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General News of Thursday, 1 February 2018


Call for shooting galamseyers extreme – Ken Ashigbey

The Media Coalition against galamsey has described as extreme the proposal that recalcitrant illegal miners be shot.

The first Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joe Osei Owusu, has said in an exclusive interview with Starr News’ Parliamentary Correspondent Ibrahim Alhassan that shooting illegal miners can be an effective way of dealing with the illegal mining menace.

His comment comes in the wake of disclosure by the anti-galamsey task force; Operation Vanguard that it is unhappy about what it said was the courts leniency in dealing with illegal miners brought before them.

According to the Commander of the task force, Colonel Michael Amoah Ayisi, if the situation lingers, illegal miners and their financiers will be motivated to act with impunity.

The task force since its composition last year has arrested some 983 illegal miners, violating the government’s ban on small-scale mining. Twelve Chinese and four Burkinabes are among those arrested by the eight-month-old operation.

Only 95 suspects from the 983, representing less than 10% have been convicted.

Commenting on the call by the First Deputy Speaker, Ken Ashigbey, the convener for the Coalition said despite the slow pace in punishing perpetrators of the act, the call for shooting is not the best.

“I can feel the pain of the Honourable Member of Parliament that some of the people are so recalcitrant that we need to be tough on them. I don’t think I will go as much as saying that we should do anything that is extra judicial,” he stated.

“I will say we should use the law to be able to deal with these recalcitrant people,” he stressed despite indicating that he completely agreed with the First Deputy Speaker.

He continued, “We need to get all of us thinking like the way he is thinking. I will not go as far as say shoot…but we need to make sure that the punishment when they are meted out are so severe that they are deterred.”