The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor has refuted claims that the government’s fight against illegal mining, popularly referred to as galamsey is politically motivated.
Members of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) have cast doubt on the government’s renewed anti-galamsey fight in Nana Akufo-Addo’s second term, stating that the failure of the state to remedy the situation in its first term is proof that, the government has failed in the fight.
They have said the efforts to tackle the menace will come to naught if the government continues to handle the practice with party colourization.
However, Mr. Jinpaor dismissed this claim, insisting that the government’s fight against galamsey had no political undertones.
The Minister said the New Patriotic Party (NPP) should have won the election in the mining communities if it had indeed politicized the fight against galamsey.
“The reduction of the noise prior to the election should have inured politically to the advantage of the NPP. The NPP should have won in all the mining communities, but it lost in almost all the mining communities in the Western and Central Region. The loss had to do with the resolve the President had when he put his presidency on the line [to fight galamsey]. That is why he lost in those communities.”
‘We have not lost galamsey fight’
Mr. Jinapor also indicated that the government had introduced stringent measures to end galamsey in various parts of the country.
He believes these measures show that the government has not lost the fight against galamsey.
“We have not lost the fight [against galamsey]. On the contrary, we have put in place a regime responding to the situation forcefully. Today, the sense of impunity in the small-scale mining sector is no more. People were engaging in small-scale mining without a shred of consequence. People who now take a decision to be involved in small-scale mining honestly believe that the state enforcement architecture is now robust enough to respond to it.”