some of the items destroyed
Tension is mounting at Prestea, a mining town in the Western Region as members of the Small Scale Miners Association in the area have vowed to resist further mistreatment by some persons believed to be security personnel.
According to the small-scale miners, the alleged security personnel had been contracted by a mining company in the area to harass the small-scale miners to enable the company extend its operations from its concession in the Nzema East municipality to the Prestea area.
The small-scale miners added that even though the mining company’s concession was located in the Nzema East Municipality in terms of proximity, the owner of the mining company passes through Prestea when going to the concession.
According to them, the mining company claims that the small-scale miners in Prestea do not have licence to operate but were mining on the company’s concession.
However, speaking to DAILY GUIDE in an interview, Nuhu Mustapha, Secretary to the Small-Scale Miners Association in Prestea, stressed that members of the association had the required license to operate.
He noted that the small-scale miners adhered to the constitutional requirements associated with their business, and added that they would continue to support their communities and make positive impact towards their areas’ development.
He pointed out that members of the association also followed all environmental precautions and demands in their operations.
Mustapha told DAILY GUIDE that on December 17, 2015 the alleged security personnel embarked on an operation at the sites of the members of the association, which resulted in the small-scale miners being brutalized, arrested and manhandled.
He indicated that the security personnel made away with their valuables and seized their machines and items on sight.
According to Nuhu Mustapha, the company that masterminded the raids did not have documents covering the concession located in the Nzema East Municipality, but was rather using someone’s license to operate.
He therefore appealed to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) to, as a matter of urgency, bring the security personnel to order and institute investigation into the matter.
The Prestea District Commander of the Ghana Police Service, Supt Timothy Dasah pointed out that there was an operation on December 17 by some police personnel from the region and that administratively the area where the operation took place was not under his jurisdiction.
He indicated that the case was being handled by the regional police command. Efforts to get a reaction from the command were not successful.
From Emmanuel Opoku, Takoradi