On 3rd March, the CTE erstwhile workers’ children (mostly under 35 years) for the first time publicly gathered at the Labour Office and National Security here in Buea. Organizing an all-night empathetic candlelight vigil to relief [distract]their parents, the Ex-CTE Workers from the suffering depression and emotional distress brought to them by the Cameroon government
Attendance to this candle lighting event included; Reverends,youth advocates, supporters, family and friends. An act the organizers (Ex-CTE Workers’ Children)hope it re-energizes and enables their parents to remain steadfast on their cause till it comes to fruition- the payment of fcfa 2.4 billion severance. This was supposed to be paid to the Ex-CTE Workers (736 workers) a decade ago when the tea plantation was privatized.
When asked some of the children - why coming now? Jenalus and Kinde stood next to each other among the crowd said: “Enough is enough: we the Ex-CTE Workers children are fed up with lies”.
“We want our parents to tell us…Let them tell us what is actually happening. We have heard rumors upon rumors. And we don’t know which is which?” Esoh Samson, son to one Ex-CTE Worker
“Each day, I head for the Labour office, hoping to hearmy mother tells me it is over! Finally, let’s go home today together. Instead shesays: my daughter, we are still waiting on the government to make a statement. Since September 12th till today March 3rd, it remains the same story. Nothing has change. And just like my friends whose parents are also here, we got tired of waiting and hearing the same story all the time. –So, today– we decided to come and stay with our parents. sleep on the same bare floor”. Emelda Aka, daughter to an Ex-CTE Worker.
"we love our parents. we miss them so much" Emelda Aka added. ”. Emelda Aka, daughter to an Ex-CTE Worker.
Condemning the government negligence and ill-treatment against its own people,the Ex-CTE Workers’ childrenexpressed their dissatisfaction.
“This is humiliating and degrading”, Son to one of the Ex-CTE Worker remarked, with heavy face.
“My sick mother now liveslike beggar, no dignity and no integrity”Nfor Gilbert, son to one of the Ex-CTE Worker. “it is here that she has been sleeping, sitting - on this bare ground in the dust. Withonly one pit toilet (already full) shared among them (over 700)”. Gilbert added.
Truth be said, it is a shame knowing that the Cameroon government could abandon and expose parts of its elderly citizens (mostly women 40 or older) to such harsh, harmful and unhealthy conditions, for closed to 6months (half a year). A nation that has signed and ratified most international conventions (UDHR, CEDAW) and regional instruments(African Charter on Peoples and Human Rights) for the promotion, protection and respect for peoples human rights, now seems hypocritical through its actions.