Some illegal miners at Ellembele in the Western Region have allegedly threatened to kill Kwasi Bonzoh, the District Chief Executive of the area. The threat follows the arrest and subsequent arraigning of one of their members before the court.
The threat was said to have been issued to the DCE through her mother. Information available to the Daily Statesman indicates that the angry ‘galamseyers’ stormed the DCE’s mother’s residence last Friday to warn her about the supposed action of her son. The illegal miners allegedly told the old woman to impress upon her son to release their colleague or risk losing his life.
Amidst insults, they were reported to have said they really meant business and would carry on with their threat if the DCE did not do the ‘right thing’.
The DCE, however, says he can’t be intimidated, and has dared the galamseyers to carry out their threat. “Stop disturbing my mother and rather come to my own house and kill me if you are real men,” he said on a local radio station.
He has also warned some chiefs and opinion leaders pestering him to release one David Kwofie, the said arrested galamseyer, to stop what they are doing.
Kwofie was arrested last Friday during an operation by the District Security Council, with some machines seized and taken to the assembly.
In an interview with journalists, Mr Bonzoh bemoaned that the fight against illegal mining is becoming difficult, with law enforcement agencies showing lackadaisical attitude towards it. He cited instances that the galamseyers were believed to have been hinted of an impending swoop on them. The DCE indicated that there had been as many as 16 operations in Ellembele under his administration, but not a single arrested galamseyer had been prosecuted and dealt with by the courts.
Bonzoh K, as he is popularly called, said some of the galamseyers openly brag that they will be released the next day if arrested and truly to their words, they are released either by the police or the court.
He added that reports indicate that these illegal miners have set aside a percentage of their proceeds which are usually use to bribe their way out upon arrest.
He said that due to this, the galamseyers throw their weights about and ridicule him for wasting his time arresting them.
He warned that his administration will be very tough on the galamseyers to ensure that they do not destroy the environment and water bodies with impunity.
It is in this vein that he has urged the media to throw the searchlight on proceedings at the court so that Kwofie does not buy his way out.
The DCE expressed the hope that such media scrutiny would put fear in the law enforcement agencies as well as their collaborating and recalcitrant galamseyers.