Suspicions mount: is Ghana exchanging ‘half prosecution’ for Chinese deals’

Criticisms and controversies clad Ghana’s recent exploits in a bid to curb illegal mining bedeviling the mineral rich country.Although the minister of Lands and Natural Resources boldly announced the deported 194 foreigners over illegal mining on thursday, some sources are questioning the nitty-gritty of the deportation.

A senior minister of state on the sideline of a meeting in the United States said ,illegal minner,Aisha Huang did not face the full prosecution because of the benefits of the 2 billion Sinohydro deal according to sources.A statement that received a backlash and called for his resignation.

Although Lands and Natural Resources Minister,Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh on thursday, debunked the claims of Ghana exchanging ‘half prosecution’ for Chinese deals’; suspicions mount.

“Should somebody tell you that it is only one person that has been exchanged for Sino[hydro] projects or Sino loans, it is neither here nor there. We are talking of 194 foreigners that have been deported. Not only Chinese.”

Some political anaylist who spoke with Africanews on condition of anonymity described it as double standards by the political leadership.

The nationals deported include Indians, Chinese, Nigerians and Malians.

*AISHA HUANG-‘galamsey queen’ *

Aisha Huang had been charged with three counts of undertaking small-scale mining operations, contrary to Section 99 (1) of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703); providing mining support services without valid registration with the Minerals Commission, contrary to the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703), and the illegal employment of foreign nationals, contrary to the Immigration Act, 2000 (Act 573).

Despite the criticism of the legal system, Mr. Asomah-Cheremeh said the law enforcement “has been effective in curbing the ability of the kingpins to continue their operations.”

“Almost 400 persons have been arrested and subjected to various sanctions all aimed at extinguishing their ability to continue with galamsey operations. These include deportations of some 194 foreign nationals and the imposition of fines of locals as well.”

He added that “the legal framework is being streamlined and strengthened to serve as a deterrent to the illegal activities, while the court system is being streamlined to deal more expeditiously with illegal mining cases brought before them according to Ghana web.

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