GALAMSEY FIGHT: BURNING EXCAVATORS UNLAWFUL – LAWYER



By Jerry Akornor 


Private Legal Practitioner Bobby Banson has challenged government to immediately provide legal basis for burning excavators in the ongoing galamsey fight and insists the latest practice is absolutely unconstitutional. 

Government re-launched its avowed fight to clamp down of illegal mining activities due to their devastating impacts to lives, water bodies, and national economy. This led to the ban on mining activities in Ghana’s forest reserves, rivers to restore degraded lands and polluted water bodies. It has also led to the deliberate burning of excavators by the galamsey taskforce on the orders of the Defence Minister Dominc Nitiwul, Lands and Natural Resources Minister Samuel Abu Jinapor approved President Akufo-Addo.

But according to Lawyer Boby Banso, the laws of Ghana prescribed arrest and prosecution of illegal miners and not unlawful burning of excavators. He believes the latest burning of excavators is a total disregard for the laws of Ghana. 


Speaking on an Accra-based Tv3 on 1 May 2021, Bobby Banso said “I keep asking myself…have they read the laws before burning excavators? It’s completely unlawful. In any case, what do you get when you burn excavators? You can’t arrest those behind galamsey because they are politicians?”

Contributing to the debate, Mining Consultant Seth Worlasime who expressed shock and disappointment at government’s approach, appealed to government to immediately resource mining sector agencies to fully tackle head-on galamsey. 


Speaking on TV3, Seth Worlasime called on government to “Give money for forming inter-ministerial committee on galamsey to mining sector agencies such as Minerals Commission to execute their mandates”.


In a sharp reaction to the development, Director of Finance at GNAS and a miner Francis Poku said “We support the government on the decision to fight galamsey but not to destroy every mining excavators. We were not consulted when it comes to the military going to burn excavators. We were not aware of that approach. The decision was how to sustain responsible mining”. 

Francis Poku noted that “The soldiers should be very careful because they may destroy property of those who have licenses to operate. Government should know that we also have legitimate right to do things legally”

“Why can’t we focus on water bodies? Government should involve us so there will not be excesses caused by the military. Why do you burn excavators..?”

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