Pronouncements from Charles Bissue a then secretary to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM) that was dissolved after the 2020 elections is sensing bitterness from its Chairman following a leaked report that was presented to the President in 2021.
According to Mr. Bissue, the damning revelations contained in the report from Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng is out because he was not reappointed as minister.
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng according the 36-page report sighted by OnuaOnline mentions some government officials and party faithful who impeded the Committee’s work.
Whilst all the ministers on the Committee abandoned the course with the exception of only two, some stalwarts from the ruling party according to the report were also calling to defend companies that are into illegal mining.
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The report mentions Gabby Asare-Otchere Darko, a brother to President Akufo-Addo, as calling in to put a defence for one company that was destroying the environment through its illegal mining activities otherwise known as galamsey.
“What saddened me most was when Mr Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko called to defend a company that was actively destroying the environment, especially the forests and River Offin in the Apaprama and Kobro Forests,” the report contained.
Reacting to portions of the report, Mr. Bissue questioned why the content has now leaked, or if the Chairman would have authored those, if he had been re-appointed as minister.
“Was he reporting to the President? Because it was a sub cabinet committee right? And he waited 2021, he waited until he was not appointed as a minister anymore. So if he had been appointed as the minister would he have written this report?” he asked whilst speaking on TV3’s Ghana Tonight Thursday, April 20, 2023.
“He said that yes he informed the president so at every instance when these things were happening couldn’t he gave gone to president to report everything as and when it happened ? Until after he was handing over then he put that report together. Was it not because he was not given the ministerial role at that time? So check the date,” he added.
Other contents of the report presented to the President in 2021 is as follows:
“It is extremely important to note that the IMCIM’s activities centered on Small Scale and Artisanal Gold Mining. This task was performed to near perfection.
“At the time of the inauguration of the Committee the problem of mining in forest reserves and its attendant destruction of forests, cocoa farms, water bodies, farm lands as well as harassment of villagers in bordering communities by armed mining guards, including soldiers were not on the radar screen.
“As will be mentioned later in this write-up, the major challenges that we had in the mining communities occurred in 2018 when the Forestry Commission and the Ministry of Lands itself decided to give out almost all the forest reserves in this country for mining activities.
“This was reported to Cabinet at its meeting on 28th February, 2019 (see Cabinet letter on page 4).
“Despite the fact that Cabinet directed the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources ‘to suspend the issuance of all new licences/permits by the Forestry Commission’. . .and also to ‘suspend the licences already issued for operation in forty-seven (47) forest reserves’, the directives were ignored and the destruction continued.
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“Worse still, soldiers had officially been withdrawn from mining sites but in many areas regular Ghana Army personnel were seen providing security at illegal mining sites.
By Felix Anim-Appau|Onuaonline.com|Ghana