War Against Call Box Owners Intensified in Cameroon


The agents of the Yaounde City Council last Tuesday carried out an operation to chase call box owners within the precincts of the Yaounde central town.

Marie Therèse M., a teacher in Yaounde is desperate. She was seen yesterday searching for a place where she can make an urgent call in town. Fortunately for her, she found a young man carrying a bag with a placard hanging on the neck. On the placard was written in bold letters "Call Box" as way of informing clients that he is in the business. She went up to the boy and was able to make her call.

The agents of the Yaounde City Council last Tuesday carried out an operation to chase call box owners out of the precincts of the Yaounde city centre. As a result most of the call box owners have become mobile dealers. They are seen carrying telephones in their hands with placards and umbrellas. A few of them sit along the roadside on strategic places with their umbrellas where they can make some money. Even though business seems to be moving, the traders are living in state of fear. Anastasia N., a call box owner, told Cameroon Tribune that the agents of the Yaoundé City Council do not only chase them from the town but they seize their belongings. “When they seize our goods they destroy them and they even sell them. If you are lucky you can pay the sum of FCFA 2000 for your umbrella and your table. They want us to go back to our villages,” she said.

Another call box dealer, Patrice B., said the agent of the Yaounde chase them even to their hideouts where they store their goods and seize them for their own gains. “We used to pay taxes to the city council before but now they just want us to go to the neighbourhoods. It is in town that we get customers,” he said. The technical director of the Yaounde City Council, Philippe Arnauld Ndzana, said the move concerns not only call box dealers but all hawkers who are illegally installed in the town. He explained that the process is part of activities of the Yaounde City Council to clean the town. According to him the process will be a continuous one so long as the hawkers continue to disobey the order by the government delegate of the Yaounde City Council.

Cameroon Tribune