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General News of Thursday, 27 May 2021


Small-scale miners hint of going to court over galamsey fight if negotiations with govt fail

Small-scale miners Small-scale miners

• Small-scale miners are engaging the government to address the burning of excavators

• The Association disclosed they will go to court to seek redress

• Some small-scale miners have got their excavators destroyed by the Operation Halt team

Abdul Razack Alhassan, the Spokesperson for the Ghana National Association of Small-Scale Miners, has said his outfit will definitely seek redress in court over governments measures to clamp down galamsey only if negotiations with the government is not successful.

He told Joy FM in an interview monitored by GhanaWeb that, they would have to speak to their lawyers to test the law after President Akufo-Addo defended the drastic measures taken by his government to end galamsey operations in the country.

“We have three arms of government which are the Legislature, Judiciary and the Executive so if that is the position of the Executive that this is the way to go, I think we as Small-scale miners too will talk to our lawyers to test the law, whether what he is saying is true," he said.

When asked if the Association will go to court?

Alhassan responded, "If the need be. We are using all the avenues; we are engaging the government. If it will be necessary for us to go to court, we are ready to go.”

He disclosed that, currently negotiations are being held between the Association and Lands Minister, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor to address the burning of excavators owned by some of its members during Operation Halt.

“He has given us the [assurance] that he will engage with that concessioner to see the way forward. That is why I said, we will use all the avenues, when we are exhausted with them and we are not getting the headway, we will move to court.

“Everything has been cleared to us today to us as small-scale miners because the initial communique we had, the direction was not to burn excavators but today, it has become clear from the President himself that he is ready for any action towards the court,” Alhassan said.

President Akufo-Addo on Wednesday, May 26, 2021, noted that the state agencies are justified in destroying confiscated excavators from individuals and companies found mining in water bodies and forest reserves despite its ban.

“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 would 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,” he stated.