Abdul Malik Kweku Baako

Editor-In-Chief of the New Crusading Guide, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, has disagreed with President Akufo-Addo’s justification of burning of excavators as deterrence for persons engaged in galamsey.

“I do not subscribe to the burning of excavators. If government has come to a conclusion that all the laws are ineffective, and the best way of creating a disincentive or a deterrent is to burn the excavators, then it must proceed to Parliament with a Bill,” he said.

Abdul Malik Kweku Baako was contributing to discussions on JoyNews’ Newsfile Saturday, May 29, on government’s directive for excavators found at mining sites, especially at the banks of water bodies, to be burnt.

“I’ve searched fruitlessly for a provision; whether in the Acts or in the regulations, any provision that actually enables the burning of excavators and other mining equipment and I don’t see it,” Abdul Malik emphasised.

President Akufo-Addo at the sod-cutting ceremony for the construction of phase one of the Law Village Project of the Ghana School of Law, on May 26, 2021, justified the burning of the excavators.

The President said, he disagreed with assertions by some Ghanaians that the ongoing exercise of ridding water bodies and forest zones of harmful equipment and machinery is unlawful and, in some cases, harsh.

He, therefore, charged persons who wish to challenge the decision of the government to proceed to court.

But in response, Kweku Baako argues that government, in a bid to deal with those engaging in the illegality, may end up implicating miners who have lawfully acquired licenses but have their equipment lodging at various mining sites.

“The way and manner it is being done, in that indiscriminate and unfocused manner, is such that even those with valid licences and are doing the right thing, have become victims,” he said.

Addressing other concerns, Kweku Baako criticised the government over its failure to properly account for excavators seized within its four years in office, describing any excuse given in relation to that as an “expression of institutional impotence.”