The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu has urged members of the ‘Operation Halt’ task force to arrest and prosecute persons who own up for burnt excavators at mining sites.
The President, Nana Akufo-Addo, has come under heavy criticism for endorsing the burning of excavators with some describing the act as lawless.
The President has however challenged persons who find fault in the actions of the military officers to seek redress in court.
Speaking in a yet-to-be aired on The Chamber show on Citi TV, the Suame MP said the task force resorted to the burning of equipment due to the difficulty in arresting the illegal miners.
“These ‘galamsayers’ whatever they get, I am not too sure they do any declaration in order to pay any taxes. They smuggle them out to Dubai, India, China, and the likes, but the nation is rendered the poorer. The law provides that when you see them, you should arrest them, but here is the case before the military gets there, they run away and disable the equipment. What do you do? You burn it and somebody says it’s mine.”
“If you burn it and somebody says it’s mine, arrest the person and let’s prosecute the person and subject that person to the full rigors of the law.”
President Akufo-Addo, who has asked persons dissatisfied with the government’s approach in dealing with the ‘galamsey’ menace, particularly the burning of excavators and other equipment to “go to court, says he remains strongly opposed to 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.