Monday, January 23, 2017

MINPOSTEL warns on the wrong use of social media

'How can we survive in the absence of our business transactions? No money transfer operations, no internet cafe services, no bank transactions... Is this the 21st century we dreamt of? 

Cries of a struggling 25 year old denizen who found no favour with the services of the state. Confronted to that bitter portion he started up a small business which allows him to feed his family and shoulder the responsibilities of his kid brothers and sisters as the first son. Embittered by the recent internet cuts from the North West and South West regions which have an automatic effect on his lifelihood, he outloudly wonders what his governemnt plans for him.

' I am so frustrated with these recent happenings. I am only struggling to make ends meet with a degree in my pocket. How do they want me to survive, talk less of caring for my siblings I am responsible for, with such conditions? Now my cyber cafe cannot operate due to the internet cuts and I cannot foot my bills, will goverment pay my rents and monthly bills? Will government feed my family? I am patriotic, one of the reasons why I have not left the country like my peers.  Why are we being pushed to the walls? ' Ndefru Cletus laments.

Lamentations which illustrate the hot seat he is sitting on since the internet cuts in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon. 

While young citizens like cletus NDEFRU growl over the abrupt internet cuts affecting businesses for some, education for others and even social interraction which has become a stress relief pill for unemployed youth, digital customers have been receiving messages from the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications warning cellular enjoyers of the following:

‘Dear Subscriber, you incur 6 months to 2 years imprisonment, and 5 to 10 million fine if you publish or spread on the social media, information that you have no proof.'

'Dear Subscriber, Publishing as well as spreading false news, including on the social media, are punishable by the Penal Code and the Law'

‘Cher abonné, vous risquez 6 mois à 2 ans de prison et une amende de 5 à 10 millions, si vous publiez ou propagez sur un réseau social, une nouvelle sans preuve de véracité. MINPOSTEL’

Coming from the Ministry of telecommunications, the content of these short messages call on phone end users to mind how they use ICTS. Seen by many as a threat, intellectual debates already animate the social media over the alacrity at which such warning is spread.

Worthy of note is the fact that the sharing of MINPOSTEL warnings come after the technical internet cuts in the North West and South West regions of Cameroon, disrupting business transactions and preventing citizens from trading (as the internet has opened doors to many employment opportunities), studying (as many do online courses abroad), interacting with international business tycoons (many entrepreneurs hold webinars, video conferences and video chats to spread business tentacles), praying with pastors based abroad (Christians fellowship and pray with Nigerian, Ghanaian churches online) and getting information at cheaper rates. The Phone users gnash their teeth over such disgruntled acts and plan staging a protest in front of the telecommunications houses for answers.  Prepaid Customers have already filed some suits and one of the telecommunication companies plan to sue government for breach of contract, reports say.

While waiting for the latest developments, nationals from the North West and South West regions still complain they don’t enjoy internet services till date. Others even claim that measures have been taken to halt transfer of credit to phones in the aforementioned regions.

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