In a statement issued on Monday, January 17, 2022, the Governor of the East, Gregoire Mvongo, ordered owners of the taverns located on both sides of the new residence of the governors / presidential residence axis in Bertoua, to close shops. The tavern owners are allowed up to two months to vacate the premises or face punishments, including withdrawal of their business license.
The road involved runs from the governor's residence to the presidential residence. It also includes the courthouse, the residence of the divisional officer, and the regional delegation of the National Security in the East. "This axis is the presidential boulevard. We can not allow taverns to operate anyhow there. The image of the city is at stake. Before taking this measure, the governor asked local authorities and collaborators to take appropriate actions to completely free the axis from bars. They failed to comply. Hence the measure to restore order," according to sources contacted by SBBC.
According to our information, the aim is to fight urban disorder because owners of those taverns, pubs, and bars are regularly accused of not complying with rules governing their activities. The decree of November 9, 1990, setting the conditions and modalities for the operation of drinking establishments regulates the opening and closing hours of these establishments from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. for take-away sales and from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m. for sales consumed on the premises.
"The presence of those bars can also create insecurity in the area, impacting all the institutions located there. So the governor's measure is also aimed at fighting insecurity," our sources add. In 2018, the former sub-divisional officer of Bertoua 1st, Max Mbella Edjenguele, closed several bars in the area under his jurisdiction because of the resurgence of noise pollution and insecurity. Night-time disturbances, non-respect of opening and closing hours, violation of hygiene and sanitary conditions of the premises operated... were among the grievances held against the owners of the closed bars.