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SDF Begs Gov’t To Lift Injunction On Market Project 

By Maxcel Fokwen
The Southwest Regional Chairman of the Social Democratic Front, SDF, cum Mayor of Kumba II, Martin Forcha Ndobegang, has appealed to Government to lift an injunction slammed on the FCFA 300 million Kosala modern market project.
Ndobegang made the appeal on April 14 in a chat with reporters at the Kumba II Council chambers on the work that has stopped at the Kosala Market project following an order of the Meme High Court.

The Mayor stated that a ministerial decision of February 20, 2017, had declared the said area for public utility. He said the Minister’s decision stated that the Council must utilise the area within two years or the land goes back to the original owners.

According to the Mayor, eight months after the Minister’s decision, one of those who own a parcel of land on the site chosen for the market, Kamga Kabiwa Esae, seized the Meme High Court. The Mayor said two months after Kamga engaged legal action, the court placed an injunction order on the piece of land. He said some 40 stalls are supposed to have been constructed on the area.

Mayor Ndobegang said, going by the Minister’s order, the said Kamga ceased to be the owner of the piece of land since February 2017. He lamented that, because of the legal order, the Council has lost 14 months out of 24 months during which she is expected to use the land.

SDO, Kabiwa In Compensation Battle
In a bit to arrest the situation, the Mayor said the SDO for Meme, Chamberlin Ntou’ou Ndong, summoned him and Kabiwa. Ndobegang said Kabiwa refused to collect FCFA 2.71 million which the Minister had instructed in a letter to the Council and the SDO. Ndobegang said Kabiwa asked for FCFA 3 million.
The Mayor continued that the SDO then advised the Council to pay the money, considering the threat of losing the FCFA 300 million development credit. Ndobegang said Kabiwa rejected the amount and demanded FCFA 3.5 million. He explained that a few weeks later, the Council brought the money but Kabiwa told the SDO that he was no longer interested in the money since the matter is in court.

Contract, Credit As Stake
In the meantime, the Mayor said, the contractor expected to build the stalls on the contested parcel of land could be fined. He said 21 days which the project controllers had issued for the work to start have elapsed. Ndobegang said the contractor should be treated with a human face, given that, it is the court order that is hindering work.
Ndobegang said, the Council’s creditor, FEICOM, is also threatening to withdraw the money following the delays. The project was awarded to be executed for three months which have elapsed.
Politics Versus Development

Asked if the twist and turns were politically motivated given that the SDF is an opposition party, the Mayor said: “I don’t want to think it is politically motivated, because, when we were elected in 2013, we promised to talk and do development politics, even though one cannot rule out anything.”

But for Kabiwa, the Mayor said, since 2012, a number of other persons have been compensated and their lands under use.
Besides the market problem, the Mayor lamented that multiple litigations over land are choking the Council. He said compensation has been done for a Slaughter House, Cattle Market and Health Centres to the tune of FCFA 12 million. He said others are yet to be compensated.

Kumba II Council faces acute land shortage with every development project coming at the expense of individuals surrendering land to Government.