Shaanxi Mining Ghana Limited(SMGHL), a Chinese company operating in the Upper East with a small scale mining license appears to be getting away with murder aside their offenses of illegalities and tax evasion which were earlier published separately by this newspaper.
The Chief Crime Officer in the Talensi district, Chief Superintendent Sampson Agbeko in an interview with this reporter affirmed that contrary to claims that the Chinese operations has resulted in the deaths of 61 people, the official records of reported deaths at Shaanxi’s mine site since 2013 to 2019 is rather 31. Readers will recall that the last count was the recent ‘target blast’ on 23rd January 2019 this year which took 17 lives of local miners when the Chinese blasted dynamite underground and yet, strangely enough no proper criminal investigations were conducted into this deaths to merit some kind of conviction or even compensation.
According to the Regional Police Commander DCOP Duku who also spoke to this reporter in respect of the last accident which took the 17 lives, he said, the police command had barely started criminal investigations into the matter when the docket was asked to be forwarded to Accra for experts at the Minerals Commission to continue the investigations.
Meanwhile, in the Minerals Commission’s own final investigation report on the last 17 deaths which was read by the sector Minister Asomah-Cheremeh at a press conference in Accra, the Commission found the Chinese guilty on five different counts of non-compliance, negligence and bad practices and slapped them with a $50,000 fine, $10,000 for each count to be paid to the Minerals Commission.Sadly, though Shaanxi was found guilty for their actions which led to the 17 people dying, no recommendations were made in that report for compensation to be paid for the lives lost through “negligence and bad practices” on the part of the Chinese as captured in that report.When the sector Minister was quizzed by a journalist at the press conference about how come the report didn’t capture compensation for the deceased since Shaanxi was charged with negligence and bad practices which resulted in the death of the 17, the Minister retorted saying; “when armed robber goes to rob a bank and gets shot and killed in the process do they ask for compensation?”. That was quite an unfortunate statement from a government official who is supposed to be serving the interest of his people. There have been several reports of boundary disputes and several allegations of encroachment levelled against Shaanxi of which one of Minerals Commission’s own investigative report indicted Shaanxi for trespass and encroachment so the Minister’s answer could least be described as unpatriotic.Meanwhile, in the Government of Ghana contract/license with Pubortaaba and Yenyeya Small Scale Mining Group, the ‘sold license’ which Shaanxi is operating with now, section (3) of that contract under LIABILITY FOR DAMAGE OR INJURY it states that: The License shall be liable for any actionable damage, loss or injury caused to any person, property or interest as a result of the exercise by the License.Elsewhere in Tanzania, court sentenced the Chinese ‘Ivory Queen’ to 15 years jail term for killing elephants for their tusk but in Ghana 31 people are killed through the Chinese ‘negligence and bad mining practices’ and the deceased are labelled “armed robbers”??.Stay Tune