Government will continue to burn excavators— Dr Afriyie threatens ‘galamseyers’
The government will continue to burn excavators being used and seized for illegal mining popularly known as galamsey, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation (MESTI), Dr Kwaku Afriyie, has said.
According to him, burning the excavators is the best way to reduce illegal mining activities, since other approaches have failed to end the menace.
In an interview with the media in Accra, Dr Afriyie stated that those who disagree with the move of burning the excavators can take the government to court.
The Minister who doubles as the Member of Parliament for Sefwi Wiawso in the Western North Region indicated that going through the court processes to decide the fate of seized excavators would delay and frustrate the fight against illegal mining which was currently destroying water bodies and forests in the country.
“Concerning the burning of excavators if you look at the amendments that were made to the Minerals and Mining Act, it shows very clearly how when someone engages in illegal mining the state goes through the law court to find a way of disposing of the excavators involved in the act of illegal mining.”
“So if we want to burn them or the same state that has put the laws in place to ensure that there is rule of law, turns around to say excavators should be burnt because we are having an issue with illegal mining then what is the use of these laws?” he queried.
Following the due process, Dr Afriyie indicated would help deal with galamsey.
“So we should follow due process and ensure that those who are doing the wrong thing will be dealt with in accordance with the laws that we have set for ourselves as a republic. As an association, we will not endorse such acts of burning anything, it’s awful,” he added.