A pressure group, OccupyGhana says the Senior Minister Yaw Osafo-Maafo's comments makes a complete mockery of the fight against galamsey and the steps government and the coalition against galamsey has taken to address the menace.
OccupyGhana's statement follows Osafo Maafo's comment he made at a town hall meeting in the United States recently in regards to the Chinese national ‘Aisha’ Huang, described as a ‘galamsey queen’.
Aisha Huang was arraigned before the court on May 9, 2017, for engaging in galamsey activities in the Ashanti Region. Subsequently, the Attorney General’s office on December 19, 2018, withdrew the case against her and four other Chinese nationals believed to be engaging in illegal mining. They were deported to their country.
According to the Senior Minister's comment in regards to the deportation of the galamsey queen, he said Aisha who engaged in galamsey activities in the Ashanti Region when putting behind bars in Ghana will not be a solution to economic problems in Ghana. This comment by the Senior Minister sparked controversies in the country.
Meanwhile, OccupyGhana in a statement pointed out that: ''The Senior Minister’s comments make a complete mockery of the fight against galamsey and the critical steps government and the coalition against galamsey have taken to address this issue. This statement suggests that, at the right price tag, foreigners implicated in the appalling desecration of Ghana’s environment, rivers and laws can be exonerated. It positions foreigners who break/to flout our laws as untouchable and above the law because their countries offer economic partnerships and benefits''.
The group also expressed their disappointment by Mr.Osafo Maafo's comment on the issue
“We are dismayed by the Minister’s attempt to water down government’s abysmal use of its discretion with respect to the deportation of Chinese galamsey queen Aisha Huang, who was on trial for her illegal mining operations in Ghana," it said.
Below is the full statement
OCCUPYGHANA® PRESS STATEMENT
OCCUPYGHANA® DISAPPOINTED BY SENIOR MINISTER’S COMMENTS REGARDING AISHA HUANG
Yours, for God and Country