Many days after they camped by a cocoa and coffee processing and export enterprise named COTEC in Douala, Cameroon, suppliers say they have no plans of leaving till they are paid monies owed them.
“Since Monday, we are still there. We have bought sleeping foams and mosquito nets, some of our colleagues are sleeping at the entrance of the company,” one of them told MMI.
At the start of their protest, security officers had visited the site as the protesting suppliers blocked the entrance to COTEC’s Douala office. They later met with administrative authorities however who let them protest peacefully.
“We have also met with the Attorney General of Littoral Region who sent us to the Regional Delegate for National Security, who gave us some elements of the police that guard the company 24/24,” a cocoa supplier explained.
The security officers, he said would continue to guard them, and are working “… on instructions that no cocoa or container should leave the company except they pay us”.
COTEC is run by a French national whom the said suppliers say has refused to receive them. This is after they had supplied him cocoa, and he failed to pay them on the agreed date.
The total amount they say, is in hundreds of millions of FCFA.
They say the failed payment has made them miserable, as they too have debts to settle and responsibilities to take care of.