President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has broken his silence on the Chinese galamsey queen saga, En Huang, popularly known as Aisha Huang.
The President pledging his support to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, over the prosecution of the notorious Chinese businesswoman and her accomplices.
Addressing the 2022/23 Annual General Conference of the Ghana Bar Association in the Volta Regional capital, Ho, on Monday, September 12, 2022, President Akufo-Addo instructed the Attorney-General to ensure the Chinese galamsey queen should be made to face the full rigours of the law, urging the courts to apply the amended law of illegal mining, Act 995.
He explained that, in the period of the 4th Republic, we have “taken strong measures to try to protect our lands, water bodies and environment from the menace of environmental degradation and climate change; ensured that efforts to meet the most basic elements of social justice, i.e. education from kindergarten through to secondary school, and accessible healthcare to all our citizens, are ongoing.”
President Akufo-Addo, to this end, assured members of the Ghana Bar Association “of my full support to the Attorney General in his determination to prosecute Aisha Huang and her collaborators, who, apparently, insist on flouting our laws against galamsey and illegal mining.”
The President continued, “I expect, if they are found guilty, that the courts will apply the full rigour of the new amended Act 995, which has increased substantially the punishment for breaches of the law.”
Alternative Livelihood Programme
President Akufo-Addo indicated, that his government is not against small scale mining.
“On the contrary, the Government is in full support of responsible small-scale mining activities, as they provide an avenue for Ghanaians to participate in the mining industry, and contribute substantially to our gold exports,” he said.
In October 2021, the government launched the National Alternative Employment and Livelihood Programme, a programme designed to help alleviate the hardships of those affected by Government’s efforts to sanitise the mining industry.
Available data shows that the small-scale mining industry accounts for some forty percent (40%) of our gold exports, and has played a critical role in making Ghana the leading producer of gold in Africa.
Small-scale mining, the President stressed, should, therefore, “be encouraged, and we will do all that is necessary to promote it for our collective benefit.”
He stated, however, that “what we cannot do, and will not allow to happen, is to permit mining activities to threaten the environment which sustains our lives and the lives and livelihoods of generations unborn. We owe a sacred duty to preserve the environment, even as we reap the benefits of our natural resources. Small scale mining can, and must, only be done responsibly.”
Galamsey kingpin, Aisha Huang, has been remanded into police custody over illegal mining by an Accra Circuit Court.
This was after she was re-arrested together with three others for their involvement in the crime.
They have been charged with mining without license and engaging in the sale and purchase of minerals. They are expected to reappear in court on September 14, 2022.
They all pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
The court preserved her plea because there was no Chinese interpreter, according to a Ghana News Agency report.
The three are Johng Li Hua, Huang Jei and Huaid Hai Hun.