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Cameroon: Biya abandons Ministers to lodge in Hotel Monte Febe 11 months after being appointed

Three Ministers and a Special Advisor are still living at Hôtel Mont Febe in Yaounde, 11 months after President Biya appointed them.

Biya appointed the officials on October 11, 2015 through Decree No. 2015/434 of October 2, 2015; they are the Minister of External Relations, Lejeune Mbella Mbella, the Minister of Secondary Education, Jean Ernest Massena Ngalle Bibehe, and the Minister Delegate at the Presidency in charge of the Supreme State Control, Mrs. Rose Mbah Acha.

Also still lodging at Hotel Mont Febe is the Former Government Delegate to Bertoua Urban Council, Dieudonné Samba, who was appointed as Special Adviser to the President.

The Post learnt that the four dignitaries are still cooped at Hôtel Mont Febe because the Minister of State Property and Land Tenure, Mrs. Jacqueline Koung à Bessike, has not allocated to them state-owned houses.

We gathered that the Minister has not been able to find suitable houses for these personalities because Government lacks houses to lodge its members. Tutu Muna Refuses To Quit

In a related story, The Post learnt that Mrs. Koung à Bessike allocated to the new Minister of External Relations the mansion where ex-Minister of Arts and Culture, Ama Tutu Muna, was lodged at Bastos.

But Muna reportedly refused to leave, claiming that she had made arrangements to buy the house.

According to reports, Tutu Muna reportedly said she had already started paying for the house hence; it had become her private property.

When the Minister tried to mount pressure for Muna to quit the house, Muna reportedly wrote a complaint to the Presidency where she ‘has a powerful contact’, forcing the Minister of State Property and Land Tenure to drop the issue.

Meanwhile, the four senior state officials had been living outside Yaounde before their appointment.

Mbella Mbella who was Cameroon’s Ambassador to France, was living in Paris; Ngalle Bibehe was based in Douala as an economic operator; Mrs. Rose Mbah Acha was the President of the Regional Administrative Court of the Northwest, living in Bamenda and Dieudonne’ Samba was part based in Bertoua.

These officials are said to be going through tough times, living in the hotel. For one thing, they have been separated from their families for 11 months now.

On the other hand, Hôtel Mont Febe is not lodging the dignitaries for free. A suit at the hotel costs over FCFA 150.000.

Even if the hotel has to make a reduction for long stay, it would not bill the Government less than FCFA 500,000 a day for the foursome.

Gov’t Houses For Grabs

Some years ago, Government constructed many houses in Yaounde at high-class quarters like Bastos, Mballa 11 and ‘Quartier Generale’, among others.

But it turned out that Government officials lodged in these houses later grabbed the facilities with the complicity of some corrupt officials in the Ministry of State Property and Land Tenure.

These dubious tenants-turned-landlords claim that they bought those state owned houses, even though officially, those houses were not constructed for sale.

It has in fact been a big racket in high places, by which some senior state officials share to themselves state properties. They allegedly bought some of the houses for as cheap as FCFA 10 million.

Marafa’s Case

The Government, for example, reportedly spent over FCFA 100 million to build a mansion close to the Gendarmerie Headquarters (SED) in Yaounde.

That house was allocated to the former Secretary General at the Presidency and former Minister of State for Territorial Administration, Marafa Hamidou Yaya.

The former Minister, who jailed at SED for embezzlement of funds, ‘bought’ that mansion.

Some sources claim that Marafa bought the house for a meager FCFA 10 million. This kind of mafia goes for Government vehicles.

For instance, it may buy a brand new Land Cruiser for a Ministry at over FCFA 50 million. But after barely two or three years, a Minister will compensate one of his loyal collaborators by ‘dashing’ him the vehicle for a small amount of FCFA 5 million or even FCFA 3 million.



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