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Bent as a nine bob note?

7 December 2006 - 10:55am -- Joseph

We've been very busy lately, swanning off everywhere with Hev's parents, then back to work this week, much work to catch up on.

We seemed to run into rather a lot of corruption during the second week of Mike and Margaret's stay. Of course, we had a fair amount of the usual inflated whiteman prices, we're getting better at avoiding that. More seriously, a policeman stopped us and tried to retain our certified copies of our passports because we didn't have our vaccination documents. You don't need to carry your vaccination documents around, you only need to show them at point of entry into the country. We told him so and eventually he relented without any money changing hands. We also had some hassle with some council officials, who objected to us hiring a private driver (which may be illegal, I'm not sure), because it disrupted their every-bit-as-illegal set-up of private drivers. Bleedin' hypocrites...

Talking of bleeding, there was also the business of the Education Minister in Yaounde adding names to a list of potential students for the University of Buea Medical course. The original list was drawn up from students who passed an exam, the extra names hadn't passed the exam (it's not even clear whether they even took it) and were allegedly children of ministers, etc...

Quite what the truth of the matter is, I guess we'll never know, but the UB students took exception to this unjust manipulation from the capital, and there have been several riots. The police or army have shot and killed several students (two is the official count, though there are rumours of more). Why they can't use rubber bullets is beyond me...

All in all some disturbing experiences. Fortunately, we were away in Kribi while the worst of it was going on.

It's not all bad though, we had a nice time in Kribi and Douala, and Mike and Margaret got on their (delayed) flight back to Britain without any bureaucratic hassle, thankfully...

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