Discussions over the weekend between the Government and trade union representatives of transporters plying the Douala-Bangui and Douala- N’djamena corridors have hit the rocks as majority of truck drivers have continued with the announced strike.
Since Monday, Mimi Mefo Info has received reports that drivers have grounded trucks in Bertoua, East region and Garoua, North region citing harassments and corrupt practices from road control officers.
At Carrefour Bonis in Bertoua and Mandjou in Garoua, and Touboro which borders Cameroon and Chad, trucks have been left for days, with most of them loaded with goods from Douala.
We observed that, drivers of the stationed trucks have refused to move, despite appeals from control officers. They lament that there are still numerous check points despite assurances by Government.
The Ministers of Labour, Trade and Transport met to representatives of Transporters to discuss their plight. Government promised to look into the complaint of multiple security controls on the road within 30 days.
The government also promised to look into the issue of taxes during the preparation of the next State budget.
The Governor of the East region on Monday June 10, ordered SDOs to drastically reduce checkpoints on the Douala-Bangui and Douala-N’djamena corridors.
But so far, the few drivers who braved the highway early this week grumbled that nothing has changed despite assurances from the Union of Land Transporters of Cameroon.
Police, Gendarmes, Customs and even officials of the Ministries of Transport as well as Forestry continue to extort money from them. This has discouraged others from carrying out their activities.
A recent World Bank study reveals that 5000 trucks using the Douala -Bangui corridor have been forced to pay out 300 million FCFA to unscrupulous security officers stationed at check points, money which has never reached the country’s state treasury.
The close to 400 checkpoints, the finding reveals have become nest for acts of corruption and extortion.
Economic experts fear, the sit down protest if not handled immediately will have an adverse impact on the economy of countries in the CEMAC zone which has been paralysed by insecurity, fall in basic commodity prices and bad governance.
Mimi Mefo Info