Ethical Misconducts In Councils: NW Public Independent Conciliator Names Champions In Annual Report

By Raymond Dingana 

On Tuesday March 5th,2024, the Office of the Public Independent Conciliator (OPIC) sent shock waves down the spines of mayors of municipal councils found wanting in the area of Ethical Misconducts

This was during the publication of the institution's 2023 Annual Activity Report by the Public Independent Conciliator  (PIC) for the North West, Mr. Tamfu Simon Fai days after submitting it to the President of the Republic, Paul Biya.

Given that it's mission is to ensure that services rendered by municipal councils to the population are void of discrimination,and marginalization, with the respect of human rights, OPIC has been watching over the activities of councils, fighting to stamp out unethical practices in the discharge of council services.

Tamfu Simon Fai 

After a survey that was carried out in 2023, with the help of Community Based Assistants from all the council areas in the region, the results proved that some municipal authorities are not willing to let go their bad habits, Mr.Tamfu told the press.

"bribery, and corruption: 86% of those who participated in the survey in Wum council , 70% in Njinikom council, and 63% Bamenda II said their councils were leading.  On extortion, Wum council (58%),Ndop(57%), and Kumbo(54%) of the responders faulted the councils for high rate of  bribery, corruption, and extortion,"

 indicated the PIC.

Other areas where Mayors were found wanting by their population as indicated by the results of the survey have to do with Unfair taxation, Trespass to land/property:

"Unfair taxation: Ako(83%), Elak (57%) and Ndop(57%). Trespass to land/property: Furu-Awa (46%), Andek (38%), and Bamenda I, (32%) of the population said it was alarming.

In the area of Misappropriation/mismanagement of resources, Mr. Tamfu said 60% of those who took part in the exercise in Njinikom, 45% of those in Zhoa and and 39% of persons in Misaje weren't happy with their councils.

52% of individuals in Ako, 41% in Furu-Awa, and 40% in Njinikom said their municipal councils were raising the flag of harassment by council workers.

Impoliteness/ inattention is another cankaworm eating right deep in to the fabrics of council activities.

PIC Holding 2023 Annual Report 

During the survey on council activities, 44% of those in Nkor, 41% in Furu-Awa,and 37% in Nwa said their councils were champions, Mr. Tamfu said in the report.

He added that looking at other forms of unethical practices, Mbengwi was perceived to lead with 40% followed by Misaje, and Elak respectively.

Ensuring Ethical Practices In Councils, And Respect Of Human Rights Hasn't Been Easy

Insecurity caused by the prevailing situation has been a bone in the neck. However, Mr. Tamfu Simon Fai said it didn't stop them from carrying out their activities given that the military escort was there to lead them.

Another challenge Mr. Tamfu said was the late disbursement of subventions of OPIC slowed down the timely execution of planned activities because the funds were only disbursed on June 19th after the budget was approved on May 15th, 2023.

Family Photo With Staff Members Of OPIC

With results of the survey now public, and given that the population of municipal councils in the North West Region has aired their minds on the way council activities are managed, fingers are now crossed to see if municipal authorities mentioned above would embrace ethical practices or would continue in their former way of operating which haven't gone down well with their people.


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