25 February 2013

Cameroon: Over 700,000 Flyers for HIV/AIDS Sensitisation

State Audit Inspector Athanase Wafo Kaptué has revealed that a total of 700,000 flyers were produced as communication material for the fight against HIV/AIDS and malaria between 2006 and 2007. Athanase Wafo testified that flyers were printed by some NGOs and associations instead of printing presses.

He revealed that the amount allocated to the NGOs and associations ranged between FCFA 18 million and FCFA 24 million. Athanase Wafo Kaptué was appearing before the Special Criminal Court yesterday February 25, 2013 in the fifth hearing of the embezzlement case pitting the State of Cameroon represented by the Ministry of Public Health against former the Public Health Minister, Olanguena Awono.

The session before a college of judges led by Francis Moukouri began at 11:08 a.m. with the reading of the different counts of the accusation by the court registrar and the identification of the witnesses. As a key prosecution witness, Athanase Wafo had been examined and cross- examined on February 18, 2013.

During the continuation of the cross-examination yesterday, Olanguena Awono sought to know why the Ministry of Public Health was able to obtain financing worth FCFA 20 billion from Global Fund as subvention for the execution of the second phase of the project if the implementation of the first phase had not been satisfactory. Athanase Kaptué replied that he did not contest the fact that the project was well executed but that there were irregularities in the management of the funds.

Concerning the production of the flyers which were meant for door-to-door campaign by NGOs and associations, he said the documents did not carry any indications of any publishing house that printed the material. He further said that the flyers were supplied between July 12, 2006 and December 1, 2006 but in spite of the irregularities noticed in the different reception reports, Cabinet Okala and Associates did not refute the audit mission's findings. The case was adjourned to March 12, 2013.

Urbain Olanguena Awono is accused of fraudulently obtaining the sum of FCFA 322 million between 2002 and 2006 within the framework of the management of programmes to fight against malaria and HIV/AIDS, respectively. During the same period, he attempted to fraudulently obtain the sum of FCFA 60 million from the State which is contrary to Articles 74, 94 and 184 of the Penal Code.

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