Besides outlawing the organisation, government has announced the refund of cash lost by Cameroonians in the operation.
As the dust settles on news of a controversial organisation that wooed thousands of Cameroonians into a dubious deal of money multiplication and other mindboggling activities, the response of the administration thus far is illustrative of a people- centred government.
From the time Cameroon Tribune decried the population-attracting phenomenon at the Ahala neighbourhood in Yaounde in its editions of April 13 and 19, 2018, government has been multiplying efforts to halt the group from spreading and equally for victims to be refunded.
The first of such moves was the decision of the Senior Divisional Officer for Mfoundi, Jean-Claude Tsila, to outlaw the activities of “Mission d’intégration et de développement pour l’Afrique” (Mida), as the contentious non-government organisation is known. He told Cameroon Tribune in an interview on April 17 that after failing to honour his convocation for a meeting, officials of the organisation had been nabbed and were being interrogated.
Then came the Minister of Communication with an announcement “Banning the activities of an illegal organization known as “Mission d’Intégration et de Développement pour l’Afrique” (Mida) and the commitment of the government to compensate young Cameroonians who registered with “Mida”.
The Minister’s communiqué dated April 21 went further to indicate that, “the President of the Republic, Head of State, His Excellency Paul Biya, has instructed the Government to take all the necessary measures to pay back the total amounts disbursed by the victims of this vast and abominable scam.”
On behalf of government, Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary invited “Cameroonians in general, and victims of this vast scam in particular, and all other similar schemes, to always remain vigilant, in order to defeat illfated agitators in their attempt to manipulate minds of people, and to take advantage of all the multifaceted difficulties and discontents that our youths may be facing.” Government by so doing invites the population to continually remain unflinching guardians of the national stability, peace and territorial integrity.
As a logical follow up of the announcement which raised lots of hopes and aspirations in the minds of thousands of Cameroonians who had been duped in the get-rich-quick and easy phenomenon, Communication Minister on April 24 again made a muscular outing on the ‘Mida affair.’
As if to clarify sceptics who already went wild questioning the criteria of reimbursement and the whereabouts of the funds, Minister Tchiroma in a press release disclosed a “Census and Reimbursement Commission has been set up under the auspices of the Governor of the Centre Region and will work in collaboration with leaders of Mida.” The terms of reimbursement, the Minister’s communiqué reads, “will be communicated as soon as possible.”
Coupled with the disclosure that “following the ban of the activities of Mida and the arrest of its leaders, a search of their premises by a joint police and gendarmerie unit led to the seizure of documents and huge sum of hard cash,” there is every reason for victims to hope.
Especially as “a meticulous counting of the seized money” was ongoing at press time with government’s manifest will to “announce the total amount of the recovered money to the public at the end of the counting operation.” Government, the Minister indicated “reaffirms its resolve to ensure that Mida establishes the victims of this vast scam into their full rights.”