By NFOR Hanson NCHANJI
Tension almost escalated to violence between traders and the management team of the Sandaga market in the economic capital of Douala as a two hour meeting that held at the office of the government delegate to the Douala city council ended in a fiasco. A consensus on how to better manage the market was never arrived at. However, the government delegate to the Douala City Council, Dr Fritz NTONE NTONE who chaired the meeting, urged the two camps to adhere to the resolutions arrived at which were that the Arthur cabinet will have to work in close collaboration with the Douala City Council to spell out the judicial terms of management, though without precision, it was decided that taxes per shop and stall will be reduced.
Cameroon Concord gathered that traders are asking the management team which owns the land, Arthur Cabinet to reduce taxes on stalls which according to them is sheer extortion. Shops now cost 30,000 fcfa to 150 000, which at first were given out at 3000; stalls are now rented on break-neck-figures, which the traders say they can’t afford.
Violence had earlier escalated in the month of October when tracks were allegedly distributed by an NGO Cameroon O’Bosso, calling on traders to embark on a violent strike action but police dispersed the crowd before they could make any move. Located along the coastal zone in Douala, the Sandaga market is the biggest fruit and vegetable market in the Central African sub region with 80 percent of traders mostly women, commonly called ‘buyam sellam’.