CAMEROON: GOV’T CONFIRMS DEATH OF JOURNALIST SAMUEL WAZIZI
Samuel Ebuwe Ajiekia, alias Samuel Wazizi died of SEVERE SEPSIS, and not from any act of torture or physical abuse. That is the official pronouncement from the government of Cameroon of the death of the renowned Pidgin-English broadcaster.
The Pidgin-English broadcaster who worked for CMTV was known for hosting the programme, “Hala ya Mata”. He was arrested on Friday, August 2, 2019, and had been held incommunicado ever since until the pronouncement of his death.
In a communiqué dated June 5, 2020, and released by Commander Cyrille Serge Atonfack Guemo, the Head of Communication Division at the Ministry of Defence said upon arriving in Yaounde Samuel Wazizi was feeling sick and was then send to the Military Hospital — Military Region No. 1 in Yaounde for consultation and appropriate care.
Sadly, Wazizi’s health deteriorated as days go by and in the early hours of August 17, 2019, doctors certified him dead at 2:13am. The government’s account went on to indicate that the journalist was seen as a logistician or various terrorist groups operating on the heights of Mountain Lions (Buea).
“The death certificate issued by this hospital clearly stated that Samuel Ebuwe Ajiekia, born on June 6, 1984, in Molyko, died on August 17, 2019, as a result of SEVERE SEPSIS,” Commander Cyrille Serge Atonfack Guemo said.
Sepsis also called septicemia is a medical diagnosis that involves symptoms like fever, difficulty in breathing, low blood pressure, fatigue, shivering, and mental confusion.
“It is worth mentioning that the latter (Wazizi) had remained in close contact with his family from Buea to Yaounde, and that even from his sick bed at the Yaounde Military Hospital — Military Region No. 1, he exchanged regularly with several of his relatives.”
News of the alleged death of a popular Buea based journalist “Wazizi” has been received with great consternation from the media family in Cameroon and politicians. Many have been calling for justice to prevail in this death while equally detailing the trying moments journalists are facing and some still being bars without any charge.
His elder brother Henry Abuwe told reporters that the army have never contacted them and that they lastly saw Wazizi on August 7, 2019. “Since they arrested him and took him to the Muea Police station they have never called us or even to get in touch we haven’t had that. If when they took him to the 21st Motorized Infantry Battalion, I went there, and they chased me away saying they do not lock people there,” the elder brother noted.
He went on to recount that: “I was called that Wazizi is in Yaounde, and the place they had put him was not in good condition that I should send 30 thousand FCFA for them to change him from the place. I told them that it is not a problem, but I told them to give Wazizi the phone, so I can talk with him, and even it is 50 thousand FCFA I will send. We have not seen him until now that we know he is dead. They haven’t told us he is dead and to come and take then we refused. Nobody told us where our brother is, even to go and see with our eyes.”
According to media report, the Head of State is to order an investigation into the death of Jounalist Wazizi. This information was made known by the French Ambassador to Cameroon Chris Guilhou after having an audience with Cameroon’s President this June 5, 2020.
“We have been law-abiding taking into consideration that our nation is a state of law, and trusting our judicial system but if people start disappearing then I think we need to take another approach,” Derick Chatou, President of the Cameroon Journalists Trade Union (SNJC) told PAV.
“I have told them that the difference between us and uniform men is that we do not carry guns, but we must work as Cameroonians. Journalists should not be treated as though they have no place to go to,” Chef Paul Kemayang, VP Commonwealth Journalists Association, Africa, and Cameroon chapter President said during a meeting with SW Gov. to demand whereabouts of the journalist.
“Nobody should bully a journalist because you carry a gun or something otherwise if Cameroon was one country we would have called for a nationwide lockdown of the press. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”