20, September 2016
Just what ARE they moaning about? Revealed, the humble origins of Cameroon migrants on £44k benefits (44 million FCFA) who’ve rejected three offers of larger homes
- Arnold and Jeanne Mballe Sube have eight children
- Pair used to live in cramped bungalows in Buea, with no running water
- Mrs Sube’s childhood home is near active volcano at end of a mud track
- Mr Sube grew up a five-minute drive away in a wooden bungalow
They have branded their three-bedroom council house the ‘worst place’ they have ever lived. But Arnold and Jeanne Mballe Sube, who have rejected three offers of a bigger taxpayer-funded property, grew up in conditions that make their home look like a palace, the Mail can reveal.
The Cameroon-born couple, who have eight children, spent much of their youth in cramped bungalows with no running water, and only the share of an outside kitchen and toilet with other families.
Cramped: Jeanne Mballe Sube’s family of seven lived in this two-bedroom building, with outdoor shower and toilet in Buea, Cameroon
Basic: The outside cooking area Jeanne Sube’s parents shared with six families
Despite not working, she and her husband, who receive an estimated £44,000 a year in state handouts, are sending money back to relatives in Cameroon. Tory MPs have branded the Subes’ demands ‘shameless’ after they insisted their house was too small and spurned three offers of a more spacious home.
Before migrating to Europe in the early 2000s, the couple lived in Buea, South-West Cameroon. Mrs Sube’s childhood home is in the shadow of an active volcano at the end of a mud track, where several families live in a compound of six two-bedroom buildings. Tangled wires are strung across the yard, attached to a broken fascia board on Mrs Sube’s former home – which is built from breeze blocks and corrugated iron.
Tory MPs have branded the Subes’ demands ‘shameless’ after they insisted their house was too small and spurned three offers of a more spacious home
In 2012, Mr and Mrs Sube moved from Paris to Luton after he got a place on a Bedfordshire University nursing course, funded by the NHS. The couple are also believed to receive housing and child benefits, as well as child tax credits. They have branded their three-bedroom council house the ‘worst place’ they have ever lived
The two small bedrooms inside have only a narrow living room between them, with stained stone walls. The outside toilet, shower and kitchen are shared by six families. Water for the kitchen must be carried from an outdoor tap, with waste water washing into an open drain through the compound. The only utensils are a handful of pots, pans and buckets, and women scrub clothes on a stone block.
Mrs Sube’s father, Zachary Nkwo, was one of Cameroon’s best-known broadcasters, after reporting for the equivalent of the BBC during the country’s first football World Cup in 1982. But despite his fame, Mr Nkwo said he struggled to support his family. ‘It was tough financially … I got a housing subsidy equivalent to my position in the station, but it often wasn’t enough,’ he said.
The 62-year-old, who lives near the former family home, said his daughter sends about £250 around every three months. He added: ‘They went to Europe to seek greener pastures … My daughter is a hard worker and I know she wants to contribute to society.’ Sylvia Ndahne, who knew Mrs Sube as a child, said: ‘They moved here when Jeanne was about ten and stayed for a very long time. Jeanne had to leave secondary school after falling pregnant.’
She added that ‘all the cooking and washing has to be done in the outhouses because there is no running water in the main property’.
Mr Sube grew up a five-minute drive away in a wooden bungalow at the end of a muddy track. It had no running water in the main home and only an outside toilet, shower and kitchen. Friends said the family lived in two parallel homes, with Mr Sube and his siblings in one and his parents in the other.
In 2012, Mr and Mrs Sube moved from Paris to Luton after he got a place on a Bedfordshire University nursing course, funded by the NHS. The couple are also believed to receive housing and child benefits, as well as child tax credits.
They have a laptop, a 60in flatscreen TV and Sky HD box, plus a 52in TV in their bedroom. The children, aged three months to 16 years, also have a TV and an Xbox. But last week Mr Sube, who uses one bedroom as a gym and office, insisted he had been ‘neglected’ by Luton council, which is trying to rehouse them.
The authority said it will offer one more five-bedroom house. If the family reject this, they will be classed as ‘intentionally homeless’ and could face eviction. Mr Sube said: ‘My lawyers have told me not to say anything.’
Culled from the Daily Mail