General News of Tuesday, 6 November 2018
A group in the small scale mining business has expressed their dissatisfaction on government of Ghana on what they describe as poor handling of the ban on illegal mining.
Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Kwaku Asoma Cheremeh earlier hinted that the ban on small scale mining will be lifted by end of 2018.
The Minister who although could not specify the month and day told journalists that plans are underway for a final decision to be made
However a group under the banner Concerned Small Scale Miners Union of Ghana (CSSMUG) say government’s 18 month ban has been nothing but a carefree and crude posture to further its cruel agenda against small scale miners and persons it deems as its political opponents.
“We, the Concerned Small Scale Miners Union of Ghana wish to call the attention of the international community and all well-meaning peoples of the world to the terrorist posture adopted by the Government of Ghana in its supposed fight against illegal mining,” the group stated in a press release dated November, 6, 2018.
The concerned miners also accused government of instituting the Operation Vanguard and the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining “that have become tools of bribery, corruption and torture on innocent Ghanaians.”
The miners claimed although they earlier welcomed the move by government to clamp down on illegal mining through the ban, the ban is now being used by government as a weapon against miners, hence, their disagreement with government.
The concerned miners also alleged that some Americans, who have been commissioned by government, were mining along the Offin River at Amaadaa in the Atwima Mponua District of the Ashanti region.
“At Bekwai and some areas of Manso, government apparatchiks are shamelessly mining for gold in broad day light, shielded by state security while licensed miners live in the anguish of poverty, indebtedness and broken homes,” the claimed.
The miners doubt the genuineness of the government’s intentions in lifting the ban as they allege all the mining concessions have been given out to a mining company called Azuma Mineral Resources.
The miners also lamented over being unable to cater for families, pay the school fees of their wards amongst other things due to the ban.
“We have lost trust in this government and therefore call on all well meaning people to join us in drumming home our frustrations till it realises the potential repercussions of the terrorist path on which it is treading,” the miners stated in the release.