A former Minister of Lands and Natural Resources Inusa Fuseini has indicated that the 700 excavators seized from illegal small scale miners (galamsyers) that allegedly went missing dampened the confidence of the general public in the fight against the illegal practice.
He called for a shift from the rhetoric as the country struggles to deal with the menace.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Newsfile on Saturday September 17, Mr Fuseini who is also a former Member of Parliament for Tamale Central said “the missing 700 excavators affected the confidence people had in the fight against galamsey.”
Hundreds of excavators seized from illegal miners went reportedly missing from the warehouse where they were kept.
News of the missing excavators got many, including the media coalition against galamsey and Occupy Ghana, worried.
Calls were made for the missing excavators to be traced and accounted for while persons responsible for the disappearance of the heavy-duty equipment arrested and prosecuted.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) assured that they will investigate the development if they won the 2020 elections.
The Presidential Candidate of the NDC in the 2020 polls, Mr John Mahama speaking at the manifesto launch of the party said if he won the polls his government “will track down and take the excavators that are missing; we will return them to the rightful owners. We will improve the mining sector” he added.
But Minister Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has told the Appointments Committee of Parliament during his vetting on Wednesday February 24 2021 that the Inter-ministerial Committee on Illegal Small Scale Mining told him the number of unaccounted for seized excavators was not up to five hundred.
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Asked the whereabouts of the excavators during his vetting, Mr Jinapor who is Lawmaker for Damongo said “Mr. Chairman, I have had the privilege of interacting with the Inter-ministerial committee on illegal mining and I want to put on record that based on the briefings they have given me, and the documentation they have given me, there were no five hundred excavators missing. They have been very empathetic on that in the briefings to me.
“They said it was the media that put it out there. They have given me some figures. According to their report, they confiscated 209 and they are able to account for 161 excavators.”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana