By Kesah Princely, in Buea
Cameroonians with Visual Impairment are brazing up to stage a protest against what they have qualified as government’s discrimination and marginalization.
Grouped under the Cameroon Movement of Angry Blind and Visually Impaired, they announced in a release, Friday, April 1, 2022, that they are set for a sit-in to be held this month, in Yaounde.
Among other issues preoccupying this category of people is the fact that thousands of them who are certificates holders remain unemployed despite several laws and other legal instruments protecting them. Disturbed about it is the fact that Cameroon is a signatory, but does little or nothing to see into the plights of these people.
Unable to bare the situation which leaders of the Cameroon Movement of Angry Blind and Visually Impaired say the government is giving a deaf ear to, they are now determined to take to the streets of Yaounde in the days ahead.
“We (the blind and partially sighted people) look forth to holding a hunger strike, particularly in the form of a peaceful sit-down in front of the Prime Ministry in Yaoundé this April 2022.
“Throughout our strike, we will brandish placards and reveal messages expressing how we are disillusioned with our multiple sufferings and untold miserable conditions brought about by the marginalization and many prejudices we go through on daily basis,” Friday’s release states in parts.
The frustrated Persons with Visual Impairment are not happy because their neglect has made many of them to get into unhealthy practices as a way to have daily bread, reason why their protest is inevitable.
“It neglect by the government] has let many of us to indulge in shameful, inhuman and degrading practices such as begging for survival, which we resort into on daily basis against our wish,” they further stated in the release.
For several years, Cameroonians with visual impairment managed to contain the issue of discrimination but things got out of hand when 3 blind journalist were denied employment despite succeeding in a competitive entrance exam in to the public service.
The 3 blind journalist were declared successful but never recruited into the state owned broad caster, Cameroon Radio and Television as was the case with their sighted peers.
Leaders of the Movement of Angry Blind and Visually impaired qualified the move as discriminatory but efforts to reverse the decision were fruitless.
The exact date of the protest, however, remains known only to the organizers, but inside sources hinted TWIF NEWS that leaders of persons with visual impairment across the country are intensifying preparations ahead of the protest.
Before announcing April’s protest, the leaders met with government officials in Yaounde, March 18, 2022, to discuss the issue, but left the session even more disgruntled as no clear-cut measures were being taken to address their worries
It is against this backdrop that the angry Blind and Visually Impaired resolved to organize public demonstrations as a way to express their discontent.
In Friday’s press release announcing the protest, the Cameroon Movement of Angry Blind And Visually Impaired entreated the Cameroon Bar Association, National Human Rights and Freedom Commission, Journalists, Rights Defenders and International Organizations to support them during their peaceful demonstration.
The Blind/Visually Impaired-announced protest comes at a time when the government of Cameroon is struggling to contain a national sit-in by teachers who are pressing for better working conditions.
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