(Business in Cameroon) - On October 21, 2020, when the second disbursement under the rapid credit facility (aimed at helping countries deal with the coronavirus pandemic) was approved for Cameroon, Mitsuhiro Furusawa (Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair of the IMF) praised the country’s transparency in awarding contracts related to the pandemic to companies.
‘The authorities have reiterated their firm commitment to the effective and transparent use of public funds and to ensuring that RCF financing and resources freed up by the DSSI are efficiently spent on addressing the pandemic crisis. In this context, steps taken by the authorities to publish the beneficial ownership of companies receiving COVID-19 procurement-related contracts are important," he commented.
Indeed, besides publishing the contributions to the national solidarity fund for the fight against the pandemic, the country also published the amounts allocated to each ministry and a 26-page document detailing all the public procurement contracts it awarded in the framework of the fight against the pandemic.
The document, signed by Alim Hayatou (the Minister of Public Health) provides the purpose, amount, name of the winning company, name of the promoter of the company, as well as the status of the execution of the awarded contract.
Also, according to an authorized source, teams from the Accounts Chamber of the Supreme Court are currently visiting some ministries to audit the use of the financial resources allocated to them in the framework of the fight against the pandemic.
This transparency appreciation is challenged by some political figures of the opposition who denounce ‘opacity’ in the use of the Covid-19 funds. MP Jean-Miche Nintcheu (a member of the Social Democratic Front) even suspects some embezzlement. The same accusations are made by some civil society organizations, including Human Rights Watch (HRW).
Meanwhile, the semi-annual report that will reveal the government’s expenditure for the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and its economic consequences has not been published yet. This report will detail all the financial operations performed.
According to the circular issued on July 22, 2020, setting the rules for the operation and monitoring-evaluation of the solidarity fund, the report will be published by the Minister of Finance Louis Paul Motaze.