OPEN LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT FOR AN URGENT HALT OF THE TACIT SUPPORT
OF THE STATE FOR CHINESE IN SMALL SCALE MINING
BY MAJOR MOHAMMED BOGOBIRI (RTD)
The alleged involvement of the ‘’innocent’’ repeat ‘’innocent’’ Aisha Huang in Small Scale Mining has stimulated me to write to you once again to remind you on the deceit, hypocrisy, the incompetency and perceived massive corruption by the nation of Ghana in the fight since 2005 against foreigners especially the Chinese in small scale mining. Before I expatiate on the subject, let me make some clear declarations that I became close to Aisha Huang in 2015 or so when she was arrested together with a Ghanaian pilot for trespassing into the Concession of Bogoso Gold Mine at Manpong near Dunkwa. After listening to their reason for being at the area which caused their arrest by my then security personnel and with copious intelligence on Ghanaians who lured/duped Chinese into the mining sector, I empathize with them upon listening to their (including the Ghanaian pilot) very sad stories with documents from the Minerals Commission.
They gave a vivid story on how some Ghanaians allegedly with Small Scale Mining Rights (close to mining lease) lured or duped them into thinking that the area belonged to them. After their narration, they profusely apologies for their trespassing, so I sent them to the then acting General Manager/Finance Manager of Bogoso Gold Mine who is now the MD of a Mining Company in one of the Wassa Districts who also after listening to their sad story, educated them on the relevant mining laws and warned them not to trespass into the area again, which they agreed so I was ordered to set them free which I acted accordingly as ordered by my boss.
They both gave me their Contact details. Hence I established contact with them for more stories by virtue of my Chairmanship of the Ghana Chamber of Mines Security Committee which I initiated in 2004 or so through Dr Joyce Aryee, then CEO of the Ghana Chamber of Mines in the fight against small scale mining and other common security related problems. So in 2015, I became then a member of the National Security Committee taskforce put up then by His Excellency President Mahama in his ardent fight against illegal small scale mining and his order for the deportation of any foreigner arrested in small scale mining due to the very poor charges of offences against small scale mining before he, (President Mahama) got Parliament to amend the Section 99 of the Minerals and Mining law 2006 (Act 900) with a replacement with Section 99 of Act 900 of the Minerals and Mining law 2015 for stiffer punishment including confiscation of equipment etc on the field or at illegal mining Sites . I wish to also add that in 2015, we the members of the National Security Committee Taskforce were duly briefed by Hon Barbara Sam and Hon Akandoh both then Deputies to the then Minister for Lands and Minerals Resources who took part in field anti-illegal mining operations in the Ashanti Region and we were told among other intelligence that Aisha Huang was a smart interpreter.
I did follow up with two witnesses to see Aisha Huang at her shop adjacent Ahadwo Melcom for details on the involvement of Chinese in the Illegal mining which helped me in my encounter with the media (conference with the press) in Ashanti Region done at my cost in Kumasi in 2017 on the fight against small scale mining .My two witnesses were namely Alhaji Asoma in Kumasi who is one of my brother-in-laws and a female acquaintance by name Felicia Addae in Kumasi both can testify that I warned them not to accept anything including a sachet water from Aisha Huang during the visit, which they both did as at date nothing gained from her. So, the first and second time I came close to her in my life was in 2015 as stated above. Since then I never met or seen or heard about or from her again in my life, till I heard in the news of her deportation in 2018 and the current news in the media that she is back to Ghana, So I wish to state and I can swear by Antoa Nyamah that I never gained any favour be it a pesewas or a cent and or a logistical item including a sachet water from her or her associates and I never have had any amorous relationship with a Chinese woman be she Aisha Huang or any other Chinese woman in my life because despite any beauty in them but due to their physical state, they do not come close to women of my taste even if you give me thousands of dollars. So with this declaration I can now comfortably expatiate my submission on the subject as a servant of God, hence love for mankind or fellow being no matter the person’s race or tribe or orientation. .
Mr President, Section 1 of Article 57 of the 1992 Constitution vested in the President of Ghana, the complete control (government) of the State of Ghana as the Head of State and the Head of National Executive and for the President to act effectively and efficiently the same section 1 of Article 57 of the 1992 Constitution also appointed the President as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ghana for the purpose as you aware for both the State through the Citizenry (especially in intelligence gathering effort) and the Armed Forces of Ghana to physically and intelligently support the President to protect and defend the State of Ghana (the citizenry and assets/properties/state secrecy or information).
Furthermore, Mr President, Section 6 of Article 257 of the 1992 Constitution has vested all Minerals in the President on behalf of and in trust for the people of Ghana for a very good purpose. Lastly, Mr President Section 1 and Section 2 of Article 269 of the 1992 Constitution provided for the establishment of relevant Natural Resources Commissions namely Forest Commission, Water Commission and the Minerals Commission and granted the approval (it should be corrected in the Constitution to read recommendation) of the granting of Rights, concession or contracts in respect of the exploitation of any mineral, water, timber or other natural resources of Ghana respectively for a very good cause.
So you need to act including the declaration of War on the canker of Small Scale Mining (in the local parlance as Galamsey) operations leading to the depletion of minerals with negative benefits to the state as well as the destruction of the other resources especially land, water, timber and fishes or aquatic animals through the diversion and pollution of water bodies, more on this later. Please pardon me to inform you, a very good lawyer that by the wording that you, as the President of Ghana, is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ghana, imply by the Constitution that this appointment of yours is not limited to the Ghana Armed Forces under the Minister of Defence/CDS but as the Supreme Commander of all Armed Institutions of the State of Ghana thus it includes the Police and at the Border especially the Immigration Service and the paramilitary unit of Preventive Division of the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS), which emanated from the defunct Border Guards Services which as stated was an armed Service of the Ghana Armed Forces before 1985, I refer you to may submission Fixing the Country Part 19 published on 02nd September 2022 for more intelligence on matters of CEPS.
So Mr President, you have more than sufficient means to fight the canker of Small Scale Mining and halt it within 10days and sustain the momentum or mitigate the risk to the barest minimum level. I say Small Scale Mining is a national risk or a canker because it is not a new phenomenon but it existed and was and is executed worldwide since the creation of mother earth by God. Hence, Small Scale Mining is regarded globally whether in China, South Africa, Tanzania, and USA by the operators as a poverty driven activity granted by the Almighty God for them to escape from their poverty misery. It is sad that Ghana has failed to see it as such, hence not able to control it especially the involvement of foreigners in that sector.
So Mr President, you cannot succeed in conquering an enemy if you do not or you refuse or you fail to know much about the enemy especially the characteristics of the enemy, which as said is an international risk hence Small Scale Mining is somehow regarded as an international catastrophe or pandemic. Hmm it is high time, we stopped our foolishness and or our incompetency and call a spade as a spade. So Galamsey is Small Scale Mining and Small Scale Mining is Galamsey period. Please just Google for Small Scale Mining or look for the competent definition of Small Scale Mining by USAID, the UN, ILO, World Bank/IMF for Small Scale Mining and how they are helping Countries with grants to mitigate this risk. Infact the Small Scale Mining law section 77 of the Minerals and Mining Law 1986 (PNDC 153) and the Small Scale gold mining law 1989 (PNDC215) which the World Bank/IMF helped Ghana through the PNDC to draft as part of the Structural Adjustment Programme in the 1980s, were essentially Galamsey laws enacted by the PNDC to contain the artisanal mining activities then, which as the Chairman of the PNDC publicly made it clear in 1986 (by his philosophy of if you cannot fight an enemy find a common ground to coexist with the enemy and so you may be able to control it as and when needed, hence your idea of Community Mining may be laudable, but note it has a serious political undertone or repercussion, since it is driven by Politicians from your Party, so the consequences of a change of administration between the NDC and NPP may be disastrous . So sir, you need to take serious note of the state of affairs if you want to succeed in the fight against the canker and lesser repercussions in future.
Mr President, despite the provisions of the 1992 Constitution as means to ensure the good use of the resources for the benefit of the citizens,, the minerals and mining rights in Ghana has been mismanaged since 2006 by ambiguous and useless Small Scale Mining laws of Ghana 2006 (Act 703) which is embedded with the passage of the Minerals and Mining Law 2006 (Act703) especially Section 82 to Section 99. Mr President as part of my fixing the Country Agenda or Campaign and thanks to Modern Ghana and News Ghana for a lucrative (valuable) platform to do so, I wish to state that as a person who got enlisted in the Ghana Army as a measure to ensure Ghana is on the right path of her National Development and now no more in the active Service with the Ghana Army but still with the vim with freedom to act appropriately, So, I wish to add that what I am saying herein is the honest truth and nothing but the truth so help me Almighty God, hence without fear or favour, I wish to inform you that the Presidency through the Office of the Attorney General and Parliament in 2006, woefully failed this Nation by not giving a clarity on Small Scale Mining and we have a very poor State intelligence system or this system has been compromised since 2008.
It may be that the then affected state officials failed to appreciate that Galamsey is Small Scale Mining and Small Scale Mining is Galamsey (period). Please you may contact one Mr Tetteh, one time responsible for the Small Scale Mining section of Minerals Commission stationed in Tarkwa between 2004 and 2012 or so or Dr Tony Aubyn, a former CEO of the Minerals Commission to authenticate this assertion. Otherwise, simply Google for Small Scale Mining and you will be educated that Small Scale Mining is same as Galamsey operation because it is somehow regarded as an International risk or Disaster or Emergency area involving millions of people working in the sector as a poverty driven venture since the creation of earth and the operators see Small Scale Mining as God given right for them to escape from their poverty misery. So it is wrong for the State to allow the involvement of business tycoons who have several properties and millions of Cash in their bank accounts in the Small Scale Mining sector. That is the woes of Ghana, so, President Nana Addo, our show boy I will give you the answer to solve this canker.
It is proper to go through the historical records of the involvement of the Chinese in mining. So, let me say that it was and is very sad that the then regime of President Kofour in 2006 failed to take mental note of Ghanaians brand or trademark of fronting for foreigners so that in President Kofour’s attempt to get Ghanaians in the Commanding Height in the Mining sector, he should have put a control measure beside the inclusion of BNI Officers in each team when he sent some Ghanaians to China between 2006 and 2008 to go and learn about mining and the causal effect is innocent Aisha Huang and other innocent Chinese lured/duped by those who were sponsored to China by the then Administration at the cost to the tax payer have made the mining sector to seemingly suffer irreparable damages to the State, especially environmental issues. It is also a historical fact supported by copious Research in 2015 that between 2006 and 2015 and I wish to add even now (that is 07 September 2022), the State of Ghana through the Presidency including yours and the Minerals Commission aided and abetted Chinese to operate audaciously in Small Scale Mining sector. You may read this at the footnote at page 15 of a research work entitled the impact of Chinese involvement in Small Scale Mining between 2006 and 2015 by Professor Crawford of University of Leeds and Professor Mba and other. Thus made Aisha Huang and other Chinese as victims of the incompetency and massive corruption of State Officials and the greediness by some Ghanaians tycoons. That is the gospel truth.
I have made several submissions to your office personally at my cost as well as to the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, the Minerals Commission and some publications in Modern Ghana since 2016, that Mining is a capital intensive sector and so to fulfil the dream of ex-President Kofour for Ghanaians to be in the commanding heights in the Mining Sector, you, the President of Ghana (since the buck stop with the President) must come out with a third classification in the mining nomenclature as Medium Scale Mining for Ghanaians to officially collaborate with foreigners especially the Chinese who due to their support in national development should be seen now as God send for us to see how we can collaborate to develop this Nation. The vivid investment of the Chinese in Ghana can be seen from Kumasi through Obuasi to Tarkwa. Almost all the acclaimed licensed Small Scale Miners in Ghana were/are frontmen and Frontwomen for foreigners especially Chinese, I have a profile of most of them. Ghana lost over US$5Billion of USA Dollars yearly through Small Scale mining. And we are begging for a loan of just 1.5US$Billion from IMF with a conditionality, so there must be something wrong with us.
So, please stop the persecution of Aisha Huang for her alleged involvement in mining and let us see her plight as a victim of greedy Ghanaians, so that we use her as a lesson learnt from our foolishness, Incompetency and the massive corruption of State Officials and the greediness by some Ghanaians tycoons (the story of ex-Shaanxi Mining Company, a Chinese Mining Company which novate or navigated from Small Scale Mining to large Scale Mining in the Talensi District speaks volume of the weaknesses of the Presidency, Mineral Commission, the intelligence system and some of the citizenry especially politicians/business persons ), since 2005. That is the gospel truth.
Mr President aside the time my boys arrested Aisha Huang in a Mining area of Bogoso Mine, she has never been arrested by the State in a Mining area, check from Immigration and the Police or from the Ashanti Regional Minister for facts. The arrest effected in 2018 or so was at her house at Ahadwzo and her deportation was done by Immigration Service after a discussion by then Head of Immigration Service with the Minister of Interior namely Hon Ambrose Dery (my good brother and my mate in Navrongo Secondary School) as alleged (stated) in 2018 by some of the media especially Modern Ghana on the grounds for breaking immigration law not illegal mining for which she was then wrongly arraigned before a Court and shockingly with a wrong charge, that is a repealed mining law also poorly crafted with only maximum punishment and no minimum punishment for a Judge using his discretionary powers will know the minimum punishment set by law he can award to an offender, for that reason Judge may be right to sentence an offender with a fine of GHC200.00 or two weeks imprisonment as the bad law apparently provides..
So, If honestly and truly she was deported, then she erred by coming back that led to her second arrest but please not arrested in a mining site but in Kumasi as allegedly said by the Ashanti Regional Minister. So one of the offences or charges reportedly that she has offended at section 99 of the Minerals and Mining Law 2006 (Act703) may not be supported with evidence and even the charge use beside it is a repealed one, it is also a very weak one because she was caught at her house as stated earlier. But if it is true that she was really arrested at a Mining area, then the Prosecutor need to revise his notes and so his attention should be drawn that he has used a repealed or wrong law to charge her because section 99 of Act 900 of the Minerals and Mining law 2015 (Amendment) has repealed Section 99 of the Minerals and Mining Law 2006, so her lawyers if they are competent can get her free of this particular crime.
To sum up, Mining is capital intensive, so please introduce Medium Scale Mining to allow Ghanaian frontmen and frontwomen, note our trademark of fronting for foreigners in all business sectors, thus include the Mining Sector to officially collaborate with foreigners with the needed capital especially Chinese who are victims due to some greedy Ghanaians with the tacit support by the State Official since 2008.
MAJOR MOHAMMED BOGOBIRI (RTD) September 2022