24 May 2012

Cameroon: Divisional Officer Shuts Down Drinking Spots

The Divisional Officer for Douala V, Tamandjo Jeanneaux, has sealed several drinking spots around the campus of the University of Douala. He was reacting to recent reports carried by some newspapers and television stations in Cameroon on the proliferation of drinking joints around the university.

The press had reported that there were over 105 drinking spots around the campus, thereby painting a bad image for the university in particular and the nation as a whole. Furthermore, the drinking spots provided hideouts for prostitutes, the reports said.

On May 23, the Divisional Officer visited the area with policemen and sealed some of the bars. After the crackdown, the university vicinity regained some calm. Before then, students were often found in the bars early in the mornings when they were expected to be in class. Prominent among the sealed drinking spots are 'Facebook' and 'Dragon'.

According to one of the bar tenders, most of the joints were closed down on the grounds that they were operating illegally. He added that the Divisional Officer complained that they did not have documents permitting them to operate. However, as he pointed out, one of the most popular drinking spots had its full documents but was still sealed. He argued that the official reason for closing down the spots was to oblige the businessmen to leave the area since it is a university campus. "But if the closed drinking spots pay their dues to operate, they will surely go operational again and the whole process would have been defeated," he said. Sources at the Divisional Officer's say the sealing of such joints will continue.

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