Wake up Africa: "Haut Penja (PHP), most important producer of bananas is under suspicion of abuse, forced expropriation of land, unfair labour relations, unreasonable dismissal, absence of trade unions, ridiculously low salaries and working days of more than 14 hours.
At the same time the residents complain about the pollution as a result of the plant protection means. Products prohibited by the EU, because of health risks are traded as usual in Penja. As a result of these environment polluting chemical products an abnormal increase in cancers, breathing and skin diseases are being observed. The prosperity acquired by PHP is also not used for the benefit of the inhabitants of Njombé. The roads are damaged by the lorries of PHP and the associated companies have not paid taxes for 20 years.
PHP has the political responsibility, the government and the judiciary in its inside pocket. The executives are being paid well in order to keep keep quiet. PHP count on the governing party (RDPC) and hires out land to high military officers. PHP is a member of the Association de la banane camerounaise (Cameroon association of banana producers), a lobby directed by the brother in law of the minister of finance Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana.
Show trials are held, arguments disappear and witnesses are silenced. According to the French daily Libération president Paul Biya would be one of the most important shareholders of the company. In any case PHP has pineapple orchards in the village of Mvomeka'a in south Cameroon.
Attempts by Paul EricKinguè, ex mayor of Djombé Pendja, to expose this abuse made him end up in jail.
This banana scandal is only the tip of the iceberg. It is sad to see that 50 years after independence neo-colonialism is still reigning supreme, In Penja the banana has a bitter aftertaste."