Galamsey fight: Sue state if military unlawfully destroys mining equipment – Steve Manteaw

Excavators 34 Dr. Manteaw says the burning of equipments could result in the destruction of legal properties

Wed, 12 May 2021 Source: angelonline.com.gh

A former Chairman of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) has warned military operatives executing President Akufo-Addo’s directive on the removal of persons and equipment involved in illegal mining, to be cautious in their duties.

According to Dr. Steve Manteaw, the slapdash removal and burning of the equipment—particularly excavators—used at the mining sites, could result in the destruction of properties of legal concessionaires which is tantamount to an illegality on the part of the state and is liable to a penalty.

“What is worrying is the innocent citizens who would secure loans to buy the equipment for their activities and these equipment would be burned. Under such circumstances they can sue the state and be given compensations, provided they can prove with evidence their right to the concession,” Dr. Manteaw said in an interview with Kwamina Sam Biney on Angel FM’s Anɔpa Bɔfoɔ morning show.

Addressing the situation of losses that the state would incur under such circumstances in its bid to restore order in the mining industry, the former PIAC chairman noted that but for persons who would adopt dubious means to get back the properties, it would have been more appropriate to confiscate the equipment and distribute them among assemblies and institutions for work.

To prevent such losses from occurring he suggested that authorities involved in the allocation of mining concessions, including the Minerals Commission, accompany the task force to guarantee that miners have rights to concessions.

He added “Or the Military could be given the database of all concessionaires operating so that they can cross-check information provided for assurance.

“People with concession rights can also put up signposts indicating their concession numbers which the soldiers can check digitally for proof via WhatsApp messages to the authorities for checks.”

He however is in support of the current mode of operation where equipments are immediately destroyed to avoid auctioning processes through which the offenders are capable of buying back the equipment, according to him.

Source: angelonline.com.gh
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