By Reuben Sei Waylaun
The Family members of the late Rev. Shadrach Mbock, a Cameroonian who helped to protect all properties belonging to the Cameroonian Government in Liberia are accusing current Cameroonian Ambassador Augustine Beng’yela Gang of evicting their mother [Mrs. Bendu Mbock, a Liberian] without compensation.
The aggrieved family members recounted as saying, that on September 17, 1990 during the civil crisis in Liberia, the former Cameroonian Ambassador to Liberia, Victor Ndibah departure due to the war, asked the late Rev. Shadrack Biyaga Mbock to be in charge of his residence in Congo town behind Lone star Cell and two parcels of land located on the Capitol Bye-Pass and Sinkor 8th Street through what the family member call a written communication of authorization.
Speaking on behalf of the family to reporters in central Monrovia recently, Samuel E. Mbock, son of the late Rev. Mbock explained that he and his family lived in the Ambassador’s residence for eight (8) years protecting the residence and the other two parcels of land.
At the residence, Samuel said that they lived in constant fear and safety for their lives as they were humiliated and several times held at gun point by rebels who had attempted looting the premises. At some point, they were threatened with death.
He averred; “While we were at the residence, there were several complaints that came to us of people trying to encroach on the other two parcels of land, some Cameroonians in Liberia at the time knowing that the Ambassador was gone and knew of the story, saw it as an opportunity to sell, lease or rent the properties,” Samuel said.
Samuel added that Rev. Mbock who was a classroom teacher at the time and with a family of ten and a meager salary, fought his best in protecting those properties with no support from the Cameroon Government.
Samuel alleged that the current Cameroon Ambassador evicted his family from the land without rewarding them for safekeeping their properties for the number of years.
“We are not claiming the properties, what we want is our compensation for all the expenses we went through in securing the land,” the family explained. However, Samuel failed to place a figure of their expenses.
Samuel further added that all of the work that was done in Liberia from 1985 to 2008 prior to Rev. Mbock death in 2013 December 23, was recorded in a journal that includes, the land deeds, communications between the late Rev. Mbock and the Ministry of External Relations in Cameroon, Letters from the Foreign Ministry in Liberia to Rev. Mbock, Receipts of documents from the archives that verified the Cameroon government claims in Liberia, legal documents as well as the Embassy documents.
“To Rev. Mbock surprise when he presented the documents to Ambassador Gang, he told Rev. Mbock that he was acting more than an Ambassador in the absence of the former Ambassador Victor Ndibah. He did not appreciate them, but condemned.
He informed the media that Rev. Mbock, his father, been frustrated and depressed as every effort by him to again contact Yaounde and inform them of the Ambassador unwillingness to work with him was blocked by Ambassador Gang. He, the ambassador, told Rev. Mbock that he was already on the ground and that there was no need of him sending letters to Cameroon.
It can be recalled few days ago the widow of the late Rev. Mbock, Mrs. Bendu Mbock, a Liberian was evicted from the house on the Capitol ByePass that Rev. Mbock built with an estimated amount of US$25, 000. 00 and a shop valued at US$35, 000.00 on instructions from the Ambassador. It did not make it clear whether these were his expenses.
“We the Mbocks feel that the Ambassador has crossed his red lines and must pay for the mental, physical, moral and financial damages he has caused us. We are suing not just the Ambassador, but the Cameroonian government for the damaged done to us,” they said.
But an investigation by this paper discovered that a communication dated January 24, 2014 was sent to Ambassador Gang by Samuel Mbock on behalf of the Mbock’s family when their father died.
It said; “it is with distinct honor that I write to express our warmest thanks and appreciation to you for the visitation, consolidation, moral and financial support that were given us during the time of our bereavement for the loss of the late Rev. Shadrach Biyaga Mbock. Please accept this and may your reign as ambassador be fruitful and blessed in times like these. For and on behalf of the Mbock family.”
Although the son of the late Rev. Mbock said he’s not aware of sending such email.
When contacted, the accused, Ambassador Augustine Beng’yela Gang said if he goes into detail of what the late Rev. Shadrach Mbock’s children are saying, “you will be astonished, but we want to honor the dead”.
The Cameroonian envoy said there is something the children of the late Rev. Mbock’s children don’t know.
“There are two versions to the transfer of administration letters. One letter was written by former Ambassador Victor Ndibah saying he Shadrach Mbock should take care of the residence, not properties, while other typed version said residence and properties of Cameroon,” Amb. Gang.
The ambassador said the former Ambassador wrote the letter with his hand because he was in a tight situation on September 17, 1990. He however said the legitimacy of the letters need to be checked further.
He said “Rev. Mbock knew those documents weren’t his documents, but the people of Cameroon. The citizens should work with their Ambassador. I will not honor anybody who doesn’t want to work. I made an effort to recover those documents because the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is aware of our properties and I was allowed to make representation and not people on the street.”
Ambassador Gang revealed that the embassy was not in the know of how the ‘squatters’ were evicted from the land.
What is unclear with the eviction is; “We don’t know how they were evicted from the land and what led to their eviction. What I know is that there were some squatters on our land on the Capitol Bypass. We previously wanted them to vacate the land, the Ministry of Justice told them to leave because it belongs to us. We don’t know the people who demolished the structures on the land, we were surprised to know that some people were clearing our land. We drove there and later discovered that they have left the scene. Some of the squatters were even collecting rents from other squatters. We have absolutely nothing to do with the demolition of those structures,” Ambassador Gang revealed.
Ambassador Gang has been in Liberia since 2008 and can remember that the Rev. Mbock and family lived in a house on the land on the bypass for some years.
“The wife of the late Mbock was in a house on that land. It was in that house we went when Rev. Mbock died. I don’t have answer to Mrs. Mbock’s current location,” he said.
“We have no issue with them. We have met with them like any other citizen of Cameroon. I am not in court. We could have been forcefully faster if we wanted to remove them. We are not politicians. We have had meetings with them. The dignity of our embassy is very important. We are institution and we must respect our dignity. We are not hot blooded, we are balance, and fair in all we do. I am here for my country and don’t want to take my country down,” he said.