Suspicions of financial irregularities within the National Assembly have been creating a significant stir within the institution’s corridors in recent weeks. Dysfunctions on both the administrative and budgetary fronts have been undermining the chamber’s operations.
The alarm was raised during a meeting to prepare the new budget exercise for the National Assembly on October 17. During these discussions, Deputy Abba Kabir Kamssouloum stirred the audience with a vehement denunciation. According to Kamssouloum, who also serves as the Assembly’s Questor, the lower house of the Cameroonian Parliament has become a symbol of mismanagement.
He went on to enumerate a litany of issues that are jeopardizing the institution’s functionality. Among his accusations were fictitious projects and services, the proliferation of undue benefits, costly and compliant foreign missions, and the undertaking of unbudgeted activities, among other concerns.
A Hole of 2.7 Billion CFA Francs
In summary, a series of corrupt practices that have been compiled in a relatively short time frame and, according to an internal control report, have resulted in a financial deficit of 2.7 billion CFA francs (over 4 million euros) in the National Assembly’s coffers between the 2022 budget exercise and mid-2023. The report, led by the Assembly’s Questors, revealed that two-thirds of the institution’s budget, which amounts to 23 billion CFA francs (approximately 35 million euros), had been expended within just six months.
This compelled President Cavaye Yeguie Djibril to request an exceptional extension from the President of the Republic to cover operational needs until the end of the current budget exercise. These dysfunctions forced Cavaye Yeguie Djibril to establish an ad hoc committee tasked with conducting a comprehensive audit of the issues plaguing the institution and proposing solutions to prevent such situations from recurring in the future, according to one of the committee members.
Re-elected as President of the National Assembly in March 2023, Cavaye Yeguie Djibril has been at the helm of this institution since 1992. Now aged 83, many say he is unwell and fatigued. Often absent and taking a backseat in his village of Mada in the Extreme North, the President no longer seems to have full control over the institution he has led for 31 years, lamenting several of his fellow deputies, including those within the ruling majority.