Small-scale miners vow to expose politicians involved in galamsey
The Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners has warned that it will expose any politician or public figure who engages in illegal mining.
They say their resolve is in support of the government’s political will to deal with the illegality.
The warning comes after the Association announced steps it has put in place to streamline their operations ahead of government’s announcement of the lifting of the ban on small-scale mining.
The steps include coordination mechanisms, use of technology to monitor compliance and signing of a compliance blueprint with the Minerals Commission.
Speaking to Citi News, the General Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners, Godwin Armah, said all persons must ensure responsible mining.
Everyone has the capacity to expose. You shouldn’t sit on the fence, the law is clear, if you want to do mining, get the required licenses then you operate. So if you are a politician and you go in illegally it is not because you are a politician the law will be different. The association will ensure that we expose any politician or traditional leader who operates illegally or support illegality in the mining space.
The group known as the Concerned Small-Scale Miners Union of Ghana, in July alleged that the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Bernard Antwi Boasiako, popularly known as Chairman Wontumi was involved in illegal mining.
The Minority in Parliament, also alleged that Wontumi was not alone, and that the Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, popularly known as Sir John was also involved in the illegal act.
Both of the accused persons have however denied the claims.
The Deputy Lands and Natural Resources Minister in charge of Forestry, Benito Owusu Bio, also told Citi News that although the allegations are false, the Ministry would investigate the matter.
The Forestry Commission has reportedly taken an interest in the matter and is also seeking to probe the allegations, but the Media Coalition against illegal mining have challenged the plan, saying that an investigation by the Forestry Commission will not be objective as the commission’s CEO has been implicated in the illegality.
Convener for the group, Ken Ashigbey in a media interaction at a press conference last week said president Akufo-Addo must constitute an independent committee to investigate the matter and present a fair report on its findings.