(Business in Cameroon) - The social houses built by the State in Mbanga Bakoko, Douala, are subleased by buyers, Housing Minister Célestine Ketcha Courtès denounced in a release published on December 20, 2021.
“It has come to my attention that the Mbanga Bakoko social houses in Douala are leased and subleased at outrageous costs,” the government official wrote. She insisted that such practice likely to undermine the Head of State’s efforts to provide decent and affordable houses to every Cameroonian would not be tolerated.
According to Minister Ketcha Courtès, the contracts signed by buyers prohibit them from renting or subletting those social houses. Anyone caught doing so will be prosecuted and lose ownership of the house acquired, we learn. "I recently instructed my teams to investigate the rumor, establish facts and sanction in accordance with the rules in force," Célestine Ketcha Courtès added in her release.
This denunciation comes over a year after Ahmadou Sardaouna, director-general of Cameroon Real Estate Corporation (SIC) informed about similar situations. Indeed, during a campaign launched in September 2020, to identify tenants of houses managed by the SIC, it appeared that over 50% of those living in the Mbanga Bakoko social houses had no contracts with the state real estate corporation. "This shows that the state has been plundered by many people. This is why we want the law to be enforced,” he concluded.
"We met with some subtenants concerned about this irregularity. We worked with them through a commission we set up and validated some cases. We allowed some others two months to register with the commission. If they fail to do that, we will take legal actions and drive them out of our homes,” he added.
In Mbanga Bakoko, the government has launched a ten-year construction program to build 56 condominiums. By late 2020, only 33 were effectively built consisting of 660 apartments.