General News of Friday, 31 January 2020
Ghana for years has battled with the activities of illegal mining known as galamsey.
The effect of it on the environment is immense, several water bodies have been polluted making it unsafe for use.
Regardless of the measures put in place, galamsey activities in the country continue with foreigners and locals spearheading its operation. The anti-galamsey task force, Operation Vanguard, which was set – up to hunt down persons who engage in the act, has experienced several challenges.
Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joe Osei Owusu, in 2018, suggested that persons who were caught in the act be shot to serve as a deterrent to others.
He believed that harsh measures are the surest way to win the war against illegal mining.
“The other time I said we should shoot people and people were not happy with that. [But] I still think that the way to deal with recalcitrant people is not to use the regular law system,” he said.
The first Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joe Osei Owusu, has said shooting illegal miners can be an effective way of dealing with the illegal mining menace.
The anti-galamsey task force, Operation Vanguard, recently expressed unhappiness about what it said was the courts leniency in dealing with illegal miners brought before them.
According to the Commander of the task force, Colonel Michael Amoah Ayisi, if the situation lingers, illegal miners and their financiers will be motivated to act with impunity.
The task force since its composition last year has arrested some 983 illegal miners, violating the government’s ban on small-scale mining. Twelve Chinese and four Burkinabes are among those arrested by the eight-month-old operation.
In an exclusive interview with Starr News’ Parliamentary Correspondent, Ibrahim Alhassan, Hon. Osei Owusu prescribed that the only viable way to clamp down on the menace is to be ruthless.
“The other time I said we should shoot people and people were not happy with that. [But] I still think that the way to deal with recalcitrant people is not to use the regular law system,” he proposed.
Blaming the communities for the unending menace, Mr. Osei Owusu said, “Many of them are complicit. They hide the perpetrators in the afternoon and they go in the night to go and destroy the water bodies.”