In an attempt to defend a promise made by the flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Joyce Bawa Mogtari, a former Deputy Minister of Transport has questioned why Ghanaians arrested for engaging in galamsey are jailed while foreigners are left off the hook.
According to her, Ghanaian indigenes engaged in various forms of galamsey across the country have to some extent, right to the lands in question.
Making reference to Aisha Huang, a Chinese galamsey kingpin who was freed and deported without standing trial for the charges that were leveled against her, Joyce Bawa said, “if kingpins of galamsey like Aisha Huang are set free, why should Ghanaian indigenes, who have rights to those lands be serving 2-year sentences?”
Joyce Bawa Mogtari was speaking during a panel discussion on Face-to-Face on CitiNews.
Her comments come as a defense to a promise made by former president John Dramani Mahama to free all jailed Ghanaian galamsey operators if he’s re-elected to complete his second term as president.
Joyce Bawa further argued that some of the galamsey cases ought to be reinvestigated as the persons involved were unfairly treated.
“Some of the cases of galamsey will need to be revisited and reinvestigated. Some of these people have been unfairly held against their will. In my opinion, persons arrested for galamsey offences can first be fined, and then, if you’re unable to pay, you are made to serve a prison sentence. There were undertones of politics in the galamsey issue,” Citinewsroom.com quoted her.
Adding that; “Galamsey has had its very dire ramifications on the environment, on water bodies and many others, and yes, there was a time when these people were supposed to pay fines or be convicted. But Mr. Mahama has a policy for small scale miners to continue to be granted these licenses but will be monitored, so they can undertake responsible mining.”
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