President of the Concerned Small Scale Miners Association Michael Kwadwo Peprah says they are ever willing to help government retrieve the ‘missing’ excavators.
According to him, the Association has been able to trace some of the ‘missing’ excavators to Navrongo where they are in the possession of one Alhaji who claims the machines were sold to him.
Other machines, he alleged are being rented out to illegal miners.
“So if somebody is engaging in illegality per what they are saying, and then you seize the machine leaving all these pits behind and then these machines are sold or given to another prospective galamsey miner, then what is the point?” he queried.
Aside from the excavators, pickups, and cars seized by the authority in an effort to clamp down on galamsey activities have also allegedly gone missing.
Mr Peprah told Samson Lardy Anyenini on Joy News’ Newsfile Saturday, that the Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister, Professor Frimpong Boateng should be called to order over the missing machines.
The Minister and chairperson for the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM) recently disclosed that most of the excavators that were seized from illegal miners have vanished.
“The task force seized a lot of excavators and kept them at the various offices, we sent people to talk to the district assemblies, we got vanguard involved and we realized most of the excavators have disappeared,” he told Daniel Dadzie on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show.
Reacting to the revelation, Mr Peprah said the Minister had a duty to keep an inventory of all the seized machines so he should not be allowed to go scot-free without explaining how the machines got ‘missing’.
He further stated that the Association has been reporting their findings to the Chairman of the Inter-ministerial Committee; however, no efforts are being made to get to the bottom of their complaints.
“We report back to him what we have found and sometimes they tell you that ‘o don’t worry, you go, we’re going to work on it’ and nothing is done,” he said.
“We have evidence and even if they should invite us today we are willing to come, and we are willing to also try and retrieve those machines because if we don’t retrieve these machines it means some people are making money from the fight against galamsey.”
“Secondly what do we do with those dug out pits over there because the person is engaging in illegality we can use these machines to cover these pits and another person goes to buy these same machines and use it for the same work?
“If they are willing to call us today, we are willing to furnish them with all the information we have and we’re going to give them leads,” he added emphatically.
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