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Cameroon Government Fails to Squelch Skepticism One Year After Samuel Wazizi’s Death

By Njix Sharon

It’s been a year since the late Chillen Music Television, CMTV broadcaster, Samuel Wazizi’s death was confirmed. Despite the international and national uproar over his killing and the government’s promise to carry out a fair investigation, results are yet to be seen.

Late Samuel Ajiekah Abuwe, popularly known as Samuel Wazizi who was apprehended in August 2019 by armed forces and kept incommunicado, was declared dead on June 5, 2020. The Army Spokesperson, Cyrille Afonfack Nguemo linked his death to “severe sepsis.”

On August 11, 2020, Reporters Without Borders, RSF released a statement calling for a thorough and independent investigation into what happened to the journalist.

La Nouvelle Expresion’s dedicated most of its cover page to Wazizi’s death, Wednesday June 2, 2021 morning.

Earlier this year, Wazizi’s death was mentioned at the National Assembly. Answering a question on his demise, Defense Minister Joseph Beti Assomo described the events surrounding Wazizi’s death as “particular and posed a threat to National Security.” He said journalists like Wazizi and Kingsley Njoka, who has been in jail for almost a year, use journalism to commit crime.

“The cases of Samuel Wazizi and Kingsley Njoka…are specific situations of journalists who have used their positions for aims that pose a threat to the country. As for the case of Samuel Wazizi whose real name is Samuel Abuwe Ajeika, he was arrested on 3rd August, 2019 in Ekona (South West Region), for cooperating with terrorists and complicity in acts of terrorism…” the Defense Minister said.

Over 400 days have elapsed since Wazizi’s family last saw him. They do not yet to know what happened to him, and have not yet received his corpse.

Minister Beti Assomo’s explanation at the National Assembly only helped to fuel speculations on the circumstances surrounding his death.

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