Kweku Baako has disagreed with the President’s Akufo-Addo’s order for the burning of excavators as a way to deal with illegal mining.
The President’s go to court statement on the back of their “burn-on-sight” policy has generated a lot of debates as some have described it as him endorsing illegality.
Sharing his views on the President’s go-to-court statement, he said he disagrees with the burning of the excavators.
According to him, the indiscriminate manner in which the exercise is being done will not help the situation because those who will go to court will be those with licence but their mining equipment we burnt.
“I disagree with the president. Those who will end up going to court are those who feel they have been unfairly treated. I think the challenge is with the methods being applied.”
“To be honest with you, I don’t believe in the burning of the excavators,” he added.
OccupyGhana has also added its voice to calls for President Nana Akufo-Addo to rescind his directive to military men carrying out Operation Halt II to burn excavators and other mining machines on site.
In a statement, the pressure group that is made up of Ghana’s elite professionals also said the President is wrong to justifying the controversial burning of the mining equipment.
The President had said recently that those who believe the torching of the heavy equipment as part of a clampdown on illegal mining activities along rivers and in forests can go to court to test the law.
However, OccupyGhana disagrees.
“The President knows that he is wrong, and that Ghana law on ‘tainted property’ (which is what the excavators are) does not authorise the government’s ‘burn-on-sight’ policy. In each of the 2006 Minerals and Mining Act (as amended), the 2010 EOCO Act, the 2017 Office of the Special Prosecutor Act and the 2020 Narcotics Control Commission Act, special provisions are made on how ‘tainted property’ (defined to include property that is used to commit a crime) may be seized and then confiscated to the state by court orders. The current ‘burn-on-sight’ policy would mean that all of those properties could be set on fire on sight, a clear breach of the relevant laws. No one needs a court to say that to Ghanaians. We know it. The President knows it. We challenge the President to follow the law.”