Executive Director of the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) Professor H.K Prempeh has cast doubt on the commitment of the state to the fight against illegal small scale mining (galamsey).
His view comes on the back of reports that the chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for Supom in the Atewa Constituency in the Eastern Region had been jailed for involvement in galamsey.
Yaw Sam Nyamade was handed a 12-months sentence for attempting to bribe the District Chief Executive of Atewa on behalf of illegal miners.
Mr Nyamade got a year in jail for handing over a bribe to the DCE on behalf of illegal small-scale miners whose activities had been barred in the district. But the DCE got him arrested and prosecuted.
Reacting to the news, Prof Prempeh wondered why he got such a lenient sentence for a crime such as galamsey that has a lasting negative effect on the environment. He contrasted it with a lady who got six years in jail for faking her own kidnapping so as to get some money to sustain herself.
“Faking your own kidnapping gets you 6 years while attempting to bribe a public official to allow you to do galamsey unhindered gets you 12 months! So much for fighting galamsey!” he commented in a social media post.
Several others have described the sentencing of the NPP chairman as too lenient given the gravity of the offense and the so-called commitment of the Government to ending the galamsey menace.