The Police in Kumasi fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of small scale miners who were demonstrating today to press home their demand for a review temporary ban on their operations.
At least ten people have so far been arrested and the Police have managed to bring the chaotic situation under control. XYZ News has learnt the demonstration was in defiance of a Police directive.
The small scale miners have been out of business since March this year when the six month moratorium was announced to enable the sector Ministry regularize their activities and to flush out illegal miners.
Early on, an Executive Member of the Small Scale Miners Association, Mike Gizo, speaking to XYZ News said: “We complied with the three weeks ultimatum that we were given we complied despite the fact that we had licenses and then another six months which has elapsed. There is no road map to this fight, even the fight against galamsey, we started it. Government and the media is just complementing what we did. We are patriotic Ghanaians and are legitimate small scale miners with the requisite documentation to claim our land. We’ve grown vegetative cover, and economic trees and we have also done a lot of social amenities.”
Ashanti regional Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Juliana Obeng who was on the ground said they will invite the leadership of small scale miners for questioning.
“We told them that we did not have the men to police the number demonstrating today. Secondly, there are security emergencies we needed to attend to. I think we agree that we have control measures we use in times of demonstration. If we gather information and we think that application of minimum force can streamline issues, why not? We have that right and we can use it as at when we find it necessary. We have also picked about 10, five were carrying offensive objects.”