Cameroon: Vamoulke Asked to Improve CRTV's Financial Situation

Investment

Who’d want to be General Manager of Cameroon Radio Television (CRTV)? The current incumbent is clearly struggling with a board chaired by a Government Minister and a Board that has more leaks than a plumber can fix.

According to a report in The Post, General Manager Amadou Vamoulke has been called upon to make a proper diagnosis of the financial situation of CRTV. This caution was one of the recommendations the CRTV board meeting made in Yaounde recently.A CRTV source told The Post under the shield of anonymity that there was no outright animosity between the General Manager and the board as reports alleged.

According to the source, Vamoulke had, during a meeting on July 24, asked the board to approve a decision in which he had envisaged the increase in the salaries of CRTV workers. The increase, Vamoulke explained, was to meet President Biya's Decree that provides for a 15 percent increase in the salaries of public servants.

After examining the appeal, the board rather asked the General Manager to do his findings and state a clean bill of CRTV's financial situation, for them to see whether CRTV has enough money to increase salaries or not.

The Board is also said to have refused to approve the recruitment of someone recommended by Vamoulke. Their objection? The person involved was not a civil servant, something Vamoulke said he did not know. Whatever happened to recruiting the best person for the job. This was among several potential recruits not approved by the Board. They include that of one Mrs. Tang who wants to be recruited as a producer. The board members did not also take a decision on the application of a former CRTV journalist, Orlando Bama reportedly deposited. The journalist is said to be knocking at the doors of CRTV 15 years after he quit the house and left for the United States.

Communication Minister, Jean Pierre Biyiti Bi Essam who chairs the CRTV board, reportedly said Orlando's re-admission into CRTV, would depend on whether he fulfilled the necessary conditions before leaving the house and the public service for USA or not. It is difficult to see how CRTV might fulfill an independent public service broadcast mandate whilst its appointments are directly approved by a Board chaired by the Minister.

Meanwhile sources close to the CRTV General Manager have quoted him as refuting press allegations that he is involved in any financial mismanagement. He is reported to have said all libelous stories in newspapers against him are the handiwork of detractors. But with friends like his own Board, does he really need enemies?

The Post (Buea) 11 August 2008