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General News of Saturday, 2 September 2017

Source: Daniel Kaku

Illegal miners invoke 'curses' on Operation Vanguard

Some illegal miners at Kwaminiampa in the Prestea Huni-Valley District of the Western Region have vowed to resist any attempt by anyone to collapse their business.

On 28th August 2017 Operation Vanguard team destroyed machines and properties at Kwaminiampa which has provoked the galamseyers to curse some stakeholders.

The agitated galamseyers took to the streets of Kwaminiampa to invoke curse on some opinion leaders, district executives and security personnel for blocking their source of income

Pouring the libations, they accused some of the security personnel, politicians, and elders of the district of collecting huge sums of money from them to protect their business but failed to honour their promise

Speaking to Energy FM, some of the galamseyers complained that they were not able to cater for their children and families and they don't have any other work to do apart from the galamsey.

The incident happened on the 1st of September 2017, at the three main roundabouts in the Prestea township and later at Kwaminiampa.

A member of the galamseyers, Comrade Samora said that they are not against the work of the Operation Vanguard but the youth are dying of hunger and therefore pleaded with the government to speed up plans to bring back small scale mining so that the unemployed youth can get money to support their family members.

He also added that, the invasion by the Operation Vanguard was politically motivated and therefore advised some folks who are helping the taskforce with bad information to desist from it.

Comrade Samora alleged that the anti-galamsey taskforce aside burning the excavators and mining tools belonging the illegal miners also extorted money from them and also 'stole' their phones.

He therefore, condemned their actions and called on government to ban the activities of Operation Vanguard immediately.

In order to help protect water bodies and save the forests from depletion, the Akufo-Addo-led government has launched a war on illegal small-scale mining (galamsey) which has resulted in a six-month moratorium on all forms of small-scale mining activities in the country.

But some small-scale miners believe that the modus operandi adopted by the government is wrong. They believe the government must delink galamsey from small-scale miners who operate legally (those who operate with license)

Background

The Operation Vanguard is aimed at ensuring that all forms of illegal mining are stopped.

The task force, comprised of 400 security men from the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) and the Police Service and have been divided into three groups to cover the Ashanti, Eastern and Western regions.