By Boris Esono in Buea
Barrister Mafani Namange, who has been the CPDM Fako III President for more than five years, has been elected Mayor of the Buea Council. He takes over from late Mayor Ekema Patrick Esunge who passed on due to unknown causes.
The barrister was elected on February 18, 2020, during the maiden session of council boards for the election of Mayors and Deputy Mayors.
“I will want to work with my team, the councillors because it is not a one-man show but a matter of teamwork. We are going to consult with the population of Buea, we are going to have town hall meetings with the population so the development of Buea is from bottom to top.”
“I am not a mayor of the CPDM or the party but Mayor for all of Buea, and we know the problems that the population are currently facing,” He added
According to the Mayor-elect, there is a real problem in Buea that has to do with water supply. He said: “We are going to look at this problem but I cannot promise that we are going to solve it immediately because I have not studied the budget whether it was budgeted or not.”
“We are going to have a system where we are going to be working with the population so that by the end of our mandate they will see the reason that they did not make a mistake.”
The event was chaired by the Senior Divisional Officer for Fako, Engamba Emmanuel Ledoux, with the presence of Senator Mbella Moki Charles, new MP Malomba Essembe, and traditional rulers.
During the election exercise, there were confrontations as councillors sought to get what they had as planned. The Mayor-elect has disproved this notion saying it was a misconception that people think there was animosity during the election. “It was just a plenary as it is normal. We embraced afterwards but I think the supreme interest of the party will always be above our interests. I will move to them and some have already done that. The bottom line is that the people of Buea won and not even the party.”
One of the sticking points during the election was that of the composition of Deputy Mayors. The Mayor-elect who had composed his team refused to cave into the other camp as he said the people he has chosen are well placed to do the job.
The CPDM Fako youth leader did indicate that the law made provision for a place of youth amongst the executives but that had not been followed by the Mayor-elect.
The discussions on this topic went on as the councillors debated on how the composition of the executive should be. After a break was granted to the two camps to come to a compromise, none was made, the leader of the council group indicated that the Deputies as proposed by the Mayor-elect was maintained.
Before that, there had been a heated debate on who becomes Mayor of Buea as two candidates were up for the position – Mafany Namange and Namanga Ngongi, with the latter refusing to throw in the towel. But after persuasion, he stepped aside as Namange was left as the only candidate for the position of Mayor.
“We have laws that need to be respected, and if they are not respected we should point them out and not wash them aside,” Dr Namanga Ngongi told this reporter
He added: “We are bound to show a level of integrity so that when people look at us as councillors with high esteem. But if they know we are playing with the rules and regulations, we will not benefit.”
“The council will organize itself to leave up to the new dispensation. I am going to participate in the council to make sure that the council can discharge its responsibilities.”
Mafany Namange was the CPDM party’s Buea municipal list leader during the twin elections on February 9. Before his election, he was the Fako III (Buea) leader for more than five years. Mr Namange has worked with Credit Foncier in Buea, Bamenda, and Douala for more than 20 years, and is the South West Regional Manager of the bank.
Namange joined the CPDM in the 90s and has led the youth wing in Buea, served as charge de Mission for the party. He is currently a PhD student of International law at the University of Buea.