Former President John Dramani Mahama has promised to set small scale miners who have been jailed under the current Akufo-Addo government for indulging in ‘galamsey’ free if Ghanaians vote for him come December 7.
In an interaction with chiefs and people of Odum Banso in the Mpohor Constituency in the Western Region on Thursday, October 22, 2020, Mahama said he does not understand why a Chinese national was freed while Ghanaians are imprisoned over the same offence thus he will rectify it.
“It’s sad. The government said it was fighting galamsey, and they arrested, prosecuted, and jailed Ghanaians who were engaged in that activity but left the Chinese woman.”
“Today, they are still in prison. That Chinese galamsey queen was arrested but left to go free. She was never prosecuted but our people are in jail suffering. When we come, we shall grant all those arrested and jailed some amnesty. They will come back to their homes and work. I believe that they have suffered enough, shown remorse for whatever wrong they committed. We will institute measures to check the operations of small scale mining,” he said.
The ‘galamsey’ conversation has become a very political one although the current government was poised to save the deteriorating water bodies, vegetation and land than to allow for illegal mining to fester.
However, it appears the ‘galamsey’ fight may come back to bite the current government especially in mining communities where their primary source of livelihood is through this somewhat illegal activity.