Man rapes brother’s children to death

A man is currently behind bars at the Nkongsamba Gendarmerie brigade for allegedly raping his two nieces to death over the weekend.
The children’s father had travelled out of town while their mother had gone for a night vigil on Friday, when Joel Tanko, 31, took advantage to commit his act, eyewitness at the Ngang neighbourhood in the Nkongsamba II District said.
According to the Divisional Delegate for Communication in the Mungo Division, Clovis Tchamabo, the perpetrator drugged his brother’s two children aged seven years and six months old respectively before preying on them.
It was only early on Saturday morning when mother had returned from the vigil that she got worried of the unusual calm in the house. The two were “deeply asleep.”
According to her, the house is always buzzy in the morning with the cries and noise from her children who are normally awake very early.
This calm struck her mind and pushed her to immediately check on them. This is when she found the babies “deeply sleeping” on their bed.
As she struggled to wake them up, she realized the six-month old baby had passed away while the seven-year old was immediately rushed to a nearby medical facility where she was also declared dead with medical reports showing they had been raped.
Police investigations led to the arrest of Joel Tanko who first denied having a hand but will later give in when he was undressed with signs of blood found on his underwear.
In the heat of the matter, it was revealed this was not the first time Joel was committing such acts but has always been protected by some family members who decide to solve the matter internally until last weekend’s incident.
What awaits Joel Tanko?
If found guilty of rape, Joel Tanko could face a heavy jail term and fine. Under Article 296 of the Cameroon Penal Code, rape is punishable with imprisonment of from five to 10 years.
The sentence can be increased to life imprisonment if the victim is under the age of 16 and the perpetrator had authority over the victim, was a public servant, or a religious minister, or was assisted by others.
By Francis Ajumane

Motorbike ban cripples economy of Anglophone Regions

Inconsistency in Government policy is beginning to catch-up with its purveyors as an estimated 2,000 youths in the Northwest and the Southwest Regions whose fate had been tied to commercial motorcycle riding that even the Head of state had glorified as immediate solution to unemployment now face the possibility of a rudderless fate, following administrative decision banning their circulation outright.
The vicinities affected include Batibo, Widikum and Balikumbat Sub-Divisions of the Northwest Region and Mundemba, Ekondo-Titi, Mbonge, Konye, Kumba II and III under the Southwest Region. The decisions were signed by the Governors of the respective Regions.
According to the indefinite order, the circulation of motor bikes is suspended and any violators shall be prosecuted according t the laws in force. The same order tasks the Senior Divisional Officers, SDOs, of the affected places as well as security operatives are charged with the implementation of the order.
The ban has raised eyebrows across Anglophone Cameroon as many fear it shall go a long way to radicalize the youths who have already been asked to stay home every 8pm and resume work only at 5am.
According to Stanley Timo, economics teacher in Bamenda, the Governors’ decisions need a rethink. “My exposure to the two Anglophone Regions shows that since the coming of the motor bikes, every Sub-Division has embraced it as a major means of transportation with over 150 youths in each Sub-Division indulging into the sector to make a living. If now the Governors sign orders banning such activity, which many now look up to as means of survival I think they are just out to inflict more misery and pain on the youths.
Philemon Tih, a councillor in Bamenda thinks that it is a blow to the politicians. “It is a major blow to the politicians. Many of them often use these bike riders in campaigns and noise making. Given that we are in an election year and the governor banning bikers in some of the Sub-Divisions is a well calculated move to completely radicalize these youths, trigger voters’ apathy and completely discourage them from voting in the upcoming elections.
Like, Philemon Tih, Susana Nimbu, resident of Travellers neighbourhood says such administrative decisions are unfriendly to women and to the households. “How can they come up with such a decision at this time? Bikes have been able to transport labouring women to the maternity at midnight. They transport foodstuff to the market, beating inaccessible roads to all corners. Parents have been able to send children to school, take care of their wives and pay school fees, thanks to the coming of the bike sector.
“When you now say, no bikes will the same Government do all these?,” she wandered.
In Ndian Division, the only means of reaching Toko Sub-Division from Mundemba is by commercial motorcycle. The same holds for the maritime areas as the roads have been impassable for normal vehicles in the past three years.
Some have been quick to aver that this is an indirect way to deprive opposition politicians from campaigning. But this might unfortunately have a boomerang effect during elections of sovereign import like presidential, municipal and parliamentary, when the now alienated youths will seek their pound of flesh.
By Jean Marie Ngong Song

Dangote workers end strike action

Work has resumed at the Douala-based cement factory after a three-day strike action staged by drivers to denounce what they termed poor working conditions.
Work only resumed on March 8, after authorities at the factory convinced the workers a solution would be found to their problems in the next 10 days (beginning the 08 March).
The drivers had taken the company by storm on Monday, February 5, by grounding tools at their garage, located opposite the factory at the banks of the River Wouri in Douala. For three days, no truck left to distribute cement to the various distribution chains across the country. The drivers had filed their grievances to the Governor of the Littoral Region with a copy to the Labour Inspectorate.
“We are paid FCFA 138,000 a month and it is up to us to cover up several expenses. We have no advance salaries, no salary increase,” said Aliko Tanko, a spokesperson of the striking drivers.

“We supply Dangote cement to all 10 regions of the country. Each truck carries 640 bags, or 32 tons. If a driver returns with bags of damaged cement, he incurs the loss. But this cement will be crushed to be resold,” laments Hervé M., one of the disgruntled drivers.
He proceeded by saying they are threatened by hierarchy with potential sacking whenever they complain.
“In addition, we pay the “motor-boy”, we wash their trucks with money from our pockets, and we are also responsible for carrying out repairs on them. We have written several petitions to hierarchy without any favourable response,” he said.
Other workers complain of working round the clock and extra hours for little or no bonuses while others say they suffer from respiratory problems because of the toxic powders absorbed due to the lack of safety equipment. But the most pills to swallow, was the company’s decision to deduct weighing fees from the drivers’ salary.
The logistics director of Dangote Cement Cameroon met the striking workers on Tuesday, March 6, at the protest site where he assured them that all their grievances will be looked into. He also asked them to set up a six-man delegation for proper dialogue and negotiations to take place.
The group, however, granted a deadline to the company to provide an answer to their various grievances.
Later on Wednesday, March 7, a meeting between the representatives of the group of drivers of Dangote Cement Douala Cameroon and the managers of the cement plant dragged into the late hours of the night and resulted in a temporary suspension of the strike action. This was only possible after the company requested and obtained a 10-day moratorium to find solutions to the problems posed by the 203 drivers who had grounded tools.
“We have reached an agreement (to return to work). But if the deadline passes for our conditions to be met, we will resume the normal strike action,” said Aliko Tanko, the staff representative, who reluctantly called on his colleagues to resume work that fateful Thursday morning.
While waiting to see the outcome of the moratorium, the drivers of this cement factory, owned by Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote, were able to arrive at certain compromises with the administration. The costs of the weighbridge and the damaged cement (hard cement) which were slashed on their salaries were suspended till further notice. A memorandum of understanding was also signed between the two parties. However, the drivers will be more focused on the outcome of the negotiations in 10 days.
In about 27 months of proper activities in Cameroon, this is the first real strike action staged at the Dangote Cement factory owned by the Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote.
By Francis Ajumane


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