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General News of Thursday, 10 August 2017


Sue the government – Chairman Wontumi to owners of burnt excavators

The Ashanti Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Bernard Antwi Boasiako has said the burning of excavators by the Anti-Galamsey Task Force in their quest to control the growing illegal mining practice was not necessary.

The National Anti-Galamsey Task force reportedly set fire to about 10 excavators after visiting some mining sites at Akyem-Banso and Kwabeng in the Eastern Region, as well as the Extra Gold Company.

Responding to this development, Chairman Wontumi described the action as ‘unfair’ and ‘unlawful and advised that the victims must take legal action against the government for allowing such to happen.

“They should go to court and sue government. Inasmuch as we are fighting against illegal mining, it is uncivilized to burn excavators while we can use that to work. Whoever is responsible must be identified and [must] face the law. I have been a victim and will never support this barbaric act,” he advised.

“I will tell the man to be patient and take the matter to court. Take the government to court and whoever is responsible for setting fire to these machines must be identified and dealt with according to the law. You can’t just set fire to somebody’s property. I have experienced some before in the hands of the NDC and I was not happy about it at all, so I won’t support something that is not right,” he said.

One owner of the burnt excavators, at the brink of tears, channelled his anger and frustration to the government saying,” Look at the way they are burning my machine. Look at my machine. Why? Should I go and steal? I sacrificed a lot for this party, NPP. You can ask anybody in Akwatia and look at how they are burning my machine, look at the other one too. What do you want us to do? Do you want us to go and steal?” he quizzed.

He added that “we help a party this way, hoping to get some good returns and look how you repay us. What kind of government is this? Why do you do that? Is that how you handle issues? What are we looking for in this world? Now a machine I rented for business has been burnt down, how am I going to pay for it? Right now what do I do, “he repeatedly said.

According to the Minerals and Mining Act 2015, Section 99 under Offences and Penalties which states that seized equipment must be kept in the custody of the police, the act is unauthorized.