Fight Against Hate Speech: Where Are Political Parties?

Combating the upsurge of hate speech that has become a canker warm threatening the harmony and living together of Cameroonians must be the concern all strata of society.

The Cameroonian society is progressively being eaten up by the devil of hate speech, tribalism and divisive tendencies that are threatening the very foundation of harmony, living together and unity of the citizens to forge ahead in the yearning quest to face pressing challenges and propel the country towards emergence by the year 2035 as envisaged by the Head of State, Paul Biya.

Some traditional and social media networks have been serving as the relay for the divisive hate speeches. Even some political and other authorities have variedly made public declarations inciting hatred and tribal tendencies in the population.  The Head of State in various messages to the nation has castigated all attempts of trying to endanger the unity and living together of Cameroonians. Structures such as the National Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism have been carrying out media campaigns against hate speech, just as some religious and moral authorities. Government has stepped up efforts to fight against hate speech, tribal and divisive tendencies and brought in programmes and activities to promote national unity, integration, harmony and peaceful living together to ensure general interest and development of the country.

Political parties do make intermittent statements to condemn hate speech and division. Some keen observers blame the deterioration of the social climate in the country to some political leaders who openly make statements that threaten national unity and integration, at times inciting people to act following tribal sentiments. Political parties are created with the ambition to either get all of the political power in the country or a portion of it and Cameroonian authorities have put in place the democratic mechanisms on how to get to power. In a democracy, the only way of getting to power is through democratically organised elections.

Considering the upsurge of hate speech in the country, the question many keen political observers have been asking is the commitment of political parties to combat the canker warm. Some political parties have training establishments for their officials and members such as the Academy of the ruling Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM), the Union des populations du Cameroun (UPC) at one moment announced the creation of its academy. The Cameroon Democratic Union (CDU) has been preaching republican ethics. With these institutions, one wonders whether the training of party officials and members on republican and patriotic values such as national unity, integration, harmony, living together and economic and social progress do preoccupy the political party leaders.

In this focus, we will be interested in knowing how political parties have been participating in fighting against hate speech and division. We will also be interested in presenting the different faces of hate speech and an analysis of the upsurge of the phenomenon in the country.



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