Jail for galamsey now reserved for only poor Ghanaians – CDD Boss bemoans
Following the imprisonment of two illegal miners for unlawfully entering and mining in a forest reserve in the Ashanti Region, Prof H. Kwasi Prempeh, Executive Director of the Centre for Democratic Development ( CDD-Ghana), has lashed out at the justice delivery system, saying that imprisonment was only meant for poor Ghanaians while rich offenders often escape jail.
“Jail as punishment for galamsey is obviously reserved for poor Ghanaians,” Prof Prempeh wrote on Facebook page sighted by MyNewsGh.com
His criticism comes at a time high profile personalities implicated in illegal mining such as Aisha Huang and Halen Huang have been set free and deported back to China when the laws allow them to face prosecution in Ghana
In the specific case of Aisha Huang, a Chinese, deemed to be the galamsey Queen, was only deported even in the face of overwhelming evidence.
Justifying the decision to have her deported, Senior Minister Yaw Osafo-Marfo stated that the Accra High Court did no wrong in freeing embattled Chinese galamsey.
At a town hall meeting recently held outside the country, Mr. Yaw Osafo-Marfo was heard in a widely circulated video saying it does not serve in the interest of any Ghanaian to have Aisha Huang jailed in Ghana where she was alleged to have committed the crime in connivance with others..
“Putting [Aisha Huang] in jail in Ghana is not going to solve your money problem. It is not going to make you happy or me happy”, he revealed to contrary shouts from the background that they should have at least jailed her.
Trying to explain off the precarious nature of the issue he added “We have a very good relationship with China. The main company that is helping develop the infrastructure system in Ghana is Sinohydro, it is a Chinese Company. It is the one that is going to help process our bauxite and provide about $2 billion to us. So when there are these kind of arrangements there are other things behind the scenes. Putting [Aisha Huan] in jail in Ghana is not going to solve your money problem. It is not going to make you happy or me happy. That is not important…the most important thing is that she has been deported out of Ghana. There are many other things beyond what we see in these matters and everybody is wide awake. The most important thing is that we established regulations and we are protecting our environment. That is far more important than one Chinese woman who has been deported back to her country”
It would be recalled that the destructive effect of illegal mining highlighted mainly by media led government to set up Operation Vanguard, made up of security personnel, to fight the canker. Notwithstanding, galamsey still continues to ravage farmlands and pollute water bodies.