Sunday, February 2, 2014

Drama at Ndu Council Mini Agropastoral Show

By Fai Cassian Ndi
CTE Exhibition stand
Tongues are still waging amongst the residents of Ndu over the unexpected incident that transpired at the Ndu Council Mini Agropastoral show on February 1, 2014, precisely at the CTE exhibition stand. The story goes that when the Senior Divisional Officer for Donga Mantung and his entourage were having a view of the exhibits, they were warmly received at the exhibition stand set up by the Cameroon Tea Estate-CTE. After a toss over a cup of tea, the officials were each handed small packages of tea. There was a mad rush for free tea packages given that local shops in Ndu no more sell them but to the greatest astonishment of all, the MP for Nkambe Centre Constituency (Ndu) Hon. Esther Ngala Ntala was adamant to it.  When she was offered a package, she turned down the offer. “I do not need it”, she vomited. She was expressing the disillusionment of the population who over the years were cheated, maltreated and belittled ever since CDC was sold out to the business magnate, El Hadj Baba Danpoullo. The way the population affirmed her words was as if everyone was waiting for that particular moment. Hon. Esther Ngala was applauded for standing by the people unlike the conversational mayor Bunyui Emmanuel who almost went on bended knees to get a package of Ndawara tea. Hon. Esther Ngala even exploded that sometimes ago, Baba Danpoulo threatened that he was going to transform the tea farm into an orchard. This she said was a sign of provocation. “Why should CTE be distributing Ndawara Tea in Ndu? What about Ndu Tea?, a discontented voice was heard wondering in the crowd.  A school of thought holds that CTE only bought the tea plants and not the land yet it menace remains a mirage. Someone even wondered loudly whether the mayor of Ndu was not running faster ahead of the population and that if he wants to go far he should move together with the people and not alone. Implicitly, that fact that he collected the small package of Ndawara tea has had multiples interpretation as to whether the people of Ndu made the rightful choice. Yet as for his 100 days in office, preliminary indicators show that he could make a better leader if quite often he looks back to the people, get their feelings before any action. The construction of market shed at the Ndu market has been applauded even though he misfired by collecting few packages of Ndawara tea which many see as in-correct.

Locally Processed Tea ready for the market
It should be noted one official whose name I have just forgotten in his speech vomited that “Ndu has been renowned for tea production. Unfortunately, the privatization of the estate has brought about a mismatch between the economic pains of economic operators and the socio-economic fall outs on the community”. The Eye gathered that CTE has been transformed into an extraordinary affair. The colour and the flavor of Ndu Tea is not known to the population. The produce has of late become as scarce as dog tears reasons why small holders developed local processing methods. Even so, they are often harassed by officials of CTE. Recently, the European Union decided to came to the rescue of some 24 small holders grouped under the umbrella of Efforts CIG by providing them with a processing plant for tea production.  Njengti Francis says of late 6 tea farmers were arrested and detained for processing and selling tea locally. "In the past we use to sell our tea leaves to CDC but when CTE took over they refused buying from us. We were oblige to develop local processing methods yet they do not want us to sell our own produce. This support from the EU is a breakthrough".
It should be recalled that GLOBINET recently issued a press release decrying the manner in which things are unfolding at the Ndu tea plantation.
(Coming Up: Savannah Radio-Ndu, Jiti George and the Journalism of Iscariot-ism)

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