Ashanti Regional Minister Simon Osei-Mensah has stated that the fines levied by the courts against unlawful small-scale miners (galamseyers) are too cheap and not enough deterrent.
He believed that harsher penalties were required to deter stubborn galamseyers.
Galamsey is like fighting the black market; you fight them here, they sprout up somewhere, according to Mr. Osei-Mensah, who was speaking at a news conference in Accra about a recent study that named his region as the most dangerous in Ghana.
“We are doing our best”, he self-applauded, adding: “Most of the people are being prosecuted, especially in the Obuasi areas”.
“Sometimes, the fines are too low that they are not punitive enough, and these are the discussions we may have to have with the judiciary, because if you fine a galamsey operator GH¢5,000, it’s not enough. They just pay and go back to the site.”
The minister responded to additional security concerns voiced by Foundation for Security & Development in Africa (FOSDA) by saying, “We’ve been able to solve the major security challenges we inherited.”
When it comes to Asante Akyem Agogo, the threat posed by cattle herdsmen has existed for many years, and the late former president Rawlings even launched operation quiet life in 1992 to address it.
“When I took office in 2017, I traveled to Agogo, the capital of Asante Akyem North, and met with the chiefs and locals in a church, promising to put an end to that threat as soon as possible.
Now that threat has been reduced to the bare minimum, everyone can attest to that reality.