Political kingpins sabotaging gov’t over fight against ‘galamsey

It has emerged that almost all the illegal small-scale mining concessions in the eight mining prone regions in the country are being owned by some former and current ministers, Members of Parliament (MPs), District Chief Executives (DCEs), Municipal Chief Executives (MCEs) national, regional and constituency executives of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and some members of opposition political parties.

Today scout can authoritatively reveal without fear that these top political kingpins have been able to “buy” a cream of the police and military personnel, paving way for their employees (galamseyers) to continue with their illegal activities at midnight, making the government to still struggle to fight illegal small- scale mining, popularly known as galamsey.

In Amenfi East District in the Western Region, Today has been reliably informed that the illegal miners who were employed by some top politicians (names withheld), despite the ban on galamsey, were still complicit in the act.

Galamseyers in Amenfi East District with their links, our scouts say, are able to pay huge sums of monies to the police and military personnel so that they remain untouchable in their trade. Even after their arrest, they are able to get them released.

A galamsey king pin from Gyedua in the Western Region, Kwaku Abora, who also doubles as a mediator between galamseyers and police and military personnel, noted that in spite of the ban on illegal mining activities, the hide-and- seek deal continues.

According to him, by an agreement with the galamseyers and the national security personnel, they have generated ‘special’ identification cards, which identify members of the cartel from others, making them untouchable.

He noted that each card cost more than GH¢10,000 depending on the nationality of the person, with the Chinese, some of whom are still on the ground mining, paying more.

The new strategy for people eager to continue is linked up with the Chinese, according to Aborah, before one can be successful in the business, since the Chinese are more resourced and experienced, having himself worked with one of them at his concession.

‘’The Akans say if you know how to wash your hands, you dine with elders, some of us we know how to push things through, we have our own way of dealing with the Vanguard, so you have nothing to worry about… me when I am working, there is no way Vanguard will come and hunt me, because we have our own means of dealing with them,” Kwaku Aborah said.

“Physically impaired, (name withheld) apart from being the mediator between galamseyers and the Operation Vanguard is also noted for mediating between land owners and Chinese galamseyers; he negotiates for concession acquisition for the Chinese, where he takes not less than GH¢30,000 as goodwill and 20 per cent cut from proceeds generated from the galamseyers,” he revealed.

However, this paper’s investigations at some sensitive mining areas in Amenfi East revealed that some police and military personnel are the ones who allegedly fronts for most of the bribery deals for galamseyers who are for the top politicians.

Today also learnt that some Municipal Chief Executives (MCEs) have had mining concessions at Amaningkrom and Asuogya Krobo, which are being mined by some individuals.

Today gathered that some top regional executives of the ruling NPP and NDC in the Western Region also have their own concessions at Aserewadi Range Forest, Gyedua, Adansie, Nkontabuo Supanso, Anyinabrem, Wassa Kumasi, Dwokwaa and Hemang respectively.

 

Minerals & Mining with Freeman Koryekpor AWLESU

 

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