Hello people…Here’s a poignant story from an I Rep Camer follower on her experience of the struggle…. DIASPORA & AMBA – STOP HURTING US.
“Mama, when will we go to the market to do our schooxl shopping?” My 17 year old daughter asks. She is going to Upper Sixth and her three siblings are in forms 5, 3 and 1.
I sigh! I have not had a salary since May! I could not even be angry at my employer. There was no business. Since the beginning of the struggle we had slowly seen sales drop to less than 20% even. At least 20 workers had been let go and those of us who stayed had half of our salaries every three or four months if we were lucky!
Because of the disruption, we decided to send our children to school in Yaounde. It is costing us double both financially and in the quality of education. But what can we do? Our children must go to school. Why are we the ones sacrificing while the heads of this struggle send their own children to school?
My children used to attend school in the NW Region. We had to remove them due to the constant threats and disruptions. Most of my friends had sent their children either to Yaounde or Douala.
How were the vendors coping I wondered! The people who supplied food, uniforms, books(like my husband) etc etc…how are they coping with this big drop in sales?
Schools have grown overnight in Douala and Yaounde!
The transport systems in LRC are now the ones taking our revenue.
The food vendors and uniform suppliers have shifted from SW/NW to LRC.
Banks and investors are now more focused on businesses in LRC.
Who is losing? Why are we fooling ourselves?
I went to the market. The prices of foods are slowly creeping up. We are now consuming the produce from last year farming. The villages have been deserted. I wonder whether any food was planted this year. Might there be a famine in this region next year? Or will the cost of more than triple?
It is a Ghost Town day. My husband is sick. His BP is on the rise. I drive out to see if there is at least a pharmacy on call. The pharmacies have all been warned not to open. Are we to die in misery then? How can they threaten even medical staff?
But then again…i know why my husband is sick. It is frustration. You see, he is a business man. Two years ago he supplied books to schools which didn’t reopen and still has 20 million in unpaid bills from the Mission schools.
He had contracts worth 30 million with the CDC. 6 of their estates have been abandoned. Production is almost halted. They are unable to pay salaries and worse debts!
Money for the contracts was borrowed from a Credit Union. Interests are piling daily. I have asked him we must trust God! But it is so discouraging.
On Tuesday, the Amba boys saunter into my husband’s shop. Gunshots on Saturday had made everyone lock up in fear. Monday was Ghost Town. So he has not had any sales for 3 days.
They ask him to support them with money!
“Support?” He asks.
“You impose ghost towns, foster insecurity and slow business and you ask us to support? Where is the money supposed to come from? Even if I wanted to how do I support you when you have inadvertently starved my own source of income?
How many days in the week do we work?”
He glares at them and says again ” You have drive n away our customers. Do you know how? No jobs means no purchasing power and so even the goods I have cannot be bought”
One of the dirty looking Amba boy wielding a matchet looks furiously at my husband even though his eyes are darting around in a look commonly associated with persons high on drugs. Of course he has barely understood.
They threaten to kill him and storm out. He bursts into angry tears.
I am afraid …. that in the next 1 or 2 years there may be no region worth fighting for anymore.
I am afraid ….that we may end up worse than we were before.
Let us be honest with ourselves. How many students have you seen on the streets fighting for no school? How many workers have you seen marching in protest?
Diaspora – you sponsor young boys who have lost purpose in drugs to threaten and force us into submission. How different are you from the regime being fought?
The senseless killing of young people is depriving us of strong virile and healthy young men. Why are we creating an imbalance in our population?