Catholic Archbishop Decries Bad Governance, Corruption in Cameroon, Urges Conversion

Archbishop Samuel Kleda of the Catholic Archdiocese of Douala in Cameroon. Credit: Courtesy Photo

Archbishop Samuel Kleda of the Catholic Archdiocese of Douala in Cameroon has, in a pastoral letter, expressed concern about bad governance and corruption in the Central African nation and called upon those practicing the vise to seek conversion.

In his pastoral letter dated Wednesday, March 2, Archbishop Kleda highlights the situation of bad governance in Cameroon and sectors affected by corruption.

“Our country is being badly beaten, stripped of its wealth, its dignity, its honor, its human and natural resources, and is in agony, because of the bad governance organized by its own sons and daughters,” Archbishop Kleda says in his pastoral letter shared with ACI Africa.

He adds, “At the source of most of the ills that are plaguing Cameroon today, is bad governance with the normalization, legalization and even institutionalization of corruption in the management of the country.”

“Bad governance and its consequences in our country stem from the fact that it is no longer people who are at the center of our leaders' concerns, nor the general interest nor the well-being of all,” the Cameroonian Archbishop says.


He continues, “The emphasis is rather on the individual, the group, the clan, the ethnic group, the lobby, which sacrifices the majority of the population, thus pushing it inexorably towards impoverishment and misery.”

According to Archbishop Kleda, “Bad governance disrupts political life and hinders the social, economic and even religious growth of our country. It destroys the achievements, compromises the legitimate aspirations of the citizens, and jeopardizes the trust between the people and the rulers.”

Faced with the dangerous threat posed by “bad governance and corruption to our country”, the Cameroonian Archbishop queries, “Do we have the right to remain silent? Will our citizen and Christian conscience not place us before the court of history for having been accomplices, direct or indirect, passive or active supporters of a plot that has contributed to the destruction of Cameroon and mortgaged the future of millions of people, especially the youth, of this Africa in miniature?”

“In the present day of our history, can we stand before the Creator and affirm that we are managing well this country so rich with so many resources that He has entrusted to us and that we have inherited from our ancestors?” the Catholic Archbishop further poses in his March 2 pastoral letter.

He bemoans the fact in Cameroon, corruption has affected “all areas of social life, including ordinary life: administration, education, finance, public procurement, the army, the police, judiciary, religion, public health, etc.”

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“Corruption not only leads to the plundering and wasting of public resources, but also paralyzes the functioning of the state, creates injustice and inequality among the population and plunges the whole society into despair in the face of an uncertain and mortgaged, even bleak, future,” the Local Ordinary of Cameroon’s Douala Archdiocese says in his 13-page pastoral letter.

He notes that “for our country to regain its nobility, it is high time for every Cameroonian to rediscover the fundamental values on which any self-respecting society should be based: Respect for the dignity of every life, truth, justice, honesty, responsibility, freedom, love, equity, loyalty.”

“Above all, let each one have the courage to renounce the sin that makes him complicit in the drift of our country. Let each one of us contribute to the fight against the ‘structures of sin’, which paralyze and destroy Cameroon, its development, its growth and the well-being of its people,” Archbishop Kleda says.

As a way forward, the 63-year-old Cameroonian Archbishop suggests “adopting good moral values, preserving the institution of marriage and family, protecting people, promoting justice and peace, living reconciliation, fighting poverty, caring for the poor, fighting corruption, seeking the common good, reforming the education system, and creating jobs.”

“Working to build a well-governed and well-managed Cameroon without corruption is not a utopia. If, indeed, we do not put up with corruption and bad governance and do not turn a blind eye to these scourges, we will build a strong, prosperous, stable country, a true haven of peace where it is good to live as brothers,” he says.


Cameroonians “must overcome the appetite for possession and illicit enrichment which are at the origin of these evils that undermine our country and operate a change of mentality and a radical and profound conversion,” Archbishop Kleda says.

“Let every Cameroonian, wherever he or she is and according to his or her activity, commit himself or herself in an honest and responsible way to the transformation of our country according to the values of the Gospel,” he adds.

To achieve this, the Archbishop says, “Prayer and penance are the weapons that will enable those who lead us to govern our country well, and all of us to strive to eradicate these scourges that, like a fearsome demon, threaten our country dangerously.”

“May the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Peace and patroness of Cameroon, intercede for a true conversion of our hearts and minds for a new Pentecost in our country,” Archbishop Kleda implores in his March 2 pastoral letter shared with ACI Africa.

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.