Up to 200 workers of Elections Cameroon were forced to accept new contracts and lower salaries last year after management found they had been employed with fake university and professional qualifications, it emerged on Thursday. Fifty others were dismissed.
The management of the election management organ became suspicious after noticing the poor quality of reports submitted by the workers, said Abdoulaye Babale, the director general of elections at a public event in Yaounde.
An investigation, including contacting universities and schools to authenticate certificates and degrees, revealed “wonders”, Babale said, speaking to staff who had come to present him with new year wishes.
It was unclear how such a large number of unqualified employees might have compromised the performance of Elecam, which manages a complex electoral system, including cutting-edge biometric technologies and sensitive voting data.
Those given new contracts were demoted to lower positions.
It was perhaps the lowest point in a year during which the organ reported record registration of voters, which exceeded 500,000 by the close of 2016. New voters will begin receiving cards in the coming months, Babale said without being more specific.
The election management organ faces at least four different elections in 2018, the highest number it has had to organise in a single year. In addition to voting a new parliament and municipal councillor, Cameroonians will vote the next president.