Certain neighbourhoods in Buea, Southwest Region of Cameroon have gone for three to four months without receiving electricity bills from ENEO officials.
Officials of the lone electricity supplier in Cameroon have been receiving threats from the gunmen in Buea and neighbouring towns to stop the distribution of monthly bills to inhabitants of the Region.
For close to four months today, inhabitants of Muea, Mile 18, Bomaka, Mile 17, Mile 16, Mile 14, Molyko, Check Point, Bunduma, Long Street, Tole among others have not received metre readings from ENEO staff, monthly bills have not been paid because the staffs have refused to visit those area for fear of being attacked or kidnapped by the gunmen.
The National Times has learnt that ENEO staffs were chased out of Muea, Mile 16, Bomaka months ago as they were distributing monthly bills to inhabitants.
This threats to life has compelled the staffs to stop the distribution of bills.
The National Times visited the head office of ENEO Buea branch to know why the institution has stopped the distribution of bills in most neighbourhoods in Buea.
Fred Ewang, one of the senior staffs at the office, said their staffs in charge of bills distribution have been threatened many times by the pro-independence fighters in most areas to stop the issuing bills.
“Our staffs have been threatened by the Ambazonia fighters, some staffs were beaten in Muea, Tole and Mile 16 when they went out to read metres and to distribute bills. Since that incident, we have stopped sending our staffs to the field again”, he reiterated.
When questioned on how they will regain money from the already consumed units, Fred said ENEO has informed it users to come to the office to collect their bills.
“We have told our customers to come to our office for their monthly bills, we also told them to snap their metre reading when coming so that we can give them appreciate charges from the units consumed. Some have been coming, but others have not come. When the Crisis is resolved and peace returned, we will calculate the consumed units of customers who have not been paying their bills for them to pay”.
when asked why ENEO has not disconnected electricity supply in those areas since the issuing of bills has been banned by the pro-independence fighters, Fred revealed that ENEO cannot disconnect the users because it is their rights to basic needs such as electricity supply.
“We cannot disconnect electricity in those areas, if we do that we are violating the rights of the people. It is their rights to basic needs such as electricity supply. When there is a fault in the area, we dispatch team to see into the fault for it to be fixed even though we have been prevented from issuing bills”, he said.
It should be noted that there has been frequent power cut in those areas and other areas in Buea. For example, Santa-Babara Buea has been for one week now without power supply.
Few weeks ago, neighbourhoods like Molyko, Bomaka, Muea, Tole have been without electricity for more than one week.
The National Times gathered that places like Ekona, Muyuka and Malende have not been paying electricity bills and water bills since last year because of the Anglophone Crisis.