While the residence of the Director of the Budget in the Ministry of Finance has shocked the Cameroonian public opinion recently, Antoine Félix Samba is not the only highly placed government official who owns an imposing property.
Located in the Nkolondom district on the outskirts of Yaoundé the nation’s capital, the castle of the Director General of the Budget at the Ministry of Finance is controversial. The opulence displayed by this senior official who has served in public finances for about 40 years is indeed remarkable. His Beti Ewondo kinsmen have attempted to highlight his fake status as a businessman to defend the native of Upper Sanaga.
Yet, Antoine Félix Samba is not the only high-ranking executive to have built a royal palace. The residences of several other top Biya aides have aroused controversy among public opinion. Disgraced Marafa Hamidou Yaya, the former Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralization had built a palace for himself with a huge artificial lake fed by boreholes and accessible from a catamaran, a golf course of about 6 hectares, a pasture of 100 m reserved for horses, a dozen outbuildings and a sinuous boulevard and a 3 km long tennis court connected to an Olympic swimming pool, a main residence with a surface area of 3000 m2.
Marcel Niat Njifenji, Titus Edzoa, Michel Thierry Atangana and Yves Michel Fotso have been singled out for their pronounced taste of ostentation in housing including the President of the Republic himself who owns the “Château de la Route de Lausanne”, a building on the shores of Lake Geneva in one of the most expensive districts in the world.
By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai