The opposition National Democratic Congress has added its voice to the burning of about 16 excavators, a bulldozer and other mining equipment belonging to mining firm Xtra Gold Ghana Mining Limited.
The opposition party says it agrees that the menace of illegal mining (Galamsey) is in no doubt polluting and destroying water bodies and forest reserves and must therefore be condemned by all.
The party, however, says it condemns the way and manner in which the new anti-galamsey taskforce is fighting the menace.
In a statement released by the party’s Eastern Regional Communications Officer, Darlas Ampomah Williams, it particularly condemned the burning of equipment of Xtra Gold.
“We believe that such a national endeavour should be done in a transparent, accountable and sincere manner, with a visible chain of custody of equipment and other evidence…the random irregular burning of excavators found on mining site by the taskforce is not a sustainable way and must ceased forthwith. Such an approach, akin to mob justice, is open to abuses and presents itself as a tool in the hands of powerful political entities in the pursuit of personal vendetta,” the party said.
“For example, it has come to the attention of the Eastern Regional Secretariat of the NDC that the new Taskforce against illegal mining burnt a number of excavators, 1 bulldozer belonging to Xtra Gold Mining Ltd, at Akyem Akropong in the Atiwa west District.
“It is also instructive to note that, it has emerged that Ms Kate Gyamfua, the National Women’s Organizer for the NPP is designated as the General Manager for Xtra Gold. It is public knowledge how Ms Kate Gyamfua has bemoaned the horrible state of other roads in the Eastern Region apart from the hometowns of the President and his cousin, the roads minister, and personally called him out to act without discrimination. This is few weeks before her company’s equipment were burnt down,” the party added.
The opposition party stated that the burning of the equipment of Xtra Gold leaves some questions to be answered by the government and actors leading the fight against galamsey.
“The mining activities of Kate Gyamfua and other National and Regional Executives are publicly known in the region. How come only Kate Gyamfua has been a victim? Will such a scapegoating strategy help fight the menace?”
“What happens after the burning of the equipment? Mining activities are sociomaterial. The equipment don’t automatically move. There are humans who moved them and benefit from the activities. So far materials are being burnt down, we are yet to see the arrest and prosecution of Ms Kate Gyamfua if indeed she and her company is in defiance of Presidential directives. When will this happen?” the party asked.
It continued: “We have sighted documents from Xtra Gold that suggests their activities are legit even as recent as this year. Is this action by the anti-galamsey team part of a conspiracy to undeservedly propitiate ‘judgement debt’ from a deliberate illegality from state actors?”
“As it stands now, the current supposed fight is more symbolic than functional and it’s bound to fail just like the previous symbolic attempts. The President, his officers, family members and NPP party galamsey aficionados are only leveraging on the genuine anger of Ghanaians and collective resolve to deal with the menace, to protect their galamsey kingpins, whilst using a few of them who have fallen out with them as scapegoats. This must stop immediately,” the statement added.