On August 23, Benjamin Mboutou (photo), senior divisional officer of the Wouri, launched an operation to identify and end the illegal occupation of private State property in Douala. To this end, he summoned the district leaders of Douala I and II, who occupy the State's private domain, to contact the divisional office in charge of land affairs with all documents justifying their occupation. This operation launched by the senior divisional officer was instructed by the Ministry of State Property. It aims to allow public authorities to secure state property, control the lawfulness of acquisition procedures, and free irregularly occupied properties, we learn.
"To date, the State has been dispossessed of its real estate assets without compensation. As a result, illegal occupants are exposed to the rigors and wrath of Law 80-22 of July 14, 1980, on the repression of infringements of land and domain ownership," says Silvin Ngono, head of the divisional office.
According to the said law, those who exploit or occupy land without prior authorization from the owner are liable to a fine of between XAF50,000 and 200,000 and between two months and three years of imprisonment, or one of these penalties only, as are public officials convicted of complicity in land transactions likely to encourage irregular occupation of other people's property. These sanctions are applicable to persons who, in violation of the legislation in force, exploit or occupy part of the State’s private domain or a dependency on the public or national domain, the text specifies.
According to decree no. 74-2 of July 6, 1974, which establishes Cameroon's land tenure system, movable and immovable property acquired by the State free of charge or in return for payment is part of the private domain. The same applies to lands on which public buildings, constructions, and facilities are built. "In the city of Douala, people are taking over the State's private domain and selling it to private individuals. However, the sale of State land is governed by specific regulations. At some point, we have to end this phenomenon,” Silvin Ngono adds.