The Secretary General of Bamenda City Council Mr. Waindim Jude has backed down on the rent increases on market stalls as things got hot in Bamenda this morning. Thousands of traders abandoned their marketplaces to participate in a peaceful march to Bamenda 1, the seat of administrative authority in the region.
Visibly shaken, Songa Pierre Rene, the SDO for Mezam tactfully informed the protesters who had occupied the Governor”s Junction, that it was virtually impossible for him to apprehend the issues amidst the noise and opted for a meeting with representatives of the protesting traders.
Responding to the calls by traders chanting “Ndumu Must go” in the close meeting with the representatives of the traders, the SDO told them “I am not interested in Ndumu!” He reminded the leaders that in a previous meeting he had requested that they continue to pay the old rates for rents while waiting for a decision to be made.
Speaking during the meeting, the Governor told the leaders “I am ashamed of what has taken place this morning.”
This protest against a hike in rents of market stalls comes against the backdrop of a new law to be signed by President Paul Biya which criminalizes tenants who default paying rents for two months. The bill was passed during the June of parliament.
The Government Delegate, Vincent Nji Ndumu was absent during the protest and close meeting chaired by Governor Lele L’Afrique.
Dwellers of Bamenda 1,2 and 3 have of late lost faith in the management of the City Council. They have raised issues relating to sanitation, arrogant staff and corrupt practices by city council workers.
Traders and market users have to gingerly make their way through mountains of uncollected trash and mud, as well as lined up to use limited toilet facilities.
Mr. Ndumu Vincent in an exclusive interview had told Hot Cocoa, that the city council does not have the resources to restore order.
By Prince Nfor Hanson for BaretaNews.
God is still saying something.