The fight against illegal mining popularly known as galamsey will not end anytime soon as the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Eastern Region has accused the government of using the fight against galamsey to scapegoat Kate Gyamfua, the Women’s Organizer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
The NDC’S reaction comes after the anti-galamsey taskforce launched an attack at mining sites at Larbikrom, Dompem, and Pamen, all in the Atiwa District of the Eastern Region to rid the area of illegal miners.
According to the party, the action of the anti-galamsey taskforce, in the case of Ms. Gyamfua’s company, is a proxy personal vendetta when she called out the Minister of Roads and Highways, Kwesi Amoako-Atta, who doubles as the Member of Parliament for the Atewa West constituency, for his discriminatory fixing of roads in the region.
Earlier, Kate Gyamfua accused the Roads Minister of constructing and tarring roads in his Constituency leaving other deplorable roads in other parts of the country.
She said the Minister should not only be fixated on roads in his area.
“Tell Amoako Atta that he was not made Roads and Highways Minister because of roads in his Constituency. Look at the number of world-class roads Amoako Attah is constructing in his hometown – Kwabeng and other communities. What have we done wrong in Akwatia and its environs to deserve these bad roads? If you are made a road Minister, you must also look at other places to construct the roads.
“I decided to use the Kwabeng road to Akwatia on my return from Kumasi. I was amazed by the road constructed from Anyinam junction to Kwabeng. They were even doing another asphalt overlay on it. I picked the phone to tell Amoako Atta that God will punish him if he doesn’t construct our roads in Denkyembuor,” Kate Gyamfua said on Akyem Oda-based Ahenkan FM.
The NDC in a statement issued by the Regional Communication Officer, Darlas Ampomah Williams, said;
“It is public knowledge how Ms. Kate Gyamfua has bemoaned the horrible state of other roads in the Eastern Region apart from the hometowns of the President and his cousin, the Roads Minister and personally called him out to act without discrimination.
“This is a few weeks before her company’s equipment was burnt down.”
It added: “While we may not be interested in such petty internal squabbles, we are concerned that a similar pattern that led to the failure of the initial Operation Vanguard is unfolding.”
“Has the supposed fight against galamsey become nepotistic to the extent that perceived critics of Akufo-Addo and his family members are penalized using state-sanctioned operations such as “operation Halt”?” the party quizzed.
However, Kate Gyamfua who happens to be the General Manager of licensed gold mining firm Xtra-Gold has expressed disappointment in the government.
She said the company pays “big money” in terms of taxes and royalties to the government of Ghana and, thus, was disappointed with the anti-galamsey task force’s action as a violation of the law.
In a statement, the company said “These unlawful actions are a clear violation of the rule of law.
“Our company pays big money royalties, taxes, stool land fees”.
“We are socially responsible, and employ hundreds of local workers.
“At the same time that we are paying all these huge taxes, the military is burning millions of dollars of our mining equipment.”
A statement from the Ministry of Information said the exercise, dubbed ‘Operation Halt II’, is aimed at “removing all persons and logistics involved in mining on water bodies”.
“The new phase of the operation focuses on the tributaries of the Pra River, which have also been significantly affected by the activities of illegal miners,” the statement added.