Some residents have accused the City Mayor of Yaounde, Messi Atangana, of forcefully grabbing their land in Etoudi, Yaounde I, to build a shopping mall.
According to one of the complainants, her family owns 1503 square metres of land, which at the moment is undergoing construction by the council.
Talking to Equinoxe TV, Sabine Ngono said, “I had shops therein. Shops from which I had what to feed on and send the kids to school. That is what I was surviving on.”
On July 31, 2023, Cameroon’s Minister of State Property, Surveys, and Land Tenure, Georges Elanga Obam while reacting to the complaint of the families asked the City Mayor to provide documents to prove the council had legal rights on the said land.
“While we were still waiting for the reaction of the Mayor towards the Minister’s request, I was informed that the Minister had already signed a provisional concession in favor of the Mayor,” Sabine Ngono stated.
“It is the sale minister who said that when land is collected from an individual, the individual is to receive indemnity. Where is my indemnity?” She asked.
All attempts by the media to get in touch with the mayor and get his side of the story were futile.
It is important to note that the Yaounde City Council and the aforementioned complainants disputed the same land in 2010. Here, claims by the Council were rejected by the Supreme Court.
It is concerning that the issue of forceful land grabbing without proper indemnity has reached alarming levels in Cameroon. This practice, which involves the unauthorised acquisition of land, has become increasingly prevalent, with government entities being among the main culprits. The act of land grabbing, which often involves powerful individuals or organisations seizing land without providing the appropriate compensation to the owners, has become a serious cause for concern.