His Eminence Cardinal Christian Tumi: Cardinal - Cameroon (Integrity Award)
Filed under - Whistleblowing
From a young priest organising local community meetings on the consequences of corruption to a present day leader of public opinion, Cardinal Christian Tumi has been steadfast in his resolve to see Cameroon become a state where integrity is seen as a viable way of life for all.
In a country where public trust in government and the rule of law has been eroded by corruption, His Eminence has been a beacon of integrity for more than three decades. As a Cameroonian proverb goes “the darkness of night cannot stop the light of morning”, and Cardinal Tumi’s story serves as inspiration for all; proof that a life of honesty can illuminate the path for others to live with integrity, however dark the threats and temptations.
Cardinal Tumi was one of the first to publicly denounce commandement operationnel, a Cameroonian state special security force put in place in 2000 to tackle rising crime rates but allegedly resulting in torture and extrajudicial killings, according to human rights groups. Tumi subsequently led a church enquiry into the disappearance of citizens despite receiving death threats himself.
In a country where journalists often fear speaking the truth, Cardinal Tumi has fought for a free press and established a radio station, Radio Veritas or Truth Radio, which regularly denounces government corruption and calls for free and fair elections. His two books paint a critical picture of a country where democracy is absent and the abuse of power is widespread, but also convey a message of hope: that the integrity of its citizens can bring a brighter future for Cameroon.