Small-scale miners’ chairman suspended to avert looming collapse

Robert Boazor Tampoare

The Ghana National Association of Small-Scale Miners (GNASSM) has suspended the Chairman of the Bolgatanga Mining District, Robert Boazor Tampoare, and asked its National Organiser, Alhaji Baba Ahmed, to take over as interim chairman.

A letter co-signed by GNASSM’s President, Philip Akufo, and General Secretary, Godwin N. Amarh, says Tampoare’s suspension is based on some findings made against him and highlighted in a report compiled by Sampson Kofi Wiredu Committee.

The committee was set up in 2023 by the association’s national executive body to investigate some allegations levelled against Tampoare by members of the association in Bolgatanga, capital of Ghana’s Upper East region.

Robert Boazor Tampoare.

The suspension letter says the decision was taken in consultation with the association’s Functional Executive Committee and National Patrons “for non-performance and breach of trust at the district level”.

“Per their (Sampson Kofi Wiredu Committee’s) findings, meetings have not been held at the district and zonal level; no platform was created to communicate on issues of the association; when the chairman attends meetings at the NEC, he does not organise any meeting at the district level to inform the executives and members about the directives or instructions from the National Executives.

“Due to the aforementioned situation, the association is ineffective and almost at a collapse. Also the conduct of the chairman has caused disunity among the rank and file in the Bolga Mining District. To avert this situation and to revive the association at the district and zonal level, an Interim Management Committee (IMC) shall be formed with specific terms of reference to manage the association till elections will be held this year, 2024,” said the letter.

Court Trial

Tampoare is also standing trial at a High Court in Bolgatanga reportedly for failing to produce some 150,000 United States dollars (1,875,488 Ghana cedis equivalent in February, 2024) he received in 2021 from the Upper East Regional Minister, Stephen Yakubu, without the foreknowledge and consent of fellow members of the Unique Mining Group.

Shaanxi Mining Company Limited, a Chinese firm now called Earl International Group (Ghana) Gold Limited, made the money available for trespassing into Unique Mining Group’s concession and gave the money to the regional minister for onward delivery to the group.

The other members of the small-scale mining group officially suspended Tampoare from their midst in 2023 and lodged a complaint with the police against him, resulting in the matter proceeding to the High Court, after all efforts made to retrieve the USD150,000 from him returned no results.

Robert Boazor Tampoare was arrested by the Divisional Police Command in 2023 following a complaint lodged by Unique Mining Group members.

GNASSM’s national executive body makes it clear in the letter that Tampoare’s latest suspension is not related to the ongoing trial at the High Court.

“Kindly note that this suspension has nothing to do with the court case between the Unique Mining Group and Mr Robert [Boazor] Tampoare; however, the association [encourages] the parties [involved] to take the case out of court for settlement.

“We will count on all of you at the local level to help build a strong association. The National Organiser, Alhaji Baba [Ahmed], will act until the Interim Management Committee is formed,” the letter concluded.

The first page of the suspension letter.
The second page of the suspension letter.

Source: Edward Adeti/Media Without Borders/


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