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Pentecostal and Charismatic Council to protest against ‘galamsey’

The Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC) says it will mobilise its members to embark on a massive protest to drum home their displeasure over the devastation caused by illegal mining.

According to President of the Council, Prof Paul Frimpong-Manso, the church is now ready to lead the fight.

“We are leading the fight; the fight is in four phases. First, accepting our challenges and weaknesses, pledging that we won’t be part of it, telling the people that it is wrong [to engage in galamsey].

JoyNews/AdomNews · Pentecostal and Charismatic Council to organise protest against ‘galamsey’
“The church is also telling the people in authority that they should do the right thing. Finally, [we are] coming out to protest in our numbers to tell the world that galamsey is destroying our river bodies,” he said on Thursday, October 13.

Meanwhile, leaders of the Council are expected to visit some galamsey sites to see for themselves the level of destruction of water bodies and forests.

Operation Halt II

Government has handed a “comprehensive list” of all licensed small-scale mining companies across the country to the Military High Command.

This forms part of new measures instituted as part of Operation Halt II to ensure illegal mining ceases in forest reserves and water bodies.

At a press briefing to provide updates on the fight against the menace on Thursday, October 13, Mr Jinapor stressed that this new operation will be sustainable and shall continue “until we get to a satisfactory situation with respect to illegal small-scale mining.”

“We have provided the Military High Command a comprehensive list of all licensed, lawful small-scale mining operations across the country. So even before they moved, we formally lodged it with the Minister of Defence for onward submission to the Military High Command.

“As they [soldiers] are in the field, they have the records of licensed small-scale miners and they are able to tell that this particular operation is not licensed, is not lawful and therefore it’s a ‘galamsey’,” he stated.

There are chief inspectors of mines and criminal investigation operatives to ensure that evidence is collected as the operation unfolds for purposes of prosecution, the Minister disclosed.

He stated unequivocally that no politician or person in high authority would be allowed to interfere with the work of the Operation Halt II teams.

Pentecostal and Charismatic Council to organise protest against ‘galamsey’
Lands Minister, Samuel Jinapor
“Nobody is allowed to intervene. I, as the Minister, am not allowed to call the military to say ‘please don’t go to this concession’. That discretion is not given to anybody; they are to use their own professional security expert judgement take on this matter.

“They will be responsible and accountable to the Minister of Defence, the President and ultimately the Ghanaian people. So if things go wrong in the course of operation, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, to a large extent, will not be held accountable; it is the Military High Command which would be held accountable,” he clarified.

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