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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Mokolo-Y'de Hawkers Resist Tsimi Evouna Crackdown

 Varied interpretations have been advanced for the crackdown by the Government Delegate to the Yaounde City Council. Some are of the opinion that Cameroon has been transformed into a vast construction site as promised by the president during election campaigns. Huge sums of money are pumped into important projects like fight against urban disorder that will enable the country to become an emerging economy by 2035. with all these, a school of thought holds, gov’t is broke, so it has resorted to stealing foodstuff from hawkers who are struggling to make ends meet to feed prisoners in Kondengui. That is the interpretation of the man in the street.
Others are of the opinion that trying to bring order where you’ve created no adequate resource to implement and sustain the order is nothing but pure disorder. You can’t destroy roadside shops and offer no alternative space and aspect people to continue making a living……A worthwhile operation but it should be well conceived.
However the truth is that the Mfoundi Divisional Committee for the Fight Against Urban Disorder continued its operation in Mokolo in the Mfoundi II Subdivision last weekend. The operation was in line with the goal of the committee to curb disorder in the division. The operation that started on May 25 entails the demolition of illegal shops and stalls in the market and pavements.
Hawkers were also chased away from streets and strategic areas. Last Friday’s operation was particular in that the anti-disorder task force’s activities were resisted by some hawkers.
Even though the team operated from different angles with the use of caterpillars, trucks, water canons and other equipment, it did not scare the hawkers who have continuously refused to quit roadsides and pavements. Movement was grounded in the market for almost three hours.
Hawkers blocked the main road, threw stones at the team and even attempted to set objects on the road ablaze. However, the rioters were immediately dispersed by security men and the gendarmerie and City Council water canons. Like in the previous days, the team demolished shops, boutiques and confiscated food stuff and other wares. A young man was caught with Indian hemp and was immediately taken for questioning. The Government Delegate to the Yaounde City Council, Gilbert Tsimi Evouna said the operation was not easy but the committee face the challenge till the end. Some hawkers are adamant and have vowed to continue with their businesses no matter the circumstances.
Immediately after the operation at about 3:30 p.m., hawkers went back to the roadsides and pavements. Meanwhile, the clamp down on recalcitrant hawkers is scheduled to continue in the subdivision for at least one month.



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