President Akufo-Addo got it wrong when he suggested that those who believe it is illegal to burn excavators should go to court. The president and his Minister ought to pause a minute and rethink about the decision to burn excavators, according to top notch journalists who were sharing their views on the cacophony of dissenting views regarding whether or not to burn illegal mining equipments on Joy FM/TV Newsfile programme.
Veteran journalist, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, Evans Mensah of Joy Fm, Dzifa Bampoe of 3Fm and Randy Abbey of Metro TV all believe that there is a need to take a second look at the decision to burn excavators and other mining equipments.
On his part, Dr Randy Abbey argued that a clear distinction must be made when it comes to the activities of small scale mining and why some of those whose equipments have burnt are threatening to go to court. He identified three categories:
1. Those who do not have a license but are illegally mining and destroying the environment.
2. Those who have legally acquired licence but have failed to mine in accordance with best practices; leading to the pollution of water bodies and general degradation of the environment.
3. Those who have acquired licence and believe they are mining according to best practices required by law.
The argument is that, unlike the first two groups of people, those who fall within the third group are likely to successfully challenge the burning of their excavators in court.
For instance, a company called Heritage Imperial Limited has been awarded a 50 million dollar judgement debt by the court, on 30th July, 2020 after declaring the actions of the Inter-ministerial taskforce against galamsey illegal.
"Now the court says we should be pay 50 million. Who is going to pay for that money?", The host of Good morning Ghana show asked rhetorically.
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