By Boris Esono Nwenfor
Malomba Esembe, Member of Parliament for Buea urban constituency has described the killing of the five-year-old as a “callous mistake” that has left a family in mourning.
The Member of Cameroon’s lower House of Assembly was speaking to journalists in a press conference Friday, October 15, 2021, just a day after the fatal shooting of Epindialle Carolaise by a “reckless gendarme.”
The class one pupil of CUIB Elementary Academy was killed Thursday, October 14, 2021, after the gendarme officer shot at the vehicle carrying the child as she was being driven to school along the main road to the Central Market.
There is a tendency for police officers to carry out checks on cars o various individuals, individuals phones and tagged them as “scammers” or supporting the separatist movement. This was bagged by the MP who has had to intervene on several occasions to safeguard individuals who are sometimes taking to the Brigade or another unit and said that may be what caused the fatal shooting.
Hon Malomba said: “We will follow up to make sure that the various security forces stick with the conventional methods. Such harassment needs to end; it is the only way to give meaning to the senseless killing of our little sister.”
“The most important one is safety. When you are not safe you cannot do any other thing and that is the mission for which we are here. Unfortunately, like in any other sector, there are a few who are not compliant, a few who are unbecoming about their conducts and that is why we have military institutions to render justice and bring them to account,” Hon Malomba, chairman of the Road Safety Commission at the National Assembly told journalists.
“It is important that a conscious effort is taking to have civil servants who can communicate with the popular language. We have had discussions with the National Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism, NCPBM and this is something again we will take up to him.”
He added: “What happened was a zero-some game; a stupid act was committed and another stupid act followed. We ended up with two persons dying…. I don’t think mob justice is the culture of the people of Buea. We must always allow the law to take its cause; having blood on our hands in no way indicates us. We are appealing to our peace-loving population that in every way possible when persons transgress the law, we should allow law enforcement to take its course not act as a mob.”
Responding to some questions from the journalists said he is waiting too like anyone to know the outcome of the investigation that has been launched so what happened could be known. He added that they will do the follow up so that the investigation is carried out and what is given out as the conclusion is valid.
The killing of the class one pupil of CUIB Elementary Academy sparked mass protest in the Buea municipality with the protesters calling for the government to put an end to the several checkpoints in the Buea, the frequent harassment of the population by security personnel.
Serah Derval Lifanda, CEO, Hope of Africa, HOFA, and Regional Coordinator of Southwest/Northwest Women’s Taskforce (SNWOT) on her part said: “Women are the ones who are bearing the brunt. As women, we have taken upon ourselves after the Cameroon National Women Peace Convention that our role is to build peace, piece by piece. Every woman has a role to bring peace.”
“We all came out to ensure that justice will be rendered and that violence should stop. We are using this opportunity to call on all conflicting parties that they should be considerate. To the military, we will not say they don’t have a right to be wherever they are because of the situation on the ground but they should be conscious of their duty.”