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Latest reports allege Martinez Zogo was surveilled for seven yearsActionAid Ghana advocates active women’s participation in national economy

By Charity Nginyu

Recent revelations have surfaced regarding the extensive surveillance of Cameroonian journalist Martinez Zogo, with court documents indicating that he had been under scrutiny since at least 2015.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) revealed that a 20-page referral to trial document which they reviewed shed light on a sophisticated surveillance operation orchestrated by Maxime Eko Eko, the former head of the DGRE counterintelligence agency.

He and Jean-Pierre Amougou Belinga, a prominent businessman and media figure were featured among 17 suspects in the murder case of the deceased journalist Martinez Zogo.

Despite Eko Eko’s denial of direct involvement, testimonies suggest his complicity in the surveillance initiative, known as the ‘Presse’ dossier.

‘The court document said Eko Eko denied involvement, saying Zogo was never a threat to him and the operation against the journalist was Danwe’s personal initiative; however, Nzié said Eko Eko could not claim this, as he had ordered th
e DGRE to surveil the journalist since 2015 as part of the ‘Presse’ dossier,’ stated CPJ.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, Zogo’s outspoken criticism of corruption, particularly his allegations against Belinga, likely motivated the surveillance efforts.

The journalist’s radio show, Embouteillage, served as a platform for exposing widespread corruption involving funds from the Cameroonian treasury.

He was found dead on January 22, 2023, after being reported missing five days earlier. Just a week prior to his abduction, Zogo publicly accused Belinga of corruption during his radio program.

The revelation of extensive surveillance dating back seven years paints a troubling picture of the dangers faced by journalists in Cameroon.

In reaction to the said information, the CPJ asked that Cameroonian authorities disclose which journalists, in addition to murdered journalist Martinez Zogo, have been targeted for surveillance by the country’s counterintelligence service.

Source: Cameroon News Ag

ActionAid Ghana (AAG) has reiterated the need to address historical and systematic barriers that have disproportionately hindered women’s access to resources and opportunities to participate actively in the national economy.

‘Despite progress, women face significant obstacles to achieving equal participation in the economy and we call for all to ensure equal opportunity for women and girls to build their capabilities and strengthen their capacity to learn, earn, and lead,’ Madam Abiba Nibaradun, the Upper West Regional Manager of AAG, said.

She said this at Lawra at the weekend during the Upper West Regional celebration of this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) on the theme: ‘Count Her In: Invest in Women. Accelerate Progress.’

Representatives of PronetNorth, the Upper West Regional Gender Support Network and traditional leaders among others attended the event organised by ActionAid Ghana in collaboration with MEDA and the Upper West Regional Department of Gender.

The event, which also brought togeth
er women from selected districts and municipalities in the region, was characterised by a cooking competition among men who prepared indigenous dishes.

There was also a role play by members of the Young Urban Women’s Movement depicting how young women were sexually harassed in their quest to seek decent jobs in both the formal and the informal sectors of the economy.

Madam Nibaradun called on all stakeholders to support and promote women’s inclusion in leadership and key decisions that affected their lives as well as the state to speed-up the process towards the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill into law.

She indicated that the theme of the celebration ‘highlights the critical importance of women’s economic empowerment as central to realising women’s rights and gender equality.’

She observed that the theme also aligned with AAG’s Country Strategic Paper (CSP) VII, which among other things, sought to promote Women’s Rights and Decent Work to create a just world with an equitable distribution of resour

Madam Charity Batuure, the Upper West Regional Director of the Department of Gender (DoG), observed that the IWD offered the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MGCSP) the opportunity to assess what had been done regarding issues of women, the challenges and the specific steps that could be taken to achieve the desired goal.

She said the desired goal was women’s total inclusion in the national economy and giving men and women equal opportunities to participate in decision-making on issues that affect women.

‘We cannot expect progress if we can’t have the majority that matters in the development process, which is the women’, Madam Batuure, who is also the convener of the Gender Support Network, indicated.

She added that there should be fair representation of women at all levels, and they should be given the opportunity to talk about issues that affect them for redress.

The DoG Director called on stakeholders and development partners to be intentional about issues of women, by involvin
g them from the planning stage to the implementation and the conclusion to achieve the expected outcome.

Pognaa Agnes Tangzie, the Queen Mother of Gbengbe in the Lawra Traditional Area, encouraged women to be confident to take up responsibilities that were preserved for men.

She also stressed the need for increased advocacy and education to empower more women to have confidence and to participate actively in national discourse.

Source: Ghana News Agency