General Politics

Illegal Mining: Use Aisha Huang as ‘scapegoat’ – NDC MP

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Bongo Constituency, Edward Abambire Bawa, has said that Chinese ‘galamsey’ kingpin, Aisha Huang, should be given a fair hearing as the country looks forward to prosecuting her over illegal mining activities following her arrest in the country yesterday September 5.

In an interview on Accra-based Joy FM on September 5, the MP suggested that the ‘galamsey’ kingpin should be made to face the full rigours of the law in her prosecution.

He noted that the laws of the country bar foreigners from participating in small-scale mining activities however it has not been adhered to over the years.

In his view, Edward Bawa said the country has not been able to deal with the menace as a result of certain systems in the country which has been compromised on a political basis.

He mentioned that some foreigners clear their earth-moving machines from the port which they eventually use to engage in galamsey activities.

The member of Parliament’s Mines and Energy Committee believes Aisha Huang should be used as an example to deter foreigners from engaging in illegal mining.

“Most of these people, the equipment they bring…they bring them through our ports. Can you imagine these huge excavators…they don’t fly from Heaven, so it means that our own system is compromised in terms of that and mainly it is from a political basis. For me whiles this lady [Aisha Huang] must be given a fair hearing and all the laws applied…and I’m not going to comment on that because the lawyers and the judge and the court will be able to deal with it…but we must make sure these things will stop them not only [for] people like Aisha but even those who come with the equipment. We must stop that.

“The law does not even allow for a foreigner to be engaged in small-scale mining. Why is a foreigner there? Most of them, come under the pretence that they are mining support services and that they provide mining support services to these small-scale miners. But the truth of the matter is that, that is just a front in trying to get in themselves and they destroy all our environment, water bodies, and forest. So I just hope that this time, Aisha will be used as an example to other foreigners who are engaged in these things in our country,” Edward Bawa said

Aisha Huang was arrested yesterday for engaging in illegal mining. She was arrested with three others Johng Li Hua, Huang Jei and Huaid Hai Hun.

According to a Ghana News Agency report, she was arraigned before the court on Friday, September 2, 2022, and was slapped with charges of mining without a license, engaging in the sale and purchase of minerals without a valid license.

She and her accomplices have since been remanded into police custody and are set to re-appear in court on September 14, 2022.

It will be recalled that Aisha Huang gained notoriety as an illegal mining kingpin in 2017.

She was arrested for the same conduct but later deported with the state discontinuing the trial against her.

Justifying why the state had to deport the Chinese national, the Senior Minister, Nana Yaw Osafo Maafo, addressing some concerns of Ghanaians in the diaspora at a town hall meeting on April 18, 2019, revealed that, “Putting [Aisha Huang] in jail in Ghana is not going to solve your money problem. It is not going to make you happy or me happy.”

“We have a very good relationship with China. The main company that is helping develop the infrastructure system in Ghana is Sinohydro; it is a Chinese Company. It is the one that is going to help process our bauxite and provide about $2 billion to us. So when there are these kinds of arrangements, there are other things behind the scenes. There are many other things beyond what we see in these matters, and everybody is wide awake. The most important thing is that we established regulations and we are protecting our environment. That is far more important than one Chinese woman who has been deported back to her country,” he explained further,” he said.

On September 20, 2019, however, President Nana Akufo-Addo described the deportation of Miss Huang as a mistake in hindsight.

“I think the decision to deport Aisha Huang in hindsight was a mistake, and that is why that process and procedure is being stopped,” he said at a forum at Princeton University during his visit to the United States of America.

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