The Small-Scale Miners Association has kicked against a proposal for the burning of excavators seized from illegal miners.
The Minister for Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation, Dr. Kwaku Afriyie, proposed the burning of excavators seized from illegal miners as a deterrent to others engaged in the menace.
The former Lands and Natural Resources Minister, under the Kufuor government, explained that this is the best way to reduce illegal mining activities, since other approaches, until now, have failed to end the menace.
But speaking to Citi News, the General Secretary of the Small-Scale Miners Association, Godwin Armah said the proposal is unlawful.
“Concerning the burning of excavators, if you look at the amendments that were made to the Minerals and Mining Act, it shows very clearly how when someone engages in illegal mining, the state goes through the law court to find a way of disposing of the excavators involved in the act of illegal mining. So if we want to burn them or the same state that has put the laws in place to ensure that there is rule of law, turns around to say excavators should be burnt because we are having an issue with illegal mining, then what is the use of these laws?”
“So we should follow due process and ensure that those who are doing the wrong thing will be dealt with in accordance with the laws that we have set for ourselves as a republic. As an association, we will not endorse such acts of burning anything, it’s awful.”