March 13, 2018

Member of Parliament for Kumbungu, Ras Mubarak, has urged the Speaker of Parliament Professor Mike Aaron Oquaye to cause an investigation into the operation of the military in his constituency that burn some trucks and excavators.

According to the Kumbungu lawmaker the investigation would ascertain whether or not actual pollution of the river took place and if not prescribe appropriate compensations to people whose equipment and trucks were touched.

He further pointed out that he supports every effort to fight illegal mining and sand winning, but should be carried out within the confines of the law.

And suggested that MPs visit his constituency site of the operation to ascertain for themselves what had taken place and a meeting with the various stakeholders.

“Mr. Speaker, the Northern Region is one of the poorest regions of the country, burning down of these trucks and equipment certainly deprives some people of their livelihood and further exacerbates the already existing poverty in the region”.

He further said the military should not be seen to be sidestepping the laws of the land, it sends a very bad signal that we are still stuck in the stoneage. The military which I personally hold in high esteem acted arbitrarily and is not accepted in the current dispensation, he added.

Mr. Speaker section 99 (5) of Act 900 provides that, “where a person is arrested for an offence under subsection 3 or 4, any equipment used in, or associated with the commission of the offence shall, regardless of ownership of the equipment or product, be seized and kept in the custody of the police”, he said.

The Act further provide that the Minister of Lands “shall within 60 days after the confiscation of equipment or product allocate the equipment or product to the appropriate state institution and publish in the gazette the name of the institution to which the equipment or product is allocated”.

Mr. Ras Mubarak pointed out that Parliament passed the mining and minerals act, prescribing exactly what action ought to be taken in situations where people mine or win sand illegally.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/