The Concerned Small Scale Miners Association says the position of President Akufo-Addo on the burning of seized excavators could aggravate the “indiscriminate burning of equipment” by members of the ‘Operation Halt’ taskforce.
Already, some small scale miners have accused the taskforce of destroying their equipment unfairly because in their view, they’re fully licensed and were not operating illegally as alleged.
In an interview with Citi News, the President of the Concerned Small Scale Miners Association, Michael Kojo Peprah, said the government’s posture, as amplified by the President is unfortunate.
He said the Small-Scale Miners see the operation as one that is targeted against them and not any other group.
“It is unfortunate that our President supports what the military people are doing. So everybody can go around burning people’s excavators based on what the President has just said, because there is a red zone where miners shouldn’t trespass?
“Even with that, go to the Kombro Forest, there are Chinese mining with impunity and these miscreants are being protected by the state security. why are they not burning those excavators? But a Ghanaian who has gone through all the treadmill and has been able to purchase an excavator, has to pack his machine for fear of having it burnt, and now the military goes to burn it, and our President will tell us, he doesn’t care, and that the military should ahead with the burning of this equipment, and that people can go to court”
“It is unfortunate because we see this operation as an operation against small-scale miners” he said.
What did Akufo-Addo say?
President Akufo-Addo on Wednesday, May 26, 2021, asked persons who are dissatisfied with the government’s approach in dealing with the ‘galamsey’ menace, particularly the burning of excavators and other equipment to “go to court to vindicate their position”.
The President said he remains 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.