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Gabon: tensions between traders and the municipality of Libreville - RFI


In Gabon, it is the standoff between Libreville town hall and traders. City Hall deployed its teams on the ground for the

By RFPosted on 03-11-2019Modified on 03-11-2019 at 12:38

In Gabon, it is the standoff between Libreville town hall and traders. The City Hall has deployed its teams on the ground for the recovery of taxes but traders denounce abuses, racketeering and threats. A strike notice has been filed.

Merchants deplore slippage giving the impression that this tax collection becomes a racketeering operation, followed by verbal abuse. When the trader does not pay cash - large sums required - his shop is sealed with a blowtorch. Faced with these abuses, the traders gathered at the headquarters of their union and decided to file a strike notice.

At the headquarters of their union, they came numerous and each has a misadventure to tell.

" When they come to control, they come aggressively, with over twenty people in a shop and they assault people. By attacking you, they ask you to pay. If you do not pay, they seal you the shop, "said the shopkeeper.

" There are taxes we are being asked. We have never heard of it in this country, "said the other.

In Gabon, small businesses are run by West African nationals. They are traditionally very reserved but this time, the cup seems to be full: " We suffer too much. We can not stand it anymore. Or it stops or we stop our trade. The two can not walk together. "

All the controllers are not necessarily municipal agents, justifies the mayor of Libreville. To the merchants' complaints and their plans for a general strike, Léandre Nzué responded firmly: " As long as they persist in not being in order, the mayor will do his job. They will not come to dictate the law here in Libreville. If they want to close their shops, close them and we will do everything to put other people. "

Two weeks ago, these traders observed a three-day warning strike. Each community went to besiege its embassy in Libreville to denounce the violence and the extortion of the funds of which they are the object. Having not obtained satisfaction, they threaten this time to stop everything. A decision will be made Monday, November 4, at the end of a general meeting.

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    Source: rfi

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