Ellembelle DCE acquitted of involvement in illegal mining

The Minerals Commission investigative report has cleared the District Chief Executive for the Ellembelle District, Kwasi Bonzoh of any involvement in the alleged illegal mining activities behind the official residence of the District Magistrate for the district.

The 12-page report indicates that the DCE has rather been fighting the illegal mining menace in the area with several arrests of miners involved.

“Several arrests of illegal miners were made by the DCE in early 2021 in an effort to halt all illegal mining activities within the area. In March 2021 after arresting three illegal miners and processing them for court, the court on 14th March 2021 ordered for the culprits to continue with their activities as it was deemed to be desilting of the river but under the supervision of the Assembly.

“The order was objected to by the DCE as he pointed out that the Assembly was unwilling to supervise such an illegal activity. The objection ended all desilting/illegal mining activities within the area,” the report indicated.

The Judicial Service, Western Region, had earlier indicated that the impact of illegal mining activities on the health of the Magistrate has forced her to relocate out of the official bungalow.

“The ongoing mining activities at the back of her bungalow is affecting her health as the galamsey takes place during day and night depriving her of the needed rest/sleep. Also chemicals used in the mining activities and the noise from the area are having impacts on her health,” they indicated in a letter written to the DCE, Kwasi Bonzoh.

In July, 2022, the Western Regional Administrative Officer for the Judicial Service of Ghana, Diana Naana Asiam wrote to the DCE informing him of the decision by the Magistrate of the Nkroful District Court to relocate from the government bungalow assigned to her due to the impact of illegal mining activities on her health.

“On 5th March, 2020, as directed by the then Supervising High Court Judge, the Regional Administrator and the Regional Works Superintendent visited the Assembly to engage the District Chief Executive and the Coordinating Director on how to provide conducive accommodation for the Magistrate. There was assurance from the Assembly that the galamsey activity would be stopped and he Assembly would also provide the needed security and the conducive environment for the Magistrate.

“However, the situation has gotten worse now. Taking into consideration all these factors, the assigned bungalow is not conducive for the Magistrate. I therefore write to inform you that the Magistrate has moved out of the bungalow for her safety, security and health, ”the letter indicated.

But the investigative report by the Minerals Commission which was released in August, 2022, reveals that the mining activities have little impact on the health of residence of the bungalow which serves as the official residence for both the Magistrate and the Police Commander for the district.

“The operational areas of the illegal mining and the location of the residence are more than 130m apart. Additionally. The official residence is on a higher altitude. That the illegal mining sites effect, if any at all, on the residence would be minimal,” the Minerals Commission report indicated.

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