The instruction by the Government Delegate to the Yaounde City Council, after a visit of the Mimboman neigbourhood, that houses be put up on all empty and unoccupied plots amused many residents. But the reality on the ground has come to prove the city's chief official right. In numerous cases, it has been proven that criminals operating in this part of the city used either abandoned construction sites or unoccupied plots for their sordid activities.
Mimboman presents an image which is neither that of a sprawling urban settlement or a village by definition. The neighbourhood is a product of the wildcat urbanisation that Yaounde has undergone in the past few years. As the area was opened up for habitation, many land speculators rushed to the area and secured building plots. Either because people bought more plots than was really necessary for them in the hope of reselling or because of the economic crisis few people have been able to build houses on all marked out plots. With passing years, many of these plots have grown into thick groves with wild grass and trees. These are found in-between homes and provide good hiding ground for criminals who can operate from these locations without much worry.
The situation in Mimboman has taken a serious dimension, going beyond the sheer confines of the locality. In the search for an immediate solution to the disturbing crime situation in the area, the Senior Divisional officer for the Mfoundi has even envisaged the re-location of some security services to the area. The Government Delegate's decision to clean up the pockets of groves found in the area will definitely go a long way to making the place clean and open and will also reduce the possibility of criminals hiding in these thick bushes. This may appear as a short-term palliative. Community groups, in their own desire to provide their own security, could also make useful proposals to the Government Delegate such as the possibility of seeking the assistance of the municipal authorities in cleaning up groves and abandoned houses. The moment is most auspicious because the Government Delegate's attention is very much glued to what is happening at Mimboman.