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Galamsey Minister’s’ Office Bugged Featured

Published in politics Tuesday, 11 July 2017 07:39

By Adu Koranteng

According to the Minister of Lands, Forestry and Mines, the discovery of the hidden camera in his office   “is quite shocking”.

According to him, “It is a caution for us to be careful in the environment we are working in. I am not too surprised; but it is an interesting thing that has been uncovered.

He said  “The fight against illegal mining is a presidential directive. The President gave this directive that we must keep the environment and  I am not doing this alone, I am doing it with other sector Ministers so it is a caution that we should be extra careful”.

The device, according to the Minister, was discovered after a screening process at the Ministry.

It is however unclear who planted the device there, when it was installed and for what purpose, although the National Security Ministry has began investigations into it.

The Minister, who has been championing the fight against illegal mining since he assumed his role, has taken some drastic measures, including placing a six-month ban on small scale mining to sanitize the industry.

Many Ghanaians survive on illegal mining activities, which are also backed by some traditional authorities, politicians and other influential persons in society.

The fight against the menace is therefore considered quite complicated, due to the widespread interests.

In a related development, the Ministry of Environment Science and Technology is considering tagging every excavator in the country in a bid to track the movement of these heavy machines and prevent them from being used for illegal mining.

The Minister, Prof. Frimpong Boateng revealed the proposal at a conference in Accra with Chiefs to consider innovative ways of fighting illegal mining.

According to the Lands and Natural Resources Minister, John Peter Amewu, more than 60% of earth-moving equipment imported into thecountry end up deep in the forest.

In April, more than 500 excavators were reportedly removed from illegal mining sites after the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry issued a 3-week ultimatum to illegal miners to leave the sites.Questions have been raised about how the excavators intended for road construction have become a symbol of illegal mining in Ghana.

There have been reports of excavators leveling cocoa farms to allow illegal miners to rave resource-rich tracts of lands.It is believed, foreigners finance the importation of the equipment which  cost about 2,000 cedis to rent.Prof. Frimpong Boateng said one way to prevent the destructive use of excavators will be to tag the machines and feed data into a GPS.

This will enable the Ministry to track in an instant, the use and location of the earth-moving equipment.&…through our system we will see that this machine is officially doing construction and not mining' he explained.Peter Amewu at one time suggested that impounded excavators ought to be blown up the same way cocaine and illicit drugs are destroyed by the Food and Drugs Authority.

Read 107 times Last modified on Tuesday, 11 July 2017 07:55

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