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Prescribed 15-20-yrs jail term effective than burning excavators – Sammy Gyamfi

The National Communications Officer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Sammy Gyamfi, has disagreed with President Akufo-Addo’s position on the seizure and burning of excavators and other mining equipment allegedly used in illegal mining activities.

As part of the government’s renewed fight against illegal mining, the Ghana Armed Forces has deployed a team of soldiers under the ‘Operation Halt’ initiative, to deal with the menace particularly on water bodies and in forest reserves.

As part of their operations, the ‘Operation Halt’ taskforce has supervised the burning of various mining equipment including excavators and generators.

But this activity has been widely condemned by some persons who believe the seized equipment could serve other useful purposes.

Reacting to the concerns, President Akufo-Addo on Wednesday, May 26, 2021, justified the approach adopted by the government.

He, therefore, asked persons who are dissatisfied with the government’s approach to “go to court to vindicate their position”.

President Nana Akufo-Addo maintained that he is strongly opposed to the activity of illegal mining and the destruction of the country’s land, water, and forest resources, and will ensure that everything possible is done to stop such activities.

“I know there are some who believe that the ongoing exercise of ridding our water bodies and forest zones of harmful equipment and machinery is unlawful and in some cases harsh.”

“I strongly disagree, and I will advise those who take a contrary view to go to court to vindicate their position if they so wish. That is what the rule of law is all about,” Akufo-Addo said.

But the Communications Officer of NDC, Mr. Gyamfi, in a Twitter post disagreed with the President’s comments.

He insists that the jail term prescribed under the Minerals and Mining Act, Act 995, is a more effective way of curbing the menace.

“The prosecution and 15-25 year imprisonment of illegal miners as provided under our Minerals and Mining Act, is a more deterrent and effective way of fighting the ‘galamsey’ menace than the burning of excavators.”


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