Sunday, March 19, 2006

How Mayor Matute awarded CFA 2.5 billion frs LUC market contract to Bongam and lied against the Governor

How Mayor Matute awarded CFA 2.5 billion frs LUC market contract to Bongam and lied against the Governor

-SWELA succeeded in halting the contract but LUC paid dearly for job not done


he erstwhile Mayor to the Limbe Urban Council Matute Daniel Lyonga will never be forgotten for the sinister role he played to let businessman Bongam Isa sign away hundreds of millions of francs from the LUC for no job done.

The melo-drama started when Matute Daniel single handedly engaged Bongam Isa in a contract of CFA 2.5 billion to build the new market behind Church Street, Limbe.

Neither did the Councillors, Supervisory Authority nor the South West Governor have initial knowledge of the contract. The Mayor arrogated to himself, the powers he never had and went ahead with the deal that ended up costing the Council untold expenditure of over 600.000.000francs. Bailiffs harassed Council authorities, with Court judgments to pay playboy Bongam.

Even before SWELA took up arms against Matute’s game of errors and omissions, Bongam Isa had engaged the contract. He brought in caterpillars and bulldozers and started work. For felling of trees and removing of tree trucks, Bongam Isa earned over 600 million francs and was still expecting more but for the 468 million francs treasury scandal that sent him parking over night to the United States of America.

How Matute lied against the Governor

When the population, Councillors and the South West Elite Association (SWELA) demanded an explanation, Matute shamelessly lied against Governor David Etame Massoma who had hardly even spent a year in the province. He said his limit was only CFA Five million francs in the award of any contract but SWELA was quick to ask him how Bongam and the Governor knew about the contract if he did not inform them.

In the last issue of our paper dated January 24, 2006, we erroneously mentioned Governor John Ebong Ngole’s name whereas it was Governor David Etame Massoma who Matute cajoled into signing the contract.

How could Matute have awarded a contract to Bongam when the Council in 1991 was still on a budget of only 750 million francs. How could he have awarded the contract to Bongam when he claimed that the 28 Councillors he got his friend Cosmas Ngolle Ndelle to arrest and detained were graffi people trying to oust him from the Council. How then did he award such a huge contract to a graffi man if his hands were clean?.

The dos and don’ts of Matute finally provoked a strongly worded petition to the authorities by the 28 Councillors who later passed a vote of no confidence on him.

According to the petition against Matute, he was accused of running the Council single handedly, award of irregular contracts and worst still disloyalty to the CPDM party. The petition dated October 26, 1988 also accused Mayor Matute of working without consultations with Councillors.

When the issue became hot, Matute put up a sterile defence that his limit was only CFA 5 million frs in case of contract award. He said he had not even ordered Bongam to start the contract since the Council hadn’t enough money. So what prompted him to award a contract of CFA 2.5 billion francs to Bongam on a mere budget of CFA 750 million francs?

As soon as the Councillors passed a vote of no confidence on him and the newspaper published the article headed by Paddy Mbawa captioned ‘‘Should the Limbe Mayor go?’’, Matute again said it was a “graffi” mafia to oust him from office. The one million dollar question was how did he award the biggest contract ever to a graffi man if his hands were not soiled?

Can he ever repair the damage caused to the Limbe Urban Council and the people of the Municipality for shamelessly engaging in such a dirty game plan. Instead of apologizing to the people Matute Lyonga still had the gods to rant and play the “pope” in disguise.

If not of SWELA, the Councillors and the press, his plans would have succeeded 100 per cent as the only causality remains the Limbe Urban Council. What a cheap way of doing things in a country that corruption is being fought ruthlessly..


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