And it lives again! After close to three decades of desertion, the “Building of Death”, widely known as “Immeuble de la Mort” lives again, with the common man’s baptismal name, “Immeuble de la Résurrection”.
Built over a tunnel, the ministerial building No. 1 in Cameroon, left to its colossal sorrowful plight at the heart of the nation’s political capital, Yaounde, since the mid-1980s, was officially instated by Prime Minister, Philemon Yang on Friday, August 22, 2014.
The gigantic structure, present three, five and seven storey-buildings, and an 18 storey-tower, making a total of four buildings strewn over three hectares of land. More than 700 offices stand out, with a parking lot capable of accommodating over 250 vehicles, and a basement of 1600m2.
“Immeuble de la Mort”, was initiated by President Paul Biya during his early years of ascent to power, but had soon after been abandoned for impenetrable reasons. While some attribute its abandonment to the economic crisis in the early 1990s or the misappropriation of funds allotted for its construction, others say it was due to vibrations caused by the passing of trains via the tunnel beneath it.
Whatever the case, work resumed in 2010 financed by the National Social Insurance Fund (CNPS) to the tune of 16 billion, contrasting to the estimated cost of 13 billion, 631 million, 532, 952 FCFA, according to camer.be.
But how it came to be known as “Immeuble de le Mort” is everyone’s guess. The building had become home to all sorts of outlaws, purse-snatchers, and what have you. Reports have been rife on the number of persons who have been assaulted by the building, and the assaulters hurriedly making away into the building. Reports have also been rife on skulls that have been pulled out of the building; persons who have been raped in it, and several despicable crimes committed within its walls.
Hopeful then, that its baptism by the people, as “Immeuble de la Resurrection”, be a rebirth for its history, a rebirth for the city of Yaounde, and most especially, a REBIRTH for Cameroon.