The allegations that three out of the 4 mainstream churches in the Anglophone region of Bamenda summoned to court (Catholics, Presbyterians & Baptists) have been declared as mere rumors by the Presbyterian authorities as they argued that such a summon had not reached the moderator yet. “The Communication Secretary of the PCC, Rev Mokoko Mbue Thomas said it was only a rumor and told reporters that to the best of his knowledge the PCC Moderator has not been summoned except the said summon is still to reach them.” CIN
Nothing has been heard from the Baptist authorities but the Bishops of the catholic church have made the summon public, and it is even all alleged that the Archbishop announced in church Friday 14th during Friday service that he and his collaborators have been summoned before the court of first instance in Bamenda because of some “silly” allegations on the 21st of april 2017 and that Christians were welcome to accompany them who are also part of the accusations.
Here are the scanned copies of the Summon of the Roman Catholic Bishops in the Ecclesiastical Region of Bamenda . Some major points/accusations worth noting; the complaint accuses the church of not paying teachers hence affecting or depriving the state of enjoying taxes, want to win the sympathy of teachers and parents for collecting money and not paying teachers and most interestingly for me demands the church to pay 150 billion francs cfa for the damages while jailing the church leaders.
If the Catholics have to pay the price, what of other church authorities? CIN reports that “The PCC has 22 Secondary schools, 233 Primary and Nursery schools with 640 and 980 teachers respectively. All these schools have remained closed since the strike action began.” Does this mean that they have been paying their taxes and teachers and therefore should not appear before the court?
The Muslims have a good number of schools and teachers as well, but they have not been accused meanwhile schools have also been interrupted likewise the Baptist institutions. Shall the government look into their cases later after dealing with the Catholics? Could the Catholics alone have stopped the strike if they asked their schools to resume?
It should be noted that during the PM’s visit, the Catholics and other authorities promised to keep their premises open and that it was left on the parents to decide when to send their kids to schools, but the parents had opted for security of their kids than education.
After reading the summons and the counts, Gwaranko Mdzeka had this comment to make; “The government of this nation,just like any with of its ‘type’,is a specialist in diversion.the government must know like us all,that her failure to give subventions to private / confessional sectors of our educational system,has contributed also to the non payment of these teachers.has the government,now throwing the first stone paid the contract teachers she employs ? Has any one dragged them to court ? These are the last tricks of a ‘dying dog'”
The Church leaders have opted to write to the faithfuls and also asked them to accompany them to court.
Why should the church and religious leaders be used as “escape goats” for the failed school resumption? Who did not do his homework well. With the religious leaders called up to court, might change then events of things and this can again be another ploy to buy time for the struggle and carry out more arrests disrespecting the orders of the UN that has called for release and dialogue.
Shey Tatah Sevidzem.