The Ghana National Association of Small Scale Mining is skeptical about the fight against illegal mining in the country.

According to the Association, the campaign being waged by President Nana Akufo-Addo will be an exercise in futility if the cartel behind galamsey is not exposed.

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Operations Director of the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Mining, Mr Emmanuel Yirenkyi Antwi disclosed this while reacting to comments made by Senior Minister, Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo about Chinese illegal mining ‘queen’ En Huang, popularly known as Aisha.

Illegal miners

Aisha, who was arraigned in Ghana in 2017 for engaging in galamsey at Bepotenten in the Amansie Central District in the Ashanti Region, was later deported in December 2018 by the government.

Her release shocked many, especially the small scale miners whose members are also facing trial for a similar offense.

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Justifying why the ‘Chinese Galamsey Queen’ was released, Mr Osafo-Maafo said jailing her would have affected Ghana’s diplomatic ties with China.

The Senior Minister has been
lampooned by civil society groups and political parties who believe his comment
makes mockery of President Akufo-Addo’s fight against galamsey.

In support, Mr Antwi said Mr Osafo-Maafo’s comment has created a credibility and integrity challenge for government’s resolve to fight galamsey.

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He noted that jailing Aisha would have served as a disincentive for the impunity being perpetrated by foreigners in Ghana.

The small scale miner said prosecuting
Aisha would have exposed those connected to her network.

“Jailing Aisha would have solved 50 percent of galamsey problems in this country. She has been a thorn in our flesh,” he bemoaned.

Mr Antwi said it is obvious the government does not respect small scale miners.

“Our licenses were revoked due to this menace but these Chinese were allowed to work. Government has really taken us for granted,” he fumed.

Mr Antwi said “until our laws work, foreigners will continue to take Ghana for granted.”

Source: Ghana||Adwoa Gyasiwaa Agyeman

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