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Regional News of Thursday, 17 April 2014

Source: Cameroon Tribune By Elizabeth Mosima

Yaounde Vi Council Office Razed By Fire

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The building hosting the head office of the council was destroyed on Monday, April 14, 2014.

The inhabitants of Biyem-Assi, a Yaounde neighbourhood, woke up to a tragic morning yesterday Monday, April 14, 2014. The building hosting the head office of the Yaounde VI Council at "Rond Point Express" Biyem-Assi was razed by fire at about 3:00 a.m. on Monday. The fire, it is alleged, was triggered by the heavy thunderstorm in the capital city yesterday and caused huge financial and material loss to the council.

The upper floor of the storey building which contained the Mayor's cabinet, the General Secretariat, financial services and archives was completely consumed by the inferno. When Cameroon Tribune reporters got to the scene, they found out that the first floor was in total ruins while the ground floor was still intact.

Workers of the Yaounde VI council and inhabitants of the municipality could be seen standing in groups speculating on what could have caused the fire. Most of the curious onlookers had come to pay their taxes. Paul O., a trader in the nearby Mendong neighbourhood said he had come to pay his taxes only to find out that the offices of the mayor had been destroyed by fire.

The story was the same for Joseph Kemgang. "We pay taxes every semester to the council and today, April 15, 2014 is the last day of payment. The people gathered here are traders who have come to pay their taxes," he said. Eyewitness accounts say the building went ablaze at 2:30 a.m. and neighbours were alerted by a passerby motorbike rider. The neighbours immediately alerted the elements of the Fire Brigade, the Rapid Intervention Unit and the National Gendarmerie. The Fire Brigade, however, arrived at 4:30 a.m. and managed to put out the fire even though no property was saved.

A source at the Yaounde VI Council said the council authorities are still looking for the origin of the fire. According to our source, the newly elected Mayor of the Yaounde VI Council, Dr. Paul Martin Lolo, had ordered that the financial documents of the former municipal treasurer be kept in an office in his cabinet. "All these documents have been destroyed by the fire," our source regretted.

The source further said the Yaounde VI Council has recently been facing such emergency situations ranging from the death of the former mayor and two assistants as well as accidents which have cost the lives of people around the council premises. The source wonders whether all these happenings are not signs or warnings that the council should complete the construction of a complex which will host the Yaounde VI town hall.

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