. Government seems to be giving out half truths while the resources meant to fight COVID-19 are being plundered,” some social media users say.
Many agitations have been made particularly concerning the $40 Million that was contributed by Cameroonians to the government to help fight the pandemic.
Many Cameroonians have been left largely unimpressed by the government’s explanation as to how the money has been spent.
One of the most essential reasons for the relief fund was to see it that local hospitals are better equipped to comfortably handle the pandemic.
But hospital users continue to complain of the lack of adequate facilities to properly handle patients.
“Most of the times you go there and there is no water for people to wash their hands. You just find a bucket being placed there without any water in it at times and most often than not with no soap,” explained a disgruntled patient at one of the hospital centres in the country’s capital, Yaounde.
This is contrary to what the government had said of hospitals being handed over enough thermometers, soap, disinfectants, hand sanitizers, face masks, medicines and sufficient quantities of water being distributed all over the country.
Some NGOs like the “Health for All” strongly believe the government is into shady activities with the funds meant to handle the COVID-19 pandemic.
Apande Fadimatou of the foundation has said the government should detailly reveal how much they have received and how much has been spent.
She says some of the things the government claims to have purchased have not been seen or may have been diverted to private individuals.
In the same vein, there has equally been a lot of disgruntlement on the case of the 4,000 bags of ORCA rice that were handed to the government for distribution to Cameroonians but have not been seen or heard of since.
Cameroonians have since complained of never receiving the rice and say it has been diverted. The Minister of Public Health reiterated that the rice had been sent to the 10 regions for distribution and was supposed to have been a thing of the past now.
The unaccountability of the government is going a long way to legitimise the views of the many Cameroonians who think that the COVID-19 pandemic was introduced in Cameroon so that government officials could use the situation to amass wealth for themselves.
The Minister of Public Health appears to have done his best to account for the funds, but Cameroonians are simply not satisfied with his explanations and they demand more.
Mimi Mefo Info