Defense Minister Dominic Nitiwul has refuted the allegation of harassment on some small scale miners by the Ghana Armed Forces.
Speaking at a press briefing, Tuesday, the Minister insisted that the military officials sent out by the incumbent government to clamp down on illegal mining do not go intimidating miners who have legit license to operate.
According to him, the over 200 military officials are fully briefed and complying with the rules of engagement laid down by the government, therefore, small scale miners who comply with the instructions are not disturbed.
“I am not aware of soldiers who have harassed any small scale mining who is doing legitimate business, in fact, the soldiers are operating within the 100 meters radius.
Earlier on Monday, the association of small scale mining accused the military of unjustly destroying excavators and other mining equipment of members at a site closer to the River Pra, stating that it had not breached the conditions provided by the government.
Debunking the assertion, Mr Nitiwul, indicated that excavators and other equipment are destroyed if miners are caught working within the 100 meters range.
He says, “If you have a license and you find yourself mining within the 100 meters radius, you are doing an illegal thing the soldiers are supposed to destroy any equipment mining within the river body of 100 meters radius. They are not going to ask you for your license or you don’t have a license it as simple as that, once you are caught in the red zone it doesn’t matter who you are they will destroy your equipment.
“The soldiers are responsible people, they don’t enjoy going to destroy equipment worth two hundred dallors and over, in fact if for something they will want to help us fix our roads but we can not as a state sit and allow our water bodies remain what they are,” he added.
He further pleaded with small scale miners to desist from mining in a proximity to river bodies.
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