8, April 2020
The last public appearance made by Cameroon’s president was on 11 March. On that date, he was paid a visit by Peter Henry Barlerin, the US ambassador to Cameroon, at his office in Etoudi Palace.
Unlike the vast majority of other heads of state in the region, Paul Biya did not address his fellow citizens to announce measures to combat the epidemic. Prime minister Joseph Dion Ngute and health minister Malachie Manaouda are regularly informing the public about the health crisis.
Biya’s absence has provoked criticism from the opposition and alarmist rumours about his state of health. However, according to our information, Biya has not tested positive for COVID-19.
To prevent any contamination, he has retreated to his hometown of Mvomeka’a, located 180km to the south of Yaoundé. Shut away in his home, he has prohibited nearly all work-related meetings and only sees a handful of people.
He still speaks to his loyal special adviser, Rear Admiral Joseph Fouda. He also receives the Deputy Chief of Civilian Staff, Samuel Mvondo Ayolo, while Biya’s aide-de-camp, Squadron Leader Mike Davy Ottou, makes himself available. Non-essential staff are no longer allowed to enter his home, which sits atop a hill overlooking the town. The government awaits his instructions to act.
Culled from The Africa Report