Pressure Group, OccupyGhana, has expressed disappointment over recent remarks made by Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo, concerning Government’s decision to discontinue the case against Chinese galamsey queen, Aisha Huang.
Ms. Huang was standing trial for alleged illegal mining activities popularly known as galamsey but after the state discontinued the case, she was deported to her country.
The Senior Minister while responding to a question from one of the participants at Government’s recent town hall meeting in the US, justified government’s decision to discontinue the prosecution of Ms. Huang.
According to him, jailing her in Ghana would not have solved the country’s economic problems.
But OccupyGhana in a statement, says it was “dismayed by the Minister’s attempt to water down government’s abysmal use of its discretion with respect to the deportation of Chinese galamsey queen Aisha Huang.
The statement pointed out that “as a leading member of government, the Senior Minister’s attempt to justify the lack of prosecution of Aisha Huang on the basis of Ghana’s relationship with China and the prospect of receiving $2 billion under the Sinohydro bauxite project is distasteful and disrespectful to all of us in this Republic who have worked hard to bring about an end to illegal mining activities.”
“The Senior Minister’s comments,” it said, “make a complete mockery of the fight against galamsey and the critical steps government and the coalition against galamsey have taken to address this issue.”
It added that “this statement suggests that, at the right price tag, foreigners implicated in the appalling desecration of Ghana’s environment, rivers and laws can be exonerated. It positions foreigners who break/flout our laws as untouchable and above the law because their countries offer economic partnerships and benefits.”
According to the statement, ” it sacrifices the enforcement of our laws and the safeguarding of our environmental resources on the cheap altar of present gain.”