(SONA): No Guilty Person Will Be Shielded In Missing Excavators scandal

President Akufo-Addoi has promised that anybody who will be found culpable in the matter of the missing excavators seized from illegal miners, will be penalized.

Delivering the State of the Nation Address today, he said the Police are investigating the scandal and that anybody that will be found guilty will be made to face the music irrespective of party affiliation.

“No one involved will be shielded, no matter what their positions or political colours are,” he said.

Reporting on the progress of the fight against illegal mining, also known as ‘galamsey’ the President said there had been many successes chalked.

“The Inter-Ministerial Committee Against Illegal Mining has been working hard, and has had some successes. Under the auspices of this Committee, the Ministry of Local Government has formulated, and is implementing, the Alternative Livelihood Programme in thirty-five (35) severely affected “galamsey” Districts across the country.

“Last year, five hundred (500) youth, mainly engaged in illegal mining, were trained and graduated in vocational and technical skills from Community Development Vocational and Technical Institutions. They have been provided with start-up tools and equipment. An additional six hundred and seven (607) youth are currently undergoing similar training, two hundred and forty (240) of whom are in the Community Development Institutions, whilst three hundred and sixty-seven (367) are attached to Master Craftsmen through apprenticeship at the community level.  

“Operation Vanguard has been largely successful, even though problems still remain. Mining with impunity on water bodies and in forest reserves has declined. More than four thousand (4,000) miners have received training in sustainable mining. The number of individuals, dying in collapsed mining tunnels and pits in the few unauthorized locations left, has reduced by more than ninety percent (90%). Operation Vanguard has been particularly effective in helping to restore the order which has permitted the reopening of the famous Obuasi mine of Anglogold Ashanti.

“The Community Mining Programme has been well received by the population, and young men and women, who did not have the resources to acquire concessions and excavators and other mining inputs, and, therefore, had to do ‘galamsey’, have moved into legal community mining.

“Now, more than twenty-thousand (20,000) individuals are earning their incomes legitimately in the community mines in Akrofuom, Atwima Nwabiagya, Atwima Mponua, Adansi North, Amansie Central, Wassa Amenfi East and Wa East Districts. Since the introduction of the Community Mining Programme, there have been no deaths due to the collapse of tunnels and pits.

“The Inter-Ministerial Committee, along with Operation Vanguard, were determined to disrupt galamsey activities, by confiscating equipment that were employed in these activities. In this regard, 12,000 “changfan” machines that go on the river and scoop up the riverbed were seized and destroyed on site. Some excavators were also seized, and a number of them have gone missing. The Police have arrested and charged some of the alleged culprits, and investigations are ongoing.”

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