SDF Presses For Enquiry On 1995 Plane Crash

 June 12, 2012

The SDF Parliamentary Group has requested for the creation of a parliamentary commission of enquiry to probe the non compensation of victims of 1995 plane crash in Douala.

 The party submitted a draft resolution to the Speaker of the National Assembly at the ongoing session of parliament.

 The demand is in reaction to the fourth letter written by the detained former Minister, Marafa Hamidou Yaya who raised the allegations.

 One of the Vice Speakers of the National Assembly, Hon. Joseph Mbah Ndam, drafted the resolution on behalf of the SDF Parliamentary Group.

 “In an open letter written by the former Minister of State, Marafa Hamidou Yaya presently in prison custody addressed to the President of the Republic and published in numerous newspapers, it emerges  that the 71 victims of Boeing 737-200 belonging to the defunct CAMAIR, which crashed on 03 December, 1995, have never been indemnified despite the fact that legal proceedings against TRANSNET-SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS resulted in the payment of a colossal sum of money of thirty two billion, five hundred thousand francs (32,500,000,000frs),” reads the opening paragraph of the draft resolution.

 The SDF Parliamentary Group also quotes Marafa’s letter as revealing that in May 1994 “written agreements had been entered into in Paris, France, by which TRANSNET-SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS undertook to ensure the maintenance of Boeing 737 and 747 belonging to defunct CAMAIR. The resolution holds that it is because of the corruption of certain Cameroonian authorities and workers of CAMAIR, the South African company cited above, which resulted in failure and gross negligence in the execution of the said contracts. This led in consequences to the crash of the Boeing 737-200 baptised as “Le Nyong in 1995 and occasioning the loss of human lives, the loss of the reactor of Boeing 747, in the cause of a flight in Paris, France”.

 The petition further reads as follows: “that this corruption was exposed by the follow-up committee of the execution of the said contracts of maintenance created in consequence by Arrêté (Order) No. 530/CAB/CAB/PR of 14 November 2000 rendering null and void the said contracts and the restitution of the sum of FCFA 32,500,000,000 paid to the said South African Company without taking into account damages that were equally paid”.

 It is stated that the follow-up committee of the execution of the said contracts of maintenance had also as mission, inter alia, to commence legal proceedings against TRANSNET-SAA for and on behalf of CAMAIR and the State of Cameroon.


 The SDF group quotes Marafa as saying that he has been informed that the matter was heard and determined and TRANSNET-SAA found guilty and that the State of Cameroon be indemnified.


 According to the draft resolution, Marafa had proposed to the President of the Republic to indemnify the 71 victims with the sum of FCFA 100 millions per victim, making a total of 7,100,000,000 and the rest of 25,500,000,000 plus the damages paid to the defunct CAMAIR.


 The SDF MPs express disappointment that till date, neither the victims have been indemnified nor the sum of FCFA25, 500,000,000 plus the amount of the damages paid to the liquidation of the defunct CAMAIR whose ex-employees have never been paid their rights.


 They remark in the draft that if such an amount of money were paid to CAMAIR, it would not have been liquidated. They also quote Marafa as saying that to his greatest surprise, the beneficiaries of this act of corruption that was the fundamental cause of these sad events, some years later, have been promoted and some to governmental functions.


 After painting the picture of such a controversial situation in the draft resolution, the SDF asks for the establishment of a Parliamentary Commission of Enquiry to investigate the allegations and apportion responsibilities. The Commission, according to them, will ensure the indemnification of the 71 victims of the plane crash that took place on December 3, 1995.


 Going by that logic, the commission will also ensure that FCFA 25,500,000,000 plus the damages that were recovered be paid back to the liquidator of the defunct CAMAIR to enable him pay the rights of the ex-employees. The essence of the commission would also be to bring to book before the competent jurisdiction, authors and accessories of these heinous acts that resulted in the loss of human lives, the destruction of public wealth and the embezzlement of public funds.


 Although the draft resolution was submitted to the Speaker of the National Assembly on June 5, there have been no reactions yet from that end. Both the country’s constitution and the Standing Orders of the National Assembly provide for the creation of Parliamentary Commissions of enquiries to check government action. But none is yet to be established.


 The SDF Parliamentary group asked for the creation of a Parliamentary Commission of Enquiry in 1999 to investigate allegations of embezzlement by the former Minister of Post and Telecommunications, Mounchipou Seidou. The overwhelming majority of CPDM MPs crushed the motion in a vote on account of party discipline. The same situation held sway when they pressed for a Parliamentary Commission of Enquiry to probe allegations of the embezzlement by the former National Education Minister, Charles Etoundi.

By Yerima Kini Nsom


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