By NFOR Hanson NCHANJI
Kumba,Cameroon-July 24, 2017-8:40 pm Local Time(Cameroon News Agency)The led Counsel for the Kumba Traditional Council, Barrister Awutah Philip Atumba has told journalists in kumba that the National Anti Corruption Commission CONAC will probe into the Mukonje land saga and the illegal acquisition of land title by the Mukonje chiefdom.
He was speaking Thursday July 20, 2017 at the conference hall of the Ocean City radio during a rare media outing by the Kumba traditional council.
The Senior Barrister said the government of Cameroon can never in anytime oppressed it citizens by seizing their land with justification and making adequate arrangements for their re location. He describes the act by the Mukonje chiefdom as being illegal in total violation of human rights and the right to own a property.
Awutah who during the briefing brandished a ministerial decision number 767/Y.7/MINDCAF/SG/DDOM/DAJ/DII/S100 of July 17th 2017 withdrawing the land titles number 3462,3463,3465,3466,3464 and 3448/Meme issued to Mukonje village signed by the minister of state property and land tenure.
Going by Awutah, the documents now puts the disputed land under property of the state anew which will now give room for CONAC to probe the illegal sales and occupation. Awutah dismissed claims that the kumba traditional council is planning to grab the land, he said from time in memorial during the time of the Germans, “pillars were planted and still very visible today using modern technology the GPS which if these points are consulted the boundary dispute between Kumba and Mukonje will be laid to rest finally and there will be no doubts that that portion of the land belongs to the kumba chiefdom headed by Senator Nfon Mukete, ” He said.
When quizzed if Awutah is speaking for the Bafews because he was refused land in Mukonje, the Barrister quickly retorted….. “I have never ask Otto [referring to the Mukonje council chairman] to give me a plots in Mukonje, I used to know him as a struggling young man who regularly come to my secretariat for me to give him money to go and eat and today he wants to sabotage me” Awutah recounts.
He went further that… “If things were not the way they are, how come that Otto is taking back to a learned counsel of my standing…” Awutah concluded.
Meanwhile at press time all attempts to get to the Mukonje traditional council chair was abortive CNA rang his phone several times with no response. Sources close to the Mukonje chiefdom told this reporter that the chairman of the council is in Yaoundé to file a counter motion to the ministry.
Genesis Of The Problem.
Sometime ago in 2015 when the President of the Republic decided to create the Higher Teachers Technical Training Collage in Kumba as a reunification gift to the population of Kumba, the excitement was enormous and the population was happy, in the decree it was read Kumba and not Mukonje.
When the time came for the site of the school to be chosen by the local authorities and the powers that be, Mukonje and Mambanda were finally agreed as the site of the administrative blocks and campuses respectively.
There was mad rush for lands in these areas which led to conflicts, boundary disputes and high level notables putting their credibility to taste by denying the gospel truth and the correct boundary between Kumba and Mukonje.
It is even common knowledge that nobody knew about Mukonje until the university was created in Kumba. Ever since, the affected population has been under threats, harassment and even extortion of their mega resources by the powers that be with little or no help from the administration.
The wish of all in kumba is that the minister of territorial administration and decentralization and the minister of state property come out clearly to define the boundary between the two villages that have been torn apart because of what observers describe as selfish interest, greed and egoistic tendency at the detriment of the peace loving population.
Land Grabbing In Cameroon, Societal ‘Maggot’
Just like Maggots will eat deep and destroy crops, land grabbing in Cameroon is becoming alarming, leaving communities in constant war and or court cases on daily basis.
Glaring examples are the Fako land crisis and the Esu land problem in the South West and North West regions respectively.
In the North West, the people of Esu Fondom has been on a long battle against business magnet, Baba Danpullo who owns Elba Ranch, land given to him by former Fon of ESU .
The extension of the land today by Danpullo has been seen by villagers as an illegal occupation and an abuse on the ESU man.
When the ESU land crisis started sometime back in February 2016, the present Fon Kum-a-Chuo II Albert Chi stood his ground that they villagers can never allow Danpullo to expand Elba Ranch by illegally occupying 10,000 Hectares of Esu Land.
The ESU land crisis brought PM Philemon Yang to the Northwest region on Saturday February 27, 2016 to broker peace. Mr Yang told Baba Danpullo to solve the problem with Northwest administration while dialoguing with ESU Fon and his elders.
The Prime Minister had refused Baba’s plea for reinstatement of an injunction against the people of ESU, but the business tycoon has always maintained that he has spent much money to see the land become his.
Elsewhere in Fako Division, South West region, Some Indigenes under the banner of Fako Progressive Indigenous Association, FAPIA have petitioned President Paul Biya calling on him to sanction some chiefs who earlier petition him begging for mercy and land.
The over 15 chiefs had written on head of state presenting the ridicule , predicaments and embarrassments they find themselves into after a land surrender application to the government through the Fako administration is yet to be taken into consideration.
The Indigenes described the chiefs as land mongers who have sold more than 90% of land belonging to the local population.
The letter co-signed by its President Joseph MUSENJA ETUTA and Patrick MOLUA, Secretary General further states that , “These same chiefs, some real, some fake are now advocating for more land even within the one ceded to a place learning like University of Buea. These chiefs do not have value for education but have value for big cars.”
This week’s edition of The Sun Newspaper reveals that FAPIA has to this effect called on the Head of State to set up a commission to investigate all lands that has been surrendered to the people of Fako.