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Mineral Water Company Protests 

By Francis Tim Mbom
The management of a Bakingili-based mineral water bottling company known as Green Valley Plc has described the recent sealing of its facilities as unjust.
The Post learnt that a Buea-based sheriff bailiff, Martin Ntankeu Yoba, assisted by gendarmes, sealed the Green Valley, Friday, December 13.
The Post gathered that the bailiff was acting at the instance of a Buea Magistrate Court order following a ruling on a motion ex-parte that was brought before it on October 29 by Semme Mineral Water Plc; a rival mineral water company located in the same Bakingili area in Fako Division, Southwest Region.
The court, presided at by Magistrate Mrs. Ekoume Sabina, considered that Green Valley had projected herself as an enemy to the rule of law and thus ordered that the company be sealed, “until such a time when judgment No 77/2012 of 20th June is complied with”, the court verdict states in part. 
The decision, according to the magistrate, was based on a Supreme Court ruling of June 20, 2012, which had, at the time, ordered Green Valley to stop production. 
The Minister of Mines, Industry and Technological Development had in 2009 granted full authorisation to Green Valley to set up its water bottling plant at Bakingili.
But  the Supreme Court on June 20, 2012, at the  instance  of  a  complaint filed by Semme  Mineral  Water against  Green Valley, cancelled the authorisation accorded Green Valley and further  urged her to stop  water  production.
The authorities of Green Valley find that it was unjustified for the Supreme Court to cancel a ministerial order and as such filed a complaint to the Administrative Bench of the Supreme Court, urging it to re-consider its decision.
Dr. Simon Ndi Tatani, who runs Green Valley, wrote a complaint to the Minister about the Supreme Court’s decision against the company. 
“We observed with dismay that the Supreme Court can sit and take such decisions on a matter that was technically studied by your services…
“That the matter was discussed in court without representation from your Ministerial Department to state the facts…the name of the President of the court (Presiding Judge) was not indicated on the said judgment,” reads Tatani’s letter to the Minister dated September 13, 2013.
According to the Assistant Manager of Green Valley, Dr. Menyonga, since they (Green Valley) decided to set up their water bottling plant in 2009, Seme “has been using its financial weight” to block them. 
The Green Valley mineral water plant is located near the lava mount at Bakingili, while Semme mineral water plant is located after the lava mount en route to Idenau. 
Menyonga holds that they are some 1000 metres apart, but Semme officials have stated to the courts that Green Valley was tapping from their (Semme) water source. 
Menyonga insisted that they “are exploiting a spring that is found inside our Green Valley Oil Palm Plantation and not within Semme’s land.”
He went on to state that Green Valley was the first company to establish at Bakingili where they set up a palm plantation in early 1974. 
He further explained that, lava from the Mount Cameroon eruption of 1999 destroyed over half of their plantation. Thus, setting up the water bottling plant was in a way to diversity their business and make up for the loss they suffered. 
 

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