‘Galamsey fight has failed; rise above sweet but hollow rhetoric’

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Sammy Gyamfi

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The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has described the government’s fight against  galamsey as a failure.

According to the party,  several actions by government appointees have rendered the fight fruitless.

At its fourth moment of truth series, the NDC’s Communications Director,  Sammy Gyamfi attributed the failure to the President’s inability to bring to book appointees of government allegedly noted for fueling the activities of illegal mining.

“The fact that, President Akufo Addo’s fight against galamsey has failed is no longer in dispute. The spectacular failure, of the supposedly anti galamsey fight, underscores what we all know to be the truth that President Akufo-Addo’s policies and offerings most at times are instituted of self-aggrandizement and an avenue for crocked members of his party and government  to line their pockets through corrupt means.”

He called for an overhaul of the Interministerial Committee on mining together with government’s approach to the fight.

“In the circumstance, the NDC demands that President Akufo-Addo overhauls the interministerial committee on illegal mining and urgently review his approach towards the fight against illegal mining. This is time for President to rise above his sweet and hollow rhetoric and start to walk the talk. He must show genuine commitment and dedication to the fight against illegal mining. We charge him, as a matter of urgency, to weed out and bring to book all corrupt officials starting from Charles Owusu Bissue who has undermine our collective fight illegal mining.”

The Inter-Ministerial Committee on illegal mining was set up to oversee the implementation of the ban on all forms of small scale mining and also see to the vetting of small scale miners.

The secretariat has also been hit by alleged bribery and corruption in Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ exposé on illegal mining.

It was commissioned in March 2017 by President Akufo-Addo to reform artisanal and small-scale mining in the country.

It was also aimed at developing a roadmap towards lifting an indefinite ban on small scale mining that lasted for about 21 months.

The team was also supposed to vet registered small scale miners in the country to streamline their operations and make recommendations to the President to lift the ban on illegal mining.

Fight against illegal mining failing – Media Coalition

The Media Coalition against illegal mining had also described the fight against illegal mining, popularly known as ‘galamsey’, as an ailing one. 

The Convener of the group, Ken Ashigbey blames what he describes as lenient, sentences handed to persons arrested for engaging in illegal mining.

Mr Ashigbey said the systemic failures must be addressed. 

“Government together with the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources came up with the multi-sectoral integrated project and we replaced that with an inter-ministerial taskforce which then introduced elements which were not constitutionally mandated people to really handle it which was almost like a stop gap measure.  The ministerial committee took out various elements of them and tried implementing it.”

“I think that was a major failure.  Another failure was also about the fact that the justice delivery system happened to be the weakest link in the whole chain because people were arrested and they were released with the tap on a finger. So I am sure that it became a demotivating factor for the people who were integrated to really fight. I am sure that at that particular time, we lost a bit of the fight”, he added.  

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