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Suspension of Sky One Radio and anarchy in Cameroon

The suspension or ban of Sky One Radio in Yaoundé, Cameroon by the Minister of Communication, Issa Tchiroma on August 17, shows the many facets of the country.The decision, which is multidimensional, falls within the framework of stifling free speech and equally brings to limelight some of the latter’s excesses. It also shows the laxity with which the Cameroon government handles issues, the impunity in the country and the lost of faith by many citizens on the nation’s weak institutions managed by “strong men”.

The program “Le Tribunal” which was the cause of the suspension had been on air for over two years broadcasting the same things, which caused it to be banned(- the judging and denunciation of societal ills and individuals on air). I once listened and found it wanting in several dimensions, though very important issues were being raised.

However, the government did not really border. As earlier reiterated, they have adopted the “I do not care attitude”. It was until the Congolese and Ivoirian diplomats complained about the utterances aired on the radio that the Cameroon government took action.

This is exactly the same thing happening on corruption, embezzlement and other ills in the country. The media sings day in day out. Biya asked for proves and many have published with proves but the government does not care.

Cameroon, the oil and mineral rich country filled with hardworking people has been taken hostage by the elitist class. There is anarchy in the name of democracy and with such anarchy, only the most powerful can survive. As a party sycophant or a wealthy man, you can do what you want and nobody will ask you anything.

The judiciary is itself as corrupt as the executive and many Cameroonians have lost faith even in the cleanest magistrate/judge in the system. Its argument are most often not based on law or logic but on luck as a judge can decide to slam any penalty he wants or just reads what has been sent to him from the hierarchy.

As of the result of the corruption and impunity perpetrated by the rich, party diehards, the government and the forces of law and order, many Cameroonians resulted to the last “gift” for them, which was the relatively free press to vent their anger.

It is a bid to release their frustration, that many media organs open their airwaves to people who make not necessarily false claims but declarations that are so difficult to prove. It becomes again worrying when some journalists feeling they could not be indifferent, had to join and made several wrong moves.

It is normal for any media to open it airwaves for listeners to air their views on issues such as: the usual numerous presidential outings and bloated delegations, distribution of tax payers’ money to party militants out of the country during such visits, payment of contracts that have not be executed, many MPs acting as fake or incompetent contractors hence cannot check government irregularities; why ruling and opposition party leaders clink on power, expenses on some international visitors which have not help Cameroon on anyway among others. Such programs which many people would certainly want to participate in ought to be handled by analysts as well as specialists invited to that effect to comment on listeners’ worries.



Inasmuch as journalists must be responsible for what they write or say, public officials must be responsible for their actions. I strongly believe that corruption continues to skyrocket in Cameroon because the media have never served its purpose. Media publication should be used as basis for judicial investigation, forceful resignation, impeachment etc. With such a system in place, many people will tow the line.

The issue using “administrative tolerance” to threaten media organs is a pity. In a free world, it is absurd to ban a radio on baseless reasons like that which are usually advanced by civil-militarized regimes of Cameroon, as had been the case with Equinox Radio, Magic FM and Equinox Television in 2008.

Some people cannot afford to be indifferent with what is happening in the country but, it would be for the best interest of media organs to trained in-house analysts to appreciate the situation in the country and beyond rather than allow pseudo journalists join the anarchists in destroying the country.

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