File photo: The joint task force (JTF) overseeing the nationwide ban on small scale and illegal mining in Ghana, Operation Vanguard

The Association of Small Scale Miners have accused the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government of politicizing the operations on the fight against illegal mining also known as ‘galamsey’.

According to the Association, mining concessions are awarded to only government cronies at the expense of others.

This follows the Former President’s comments about alleged politicization of the fight against galamsey whilst at Atiwa East and West constituency in the Eastern Region.

Speaking on Starr Midday News with Blessing Bless Frimpong, the Group’s President, Michael Peprah lamented that the NPP Government has embarked on targeting those who are not in their party, even though they possess the necessary qualifications and licenses to operate.

 “We at the Association, we knew the mining but here is the case that it was DCE’s who were appointing people to be trained, they train party youth organizers and known faces in the NPP. So this is a fact and you can as well cross check. 

“I have had attacks and as a matter of fact I am even in court with the government because my machine was burnt. Meanwhile I had all my documents and as we are speaking now we are in court just because I am a critic of the government. We have people who are working in the forest reserves with impunity and yet still Operation Vanguard, operation whatever will not go there to even stop them,” Mr. Peprah stated.

He continued: “So these are facts that our former President has spoken about, you know we just have to be candid in this aspect. If we look into the launching of the community mining scheme you will realize that now the community mining does not come with any license. They only launch it for people who are known faces of the party.”

The President further alleged that the bureaucracy in acquiring the license the Minister will have to know you before he signed it.

“Recently the Minister met some people and said he has only signed 99 licenses for some people which we knew their party affiliations. When we speak it is not something they will want to listen to any suggestion we are bringing on board and that is the problem that has made us not able to fight this galamsey problem. Now Ghana is as well facing the consequences,” he added.    

Source: Ghana/