Denis Emilien Atangana, the president of the Cameroonian Democratic Front, had filed an appeal with the Constitutional Council concerning the legal situation of eighteen directors general of companies and public and parapublic institutions who continue to exercise their profession long after being hit by the age limit.
Denis Émilien Atangana, asks President Paul Biya to dismiss 18 CEOs and DGAs of public companies whose 9-year mandates have largely expired.
According to the law of 12 July 2017, in particular its article 70, paragraph 3, the term of office of a director general or his deputy at the head of a public entity is three years renewable twice. That is a maximum of nine years.
"The acts taken by the DGs beyond this 9-year mandate are null and void, specifies paragraph 4 of the text.
18 Outlaw DG
The applicant lists 18 outlaws. These include Mouthe A Bidias, head of the National Employment Fund (FNE) since 1990. That's 31 years.
Or Adolphe Moudiki appointed in 1993 at the head of the National Hydrocarbons Company (SNH).
The cult of repression
Very few managers of public affairs in Cameroon plan to resign despite the expiry of their mandates in a country where leaving office is tantamount to a crime of lèse-majesté.
According to a widely held opinion that makes a mockery of this mode of governance, only President Biya has the right to dismiss.
There are, however, a few exceptions.
In March 2019, Professor Viviane Ondoua Biwolé wrote to the authorities to remind them that she would leave her position as CEO of the Higher Institute of Public Management (ISMP), in June 2019 as stipulated by law.
The reminder of these legal provisions had not been to the liking of the authorities. She had been disembarked after this recall.
On July 10, 2019, Jean-Pierre Kedi, Director General (DG) of the Electricity Sector Regulatory Agency (Arsel), had himself seized his hierarchy, the Minister of Water and Energy (Minee), to signal the expiry of his mandate at the head of the public institution.
Under pressure, President Biya was forced to replace him at the head of the public institution.
But the institution ruled that this action is inadmissible. The same applies to the appeal requesting arbitration by the Constitutional Council on the reframing of the policy for implementing the decentralization process in Cameroon. Vincent Engoulou Voundi, on behalf of the association Décentralisation Action Vie, hoped for a different outcome.
The Constitutional Council ruled these two appeals inadmissible during a hearing that lasted about thirty minutes. The reason given by the Constitutional Council is the lack of quality of the two applicants. To this end, the Council relies on the provisions of the Basic Law, in particular Article 47, paragraph 2. The Constitution stipulates that "the Constitutional Council is seized by the President of the Republic, the President of the National Assembly, the President of the Senate, one third of the deputies or one third of the senators. [In addition,] the presidents of the regional executives may refer the matter to the Constitutional Council when the interests of their region are at stake."
The two applicants therefore do not have the profile to request the illustrious short.