The family of late James Nendah Njoumba, onetime pilot with the defunct Cameroun Airlines (CAMAIR), now Cameroon Airlines Corporation (CAMAIR-CO), is currently seeking universal sympathy amidst the pariah treatment accorded them by their father’s former employer, bank, and insurance company.
According to information gathered, the family in quest of seeking financial and other reparations following their father’s unprecedented demise while on duty, have not only been feet-dragging, but has also faced lots of bureaucracy, and an unending delay.
In a letter issued by Thomas Njombua Nendah and Victor Nendah Nendah, sons of the late pilot, the family indicated that ever since their father passed away in 1989, neither has the insurance company, S.A.AM, nor has CAMAIR-CO (his employer), and BISEC (his bank), been able to fulfilled their financial obligations.
“Can someone explain to us how a government worker can die serving his country and his insurance money which was paid by his own salary is not given to his children and more troubling his own money he put in a bank is not paid? It makes no sense. In another country they will apologize for the delay while paying us including damages except in Cameroon. God knows I love this country but most of the time I don’t understand it. but most of the time I don’t understand it. We want what is duly ours. Our father’s legacy must be respected. We need justice!” the family lamented.
As the story goes, late James Nendah Njoumba, died in a plane crash on June 28, 1989 while piloting from Douala to Yaounde. Given that his demise came at a time his kids were very young, his younger brother, Anthony Njomua, was appointed caretaker of his assets, while the children grow.
It was not until four years ago, that the children lodged a formal complaint in court to sort out why their father’s employer, bank and insurance company, had not been able to pay his reparations.
“We noticed lots of unresolved issues with our father’s estate; his insurance money from S.A.A.M, an insurance company that insured CamAir pilots and personnel in France with monthly deposits taking from their salaries; and a bank statement in BICIC plus a letter confirming his accounts with almost 7 million francs from BICIC (Now BICEC) to his family,” the family attested.
They went ahead to indicate that, “with the help from a lawyer, we prepared and presented a gross and non-appeal case from the courts to CAMAIRCO and BICEC bank, but it came back empty. We were told the bank cannot trace the files and CAMAIRCO requested to see the liquidator for Cameroon airlines. We did that and the story was the same. Our father’s friends still working at CAMAIRCO were deeply shocked that we haven’t received the money from S.A.A.M insurance. We were told this money had nothing to do with Cameroon airlines. All Cameroon airlines had to do was to facilitate the process for us since we were not in direct contact with the insurance company from France. My brothers and I decided to go to France to find out. We returned with all the documents, but had no positive result. We also went to BICEC with the documents we have and they kept telling us they cannot trace the file from the computer but accepted our documents are genuine.”
It should be noted that the said late pilot left behind three wives and 14 children. The well-being of the children and the legacy of a man who has given his all to the service of his country and humanity, lies on the justifiable and amicable settlement of the matter.
By Evodia Ondaka