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Culture Minister Upholds Authority Over Slave Trade Village 

By Francis Tim Mbom

The Minister of Arts and Culture, Ama Tutu Muna, has stated that her Ministry, as per the law “is the main person” in charge of management over the Limbe Slave Trade Village.

Tutu Muna was speaking in Limbe on April 29, at the opening of a discussion forum aimed at harnessing all development actions by all the stakeholders involved in whatever it will take for the site to qualify as a “World Heritage Site” and be accepted as such by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO.

Minister Muna stated that in April 18, 2013, the Cameroon Government, through a Prime Ministerial Decision, declared the Limbe Site as a “National Heritage Site.”

Following this declaration, she said, a series of meetings and other activities have taken place involving her Ministry as well as other Ministries that are also involved in developing the Limbe site. But, she stated that her Limbe visit was to ensure that whatever is being done at the site follows a coherent pattern and should be under the aegis of her Ministry which, by law, has the powers to manage the site.

“When a Site is declared a National Heritage, according to Law N0 2013 of April 18, 2013, the management of the site is done by the Ministry of Arts and Culture,” Tutu Muna said.

The Limbe gathering was also attended by the Secretary General in the Ministry of Tourism; one of the Ministries which also has a stake in the site as far as developing Tourism is concerned.

The Secretary General, in her intervention, stated that the concern of their Ministry at the site was to ensure that those who visit the slave trade village have somewhere to shelter themselves. Reason, she said, her Ministry decided to put up some form of shelter on the site.

Meanwhile, the SDO of Fako, Zang III, disclosed that the Governor of the Southwest Region, following the State’s declaration of the area as State Property, had ordered that it be demarcated in order to prevent any further encroachment by locals. He said from their initial works, the entire site measures some 56 hectares. Some six hectares, he said, had to be carved out which is being presently exploited by the former Government Delegate to the Limbe Urban Council, Samuel Ebiama Lifanda for farming.  

One Reverend Pastor Manfred Ekum, however, said, he was not happy with the way the demarcation was done because his land in the area was not taken into consideration.

Tutu Muna said the demarcation of the land shall have to be redone by the Ministry of Land Tenure and it is only when this must have been done that they shall know who has what and how much of the area shall be taken up for the Slave Trade Village project. She added that all those who truly have landed property on the site shall be compensated by the State.

 

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