Seasoned journalist, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako Jnr., has expressed utter disgust over the orders to the Military to burn mining equipment used in illegal gold mining.
According to him, instead of burning the excavators, those caught with the excavators must be penalized through prosecution and their excavators handed over to the Police.
This, he said, is the most lawful way of confronting the issue.
”It’s mindless. It’s lawless because this is a law-governed society. And if you make laws and feel the laws are impossible to implement, there is an option. Just amend the law but you don’t make which I have here and actually let the law prevail but go out there to violate the law and it’s a State institution or State actors who are engaged in that violation, that mindless, lawless action.
”…the law says when you seize it, those using it illegally must be taken to court and by the time you’re sending them to court, you must leave those things in Police custody. When the court is done and convicts them, the court hands over the equipment to the appropriate Ministry; in this case it will be Lands and Natural Resources or so. And then they, on behalf of the State, determine which State institution to give them to.
”…The law says if you see these things, send them to the Police custody and so when you seize them and don’t send them to Police custody, you have violated the law and you’re liable for prosecution”, he stated.
He also deflated the argument that refusing to burn the excavators might result in there-occurrence of the missing excavators saga during the ”Operation Vanguard” exercise when the task force seized the excavators used by illegal miners.
”Is that how weak we are as a State? That assuming we have one negative experience, meanwhile, those who cause that negativity, they’re human beings. They’re alive. They were State actors, some powerful; some middle. Are they not prosecutable? Are they not subjects of investigation?”, he queried.
Kweku Baako likened the burning of excavators to ”anarchy”.
”It is almost anarchy. It is a sign that we’re capable of managing ourselves. That’s incredible. I’m not about to accept that verdict that the State of Ghana is so weak, so impotent, so disorganized that we make laws and we intend not to follow the laws because others are breaking the law. Maybe we should take that to Somalia, not Ghana. We’re a law-governed stable country”, he said on Peace FM’s ”Kokrokoo”.