Gabon’s President Ali Ben Bongo Spends £85million on a House in Paris

Ben Bongo - Splashes Millions on a new home

According to the Mail Online, Ali Ben Bongo, the son of the late Omar Bongo former leader of Gabon, has been attacked for spending £85million on a lavish townhouse in Paris. Ben Bongo Ondimba  has bought a sprawling 48,000 sq ft mansion on an acre of land in the heart of the French capital.

The property, a 14-bedroom  house on the upmarket rue de l’Universite also includes a heated swimming pool, jacuzzi, seven parking spaces and a tennis court. In Gabon, the average income for most people is just £12 a day and most families live in one-room shacks. Although the west African state is one of the continent’s more prosperous nations due to its oil reserves, most of the population still live in poverty.

The country’s opposition party website called for Bongo to quit, saying: ‘The president has squandered tens of millions by claiming this new mansion will serve to reduce the hotel costs for Ali-Ben Bongo and his official delegations. ‘This is public money that should have been used for housing projects at home, not on palaces in Paris.’

Critics in Gabon have persistently accused the Bongo family of running the country as their private property. Opposition leaders denounced his son’s election last year as a fraud, saying that the poll had been fixed in order to ensure a dynastic succession. A French newspaper, Le Canard Enchaine, said the president ‘had apparently inherited his interest in luxury property’ from his father Omar Bongo, who was investigated for embezzling public funds before his death in 2009. The paper said: ‘President Bongo even made a gesture towards good governance and transparency when he bought his Paris home by announcing the purchase in his own country. ‘He just omitted to reveal either the address or the price.’

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11 comments

  1. Musa Bah

    This man is completely irresponsible but who else do you blame for his action? the Gabonese people. They should never have elected him in the first place. I think tolerating dynasties is a very back ward step for Africa and if we need to move forward then we have to completely do away with it.

  2. Kokila Gunawardena

    According to the Mail Online
    I am a German citizen and I am following this beautiful country for last 6, 7 years.
    The President Ali-Ben Bongo composition of his new government was announced on 17 October; it was reduced to only 30 ministers, thereby fulfilling Ali-Ben Bongo’s campaign promise to reduce the size of the government and thereby reduce expenses. Why Gabonese people can not buy an Immobile in Paris and cover the cost of expenses?
    I think you should know about Gabon history. It is a very small populated country. Gabonese people were lucky to have a gentleman like Omar Bongo in 1967. Gabonese people were enjoying peace in there country from that critical point up to now. Not only that, he was a massive leader for all Gabonese. In this small country Gabonese had 52 ethnic’s different Gabonese populations. He served for all ethnic groups for same way, without any conflict. He was so generous for all Human beings. He contributed lot to have PEACE in West Africa. That was the real peace. Now these so call opposition party member had there luxury life for last 4 or 5 decades because of late Omar Bongo. He was more than a Political leader. He was so generous for all Human beings. You can ask these opposition leader when they were in power how they served for there communities, infrastructure, schools and others? These leaders had got enough money from Bongo (Central Government).
    You know how he pushed up to build young Gabonese generation in western countries and given best universities around the world. You know now this intelligent Gabonese young generation have a peaceful country in Africa. They are so proud of there country. Not like others African Countries. Now Gabon is in a position to develop very fast in West Africa.
    Gabonese Intelligent people voted for Ali Bongo. He is the only experience Politician who wants to develop the country. He is the only Leader who can change the new mentality of thinking for future of Gabon. He has seen his father’s leadership for last 3 decades and he has seen some Gabon politicians who misused his father’s generosity and accused the Bongo family as corrupt. Some Gabonese politicians, some Government servants are corrupt and accusing Bongos family as corrupt. I hope President will find young Gabonese productive people
    for Gabon Administration.
    Please give reasonable time for President Ali Bongo to develop their sovereign State.
    I think news time Africa should know about President Ali Bongo is fighting against the corruptions and try to bring a new era of productive Administration for Gabon in future. News time Africa’s intention was to discredit Gabonese Late President and New President Ali Bongo. You should use your journalism in a correct manner. You can not fool Gabon people.

    Thank you,

    Kokila Gunawardena.

    • Godwin Kwushue

      Hey

      Kokila, what kind of rubbish have you been feeding on that warranted your vomitting this kind of mess, unfortunately I do not need any further confirmation of the fact that you are full of shit.

  3. Olu Olaoye

    I have only one question to ask Kokila. How much were you paid by Ali Bongo to write this rejoinder? How could you in the face of all evidence stand to defend an act of brazen looting of the state coffers. Shame on you!

    • Kokila Gunawardena

      Dear Sir,

      Now you are coming to the point. Then it was true what I wrote. That is why you asked money.
      No one can buy me. In Europe we can tell the truth. You have a right to express and Freedom of expression. I hope Mr. Ali Bongo even does not know about my reply to this Dam Article of African News online Shit.
      Truth is always very bitter. That is in the normal Human Life. You can get hundred thousand of Arguments, Reasons, so-called Evidence. You can see some countries in Africa. You know that how they are suffering. They are also rich oil countries having Ethnic Violence, Suicide bombing, Separatism movements, Hunger. But in Gabon we have still PEACE. This people are some thing difference than other Africans. These Gabonese are going to
      Churches, Mosques, and have a real harmony. That is why I love Late Mr. Omar Bongo in West Africa. You should have a big heart to dominate all people and different faiths in Gabon and his counterpart African Leaders.
      He understood the method for Africa. In Africa, you have to do the politics in African way. Not European or American ways.
      Mr. Ali Bongo did not even know about my reply. He did not pay me. Did someone pay for discredit all Gabonese’s and Insult the Late Omar Bongo?
      Are you willing to pay me for my truth? Are you a Gabonese? If you are willing to pay for my truth, you can pay. This is my mail, kokilagd@yahoo.com I will send you the Bank details. As I told you, my dear, Truth is bitter no one willing to pay for that. Shame on you!!

  4. Phillip

    Kokila,

    I’m sure you are against African development and the well being of Gabonese people. France or any other European country would welcome such ideas of buying a luxury villa since it contributes a lot to the French Economy and provide jobs to the people who’ll take charge of construction work.

    If Angela Markel would spend such enormous cash for her new house in America , China or elsewhere, what would the German people say, including you? People you should think of the number of people without food or sanitation. You probably won’t feel them because you have enough to eat. This is not what we call freedom of expression. It’s complete nonsense. Let Angela Markel’s daughter or son become the next German chancellor. Will the Germans let that happen? For your words to make sense, it should start in your own country first. Let the Markel rule German for the next decades.

    • Kokila Gunawardena

      Dear Phillip,

      I am not against any African country. Yesterday I was very sad; our Cameron friends lost their first game in WM. But I pray they will fight back. Today it will be Didier Drogba ((Elfenbeiküste) time. I have friends in Equatorial Guinea, both Congo, Benin, Ghana, Mali,
      and some other countries. How can I be against African countries? The truth is bitter.

      African developments depend on, how African leaders behave with each others. You have to have a strong UNITY with each other.

      Now it is a trend to buy some small developing countries, western countries also have their own immobile to reduce yearly costs from their foreign currency budget. They can save Millions-Billions of euros per year. In Germany you can see, in some small developing countries they have their properties.

      All argument came through this Newstime Africa Article. Who paid for that Article?
      Who want to make a mind-complex for Gabonese citizens?

      I hope it was not from Gabonese opposition or Gabonese journalists or Gabonese people.
      Someone wants to destabilize Gabon. They think African people are dam fool. Have you heard about VICTIME INDUSTRIES? Some power hungry politicians(not for sake of people of their country), communist agencies, so-called Human rights Activists, are misusing our very helpful Organizations for Globe like UN, AI, FM, UNHCR, and other good organizations. They know methods to topple the governments.
      Why? Some government leaders are not doing their home work. They should respect these organizations and immediately counter any kind of accusations but in a correct manner.

      Our Angela Merkal can buy a house in America. Why not? German government have properties all around the globe. Why? You can reduce your cost annually. That is what Mr. Ali Bongo is doing. But this Newstime Africa purposely tried to insult Late Omar Bongo the Great leader (First death Anniversary), and Gabonese citizens and all Africans.

      You can see some big countries had Kennedy’s, Ghandi’s, Bandaranayke’s, and Bush’s all belong to same families. Why not in Gabon?
      I have travelled at lease ten countries around the world, but German democracy is very
      Human. After the 2nd world war Konrad Adenauer brought up the correct path of Politics for Germany and as a German very proud of it. Germany is one of the best social & economic politic in the world.

  5. Musa Bah

    I will not take any further part in this debate as I think Kokila is either a Ben Bongo crony, a complete illiterate or hates Gabon and Africa. His tirades are completely irrational and back ward. Africa does not need people or friends like him. Africa and Africans want to forge ahead and does not need backward and corrupt leadership as the Bongos. I am surprise with your assertion that you know and love Gabon. Am sorry, I don’t think you do.

  6. Sahr Kemokai

    I think African leaders should start answering questions to all the predicaments in the continent. I am from Sierra Leone, and I believe that Ali Bongo is an absolute disgrace to African leadership. The people of Gabon are suffering, hustling daily for food and shelter. Why he doesn’t even that think he should develop his own country with that money, and build more low cost housing for his people?

    African leaders are in the habit of depriving their people and take their wealth to the West, because of inferiority complex. How many times have we seen the Western leaders stole from their people and send the money to Africa? Or even seeking medical attention? Why are they so gullible to their people? the people of Gabon must not allow Ali Bongo to get away with such corruptive and deceitful act. Some of us are residing in the West and can every day sees what good governance means. This man is wicked and they should impeach him from power. He’s a silly-idiot.

  7. Boang Titi

    If the west African state Gabon is one of the continent’s more prosperous nations due to its oil reserves, Why do most of the population still live in poverty? That property was acquired illegally and should be repossed and that money sent back to gabon to build the nation. Hey..! What a greed? Just running that home in Paris is very expensive. Gabonese people should fight that kind of Corruption and kick this guy`s ASS.

  8. Africa can never realize its full potential because the leaders loot resources instead of investing in infrastructure and services for their people. The masses themselves are too preoccupied with putting food on the table that they don’t have time to deal with rogue leaders. We need more leaders like Joyce Banda or Nelson Mandela. Unfortunately the majority of our leaders are greedy and selfish. What a shame.

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