Dominic Nitiwul

Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul, has debunked claims that the burning of mining equipment has been targeted at some people in the country.

According to him, the exercise is a wholistic approach to clamp down on all persons engaged in illegal mining.

The Minister’s comments follow the destruction of about 20 excavators and other mining equipment by the military taskforce set up by the government to crack down on illegal mining in the Eastern Region on Sunday.

Eight out of the number of excavators and one bulldozer are said to belong to the National Women’s Organiser of the ruling party, New Patriotic Party (NPP), Kate Gyamfua.

An operation the Eastern Regional Secretariat of the National Democratic Congress said has become an avenue for powerful political entities to pursue a personal vendetta.

They also accused the government of using one of its own, Madam Gyamfua and General Manager of the licensed gold mining firm, Xtra-Gold as a ‘scapegoat’.

But addressing a press conference in Accra on Wednesday, Mr Nitiwul said that it wasn’t just the NPP executive’s company that had been affected by the work of the taskforce.


“What they did not know is that we are not touching the licenses. It is the illegalities we are touching. Our target was protecting water bodies and their tributaries, not your license.

“You can have a license but if you were destroying the water bodies, the soldiers were supposed to make sure that they take out the equipment that you were using. So soldiers were not out to inspect licenses,” he explained.

He stressed that the fight at the moment is on persons mining near water bodies which has been declared a red zone.