Richard Wallang, Member of Parliament for the Menchum South Constituency has attacked and brutalized a reporter of "The Guardian Post" daily. Mua Patrick says the lawmaker of the ruling #Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement, CPDM, rained punches on him and kicked him “with the help of his thugs,” shortly before the opening of a political get-together in the Wum Town Hall on September 24, 2016.
The incident has raised nationwide concerns similar to those which were sparked by allegations that the UK Premier, David Cameron inserted his penis into a hog in a bizarre initiation ceremony.The reporter who doubles as a staff delegate for the lone English language daily newspaper in Cameroon, says the MP who was accompanied by bodyguards, accused him of writing critical articles to his disfavor.
He once threatened my mother
The MP, he said, is of the opinion that the reporter only writes about his shortcomings and ignores the good things he has been doing for his constituency. But Mua says he is always objective and fair in his reporting and always double-checks his facts for accuracy and respects all the canons and ethics of his profession which he "holds so much dear”.
“It is not the first time he is doing this. He once threatened my mother in the village, asking her to call her son (Mua Patrick) to order. But he has not been able to say in which article I tarnished his image,” Mua says. The Member of Parliament for his part, says he acted out of anger.He noted that it was just a small issue that is being magnified.
Wallang holds that some boys in the neighborhood who were on the scene were prepared to beat up the reporter, but he stopped them. He nonetheless added that Mua is a small boy he watched grow up. “If I want to beat him, I will get a whip and thrash him well like a child,” Wallang told Blasting #News on phone earlier today.
Colleagues align battered reporter
Ngah Christian, Publisher of "The Guardian Post" and Vice President of Cameroon Publishers' Association, told Blasting News “It is an attack on the press and if this is not given ample attention, other unruly people will emulate the MP's action.” Simon Lyonga, President of Cameroon Association of English Speaking Journalists,CAMASEJ, has called on pressmen not to go haywire,.while the association prepares for a reasonable reaction to the incident.
The Association of Combined Action to Protect & Empower Journalists, ACAPEJ has equally condemned the incident. “We call on Hon. Wallang Richard to immediately tender an apology to the assaulted journalist as well as cover all medical expenses and damages the journalist must have incurred from the MP’s action. Authorities in Cameroon should also insure that the excesses of MPs who have immunity should be checked,” read a statement from ACAPEJ.
Lucas Teneng, Senior Journalist at "Hot News" says the MP is a contractor who has demonstrated mediocrity in execution of construction projects. Teneng gave to understanding that the MP has nothing to be moaning about if a media report is critical of him. "He won the contract to construct part of the Ndop road but it was later taken away from him because he could not deliver.Look at the(poorly constructed) bridge over the Mezam to Wum, down the Bafut," Teneng pointed out.
Not an isolated case
The Cameroonian MP is however, not the first politician to lose his temper and publicly attack an individual. Former French President has attacked a Reuters journalist in the past, while US Republican Presidential candidate, Donald Trump recently went haywire trying to defend comments he made about assassinating Hilary Clinton. #Africa