The Supreme State Audit Office (CONSUPE) of Cameroon will intensify its efforts against corruption and the misappropriation of public funds in 2024, according to Rose Mbah Acha Fomundam (photo), Minister Delegate at the Presidency of the Republic in charge of Supreme State Audit Office. The announcement was made during a New Year’s ceremony in Yaoundé on January 26.
“Our primary ambition is to enhance audit, prevention, verification, and governance actions,” Fomundam stated in her speech, as reported by the state-owned Cameroon Tribune.
As per the latest report presented by the National Anti-Corruption Commission (Conac) on October 27, CONSUPE sanctioned 18 administrative executives in 2022 through its Budgetary and Financial Discipline Council (CDBF). The CDBF is tasked with adjudicating alleged mismanagement by those responsible for authorizing public credits and other managers or supervisors of public assets.
The sanctions involved current and former officials from seven public administrations, including the Ministry of Arts and Culture (Minac), the National Social Insurance Fund (CNPS), the Agricultural Research Institute for Development (Irad), Cameroon Shipyard and Industrial Engineering Ltd (CNIC), Cameroon Real Estate Corporation (SIC), Cardinal Paul Emile Leger National Centre for the Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities (CNRPH), and the Support Project for the Use of Fertilizers in the Cocoa and Coffee Sub-sectors (SPUF2C), led by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (Minader).
Out of the 18 individuals implicated, eight were found guilty and fined a total of XAF6,800,000. Some of these officials were debited a total of XAF499,110,375, representing the financial loss suffered by the State of Cameroon in these cases. The financial damage incurred by the State due to corruption and related offenses was estimated at XAF4.6 billion in 2022 by Conac. This loss was determined based on Conac’s investigative missions, as well as the pecuniary sentences handed down by the CDBF and the Special Criminal Court (TCS).
The announcement of CONSUPE’s increased activities in 2024 follows President Paul Biya’s declaration in his address to the nation on December 31, 2023, that “the fight against corruption and misappropriation of public funds will be significantly stepped up in the coming year (2024).” This statement suggests a revival of Operation Épervier, an initiative designed to track down those who misappropriate public funds. Since the launch of this operation in 2006, CONSUPE has become one of Cameroon’s most feared institutions, as its reports have led to the conviction of several former ministers and general managers for embezzlement of public funds.
Patricia Ngo Ngouem