A burnt excavator

The Attorney General, Godfred Dame, has described the burning of excavators allegedly belonging to the NPP Women’s Organizer, Kate Gyamfuah, as a classic example of fair application of law in the galamsey fight.

“That for me is a classic example of an even, non-discriminatory and fair application of the law. That regardless of who you are, your equipment will be burnt and that’s what we are doing,” he said on JoyNews PM Express Wednesday, June 2.

According to him, burning of the excavators is not illegal and “what we have done is to decommission the equipment.”

As part of efforts to clamp down on the menace in the country, a task force from the Ghana Armed Forces, as part of its ‘Operation Halt’ on Sunday, May 16, 2021, raided some mining sites in Larbikrom, Dompem and Pameng, all in the Atiwa district of the Eastern Region.

It was subsequently reported that about 10 excavators and other mining equipment belonging to the Women’s Organizer, were destroyed at her mining site.

This was after there had been allegations pointing to the involvement of political leaders, particularly from the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the illegal mining activities.

The spokesperson for the Women’s Organizer, Ernest Yaw Kumi insisted that her mining firm, Xtra Gold Mining Limited, has been duly licenced and not involved in illegal mining activities.

Mr Dame who was speaking to Evans Mensah in a one-on-one interview on JoyNews PM Express, said investigations are underway and the law shall deal with culprits regardless of one’s “political, religious or ethnic affiliation.”

“Investigations are underway with respect to that matter, and if indeed we found her to be personally involved, she will be prosecuted.”

The Attorney General, however, acknowledged that the action by the task force may seem harsh on an individual, but was quick to add that the effects of the illegal activities on the nation at large, must be the focus as the destruction to the environment “transcends our generation.”

“I think that yes, it may seem harsh to you and that’s why people are complaining, but what about the far-reaching devastating effect on the nation. This is an activity that has resulted in pollution of our water bodies, the massive destruction of various towns and all, and actually weakened the foundation of certain towns.”

He, therefore, rallied support for the government to ensure no stone is left unturned in the fight, instead of “advocating for recognition of some non-existent rights of persons engaged in the menace.”