Senior Vice President of IMANI Africa, Kofi Bentil says Ghana is losing the fight against galamsey because the proceeds from their activities are used to fund political campaigns.
Speaking on Joy FM’s news analysis programme ‘NewsFile’ on the circumstances leading to the missing of some seized excavators from the galamsey sites, Kofi Bentil said the country is not serious about the fight.
Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng Minister for Environment, Science, Technology & Innovation and also Chairperson for the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM) this week disclosed that most of the excavators that were seized from illegal miners have vanished.
It will be recalled that last year the GALAMSTOP, a taskforce set up by the Small Scale Mining Association to fight illegal mining seized about 500 excavators from these illegal miners.
These machines were kept at various district assemblies but Prof. Frimpong Boateng said most of them have disappeared.
“The task force seized a lot of excavators and kept them at the various offices, we sent people to talk to the district assemblies, we got vanguard involved and we realized most of the excavators have disappeared,” he said on the Joy Super Morning Show.
The most talked-about case of a disappearance of an excavator was when the Tarkwa Divisional Police Command commenced investigations leading to the burning of an exhibit excavator valued at GH¢500,000 which was in the custody of GALAMSTOP.
Commenting on the disappearance of the excavators, Kofi Bentil said there is only one way to solve the galamsey menace.
According to him, the most effective way to do so is District Chief Executives in areas where galamsey is still ongoing to be sacked for the action.
“There is only one way to solve galamsey, that is making a simple rule that where illegal mining is found the DC should be sacked, do you know why that will not be done?..”
He noted that most of these activities cannot be stopped because politicians benefit from it.
“..it will not be done because too many of our leaders are involved in galamsey, too many politicians are funded from galamsey money. Most of the people involved in galamsey have too much power in this country, so we won’t win the fight against galamsey. When they formed operation Vanguard I said that the same group of people will become the enablers, what happened? we are not serious about galamsey because our leaders are involved.”
Kofi Bentil has also advised political leaders to be wary of their action because similar things happened in Seria Leone which ended in chaos for the country.
“There are times that it almost reckless to give the true picture and what can happen, I can tell you from our study of what happened in Seria Leone especially, galamsey caused the country to collapsed because the people found out that the diamonds were going and they were not benefiting from it, those rebels started as galamsey people, and they armed themselves to protect the operations of mining the diamonds and it turned into something else, our leaders may think that right now they are benefiting….. excavators are the single largest equipment that has been imported into this country for the past ten years, thousands of excavators what are we doing with them?” he questions.