Following the revelations of Operation Scorpion: One without the other | Gabonreview.com | News from Gabon |

When populations have the impression of being cheated or witnessing a travesty of justice, the Republic and democracy are threatened.

When the powerful place themselves above the law, arbitrariness is not far away. Jungle law and chaos too. © Gabonreview

During the trials related to the operation Scorpio, the regime has involuntarily stripped itself. Concretely, the former managing director of the National Hydrocarbons Company (SNH, commonly known as Gabon oil company – Goc) described a system plagued by corruption, where the abuse of power competes with influence peddling, the opacity to irresponsibility. Following in his footsteps, the former spokesperson for the Presidency of the Republic depicted a power evolving on the borders of anomie, where the law of the strongest reigns, settling scores and revenge, where everything is done at client’s head and according to the moods of the most powerful. In a different register, the former director general of the National Health Insurance and Social Guarantee Fund (Cnam-GS) pointed to the circumvention of procedures, violations of the law, questionable institutional arrangements and inconsistent allegiances. to the idea of ​​the Republic.

At the head of the customer

Through these increasingly scandalous revelations, the immediate entourage of the President of the Republic has been called into question. Among the personalities cited, his wife, also president of a charitable foundation, and his eldest son, formerly general coordinator of presidential affairs at the time of the events. According to Christian Patrichi Tanasa, Sylvia Bongo Ondimba and Noureddin Bongo Valentin would have received a lot of money either as part of a supposed sponsorship or in the form of bonuses decided on a discretionary basis. In the first case, we are talking about several hundreds of millions of our francs. In the other, we evoke a sum beyond the billion. Above all, the wife of the President of the Republic would have played a leading role in the choice of the cabinet Africa Practice as a communications provider. In other words, public contracts are awarded not in accordance with the relevant rules but according to the acquaintances and friendships of Ali Bongo’s relatives.

Voluntarily or not, Christian Patrichi Tanasa, Ike Ngouoni Aïla Oyouomi and Renaud Allogho Akoué have deconstructed the official discourse on good governance. According to them, the control of “ways of financing certain organizations, in particular that of associations and non-governmental organizationsdoes not apply to everyone. Adopted on August 14, 2020, the decree setting “certain methods of application of law n° 35/62 (…) relating to associationswould be enforceable against the client. Thus, despite the revelations made by former senior administration officials, the courts refused to hear certain personalities. However, when the powerful place themselves above the law, arbitrariness is not far away. Jungle law and chaos too. By refraining from hearing all the witnesses or personalities mentioned by name, the Special Criminal Court gave the impression of protecting some in order to better overwhelm others. By taking care not to take the context into account, it has become an instrument for settling scores.

Isonomy: an intangible principle

However, democracy and the Republic are based on a principle that is both simple and intangible: isonomy, that is to say equality in law. When they have the impression of being cheated or witnessing a travesty of justice, populations cannot subscribe to this notion, which is nevertheless essential to the functioning of our societies. However, at the risk of harming living together, the Special Criminal Court sent them a frightening message: the laws, like the procedures, are valid for some and not for others. Does this system rely on the docility of institutions to grant privileges and special protections to some? His methods nonetheless carry with them uncertainties and generate frustration. Is he betting on the inaction of the greatest number to allow the same people to line their pockets? Its practices are nonetheless detrimental to social cohesion. Smelling favouritism, they carry the seeds of the deconstruction of the nation.

The regime’s supporters will always be able to brandish the presumption of innocence or denouncefalse claims” and others “groundless accusations.” Their argument will inevitably smash against this objectively verifiable fact: justice has refrained from hearing all the witnesses and personalities cited. If it wants to ward off popular distrust vis-à-vis institutions, the government must resolve to treat everyone the same way. One year from the next presidential election, this change is an urgent necessity. Called upon to defend his balance sheet, the President of the Republic can no longer content himself with handing over some of his collaborators as an expiatory sacrifice. He must now demonstrate his commitment to the equality of all before the law. Otherwise, he will be the one and only responsible, before the people and before history.

Following the revelations of Operation Scorpion: One without the other | Gabonreview.com | News from Gabon |