Friday, 2 February 2018

"President Biya Is A Workaholic" - Jean- Marie Atangana Tells Cameroonians From His Prison Room


Former Secretary General at the Presidency and present VIP tenant at the Yaounde Kondengui Central prison Jean-Marie Atangana Mebara has disclosed some of the mysteries about President Biya's many long stays in Switzerland his second home.

In the autobiography of his book " The Secretary General of the Presidency of the Republic of Cameroon, Between Myths, Texts and Reality", the former right-hand man of Paul Biya confesses that his former boss is "a workaholic", despite his multiple trips abroad, criticized in the local and international press.

" I met President Biya three times in Geneva. Each time, we had long working session/s, longer than what we usually had in Yaounde. I went with an helicopter and came back though the same means, because of the urgency of the  files/documents."

"I will add here that whether he is abroad or in his Mvomeka'a village, he had never instructed me to stop sending working files/documents to him. And as usual, the files always came back to me the next day or at most 4 hours after sending them to him.  I therefore maintain that this President makes sure that he does his jobs wherever he is".

"I do not underestimate the cost of his long stays  abroad, but I am sure that if majority of Cameroonians see their problems being resolved, they should be less concerned abott the fact that their President spends thirty days, twice a year in Geneva, or two weeks bi-monthly in his Mvomeka 'a village".

Atangana Mebara in his book, is trying to make Cameroonians see and understand that,  the fact that President Paul Biya is always not in his Yaounde Etoudi Palace, does not mean he is neglecting the affairs of the country, as he takes his job with everywhere he goes.


Mebara has been detained since August 2008 at the Yaounde central prison. He is accused of an "attempt" to embezzle 31 million US dollars. The accusation is based on a reply to a letter he received from the General Manager of Aircraft Portfolio Management - an international aviation consulting firm. In that letter, Mebara accepted the offer made to him by the General Manager to try and protect government funds that GIA has misappropriated and were illegitimately holding in their accounts to provide a presidential aircraft to the president of Cameroon. 

GIA was a shady company hired by Mebara's predecessor and purposely set up and controlled by Yves Michel Fotso - the ex-General Manager of Cameroon Airlines (who had a clear conflict of interest) to lease aircraft into Cameroon Airlines. GIA went bankrupt in 2004.

Contrary to public belief, Mebara was not involved in the purchase of a BBJ presidential aircraft which was consummated by his predecessor. 

The "Justice" in Cameroon is struggling to find any witnesses against him. Most people believe that he was arrested because he represented a potential threat to the re-election bid of the current Cameroon president. It is widely believed that President Biya is conducting a witch-hunt against all of his political opponents.

Mebara has suffered immense physiological and mental trauma since being held captive in prison on trumped-up corruption charges. He is a devout Christian and has the support of Cardinal Tumi an important person in the Cameroon Christian hierarchy.
On May 3, 2012, Mebara was acquitted by presiding judge Gilbert Schlick of the Mfoundi high court in Yaound√© of all charges of embezzling or attempting to misappropriate the BB jet funds.

On Monday 7 May 2012 the examining judge went to Kondengui prison and issued "new" charges against Mebara in order to keep him in prison. The persecution of Mebara continues because he is still perceived as a threat to the systemically corrupt regime of Paul Biya.

In June 2016, the Special Criminal Court has finally sentenced him to 25 years imprisonment foe embezzlement.

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