Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has said chiefs cannot absolve themselves of the blame for the destruction of the environment caused by illegal miners.
He criticized some chiefs for allowing illegal miners to destroy lands and water bodies through their activities.
The Asantehene while addressing the Asanteman Traditional Council on Friday insisted chiefs cannot exempt themselves from blame since they benefit from the activities of illegal miners.
“We are part of it. There are some chiefs who get money in their homes from illegal mining. Illegal miners bring them some of the money.”
He noted that where some chiefs were staying, there was evidence of illegal mining activity and they had done nothing to fight it.
The Asantehene also described the unfairness of arresting poor illegal miners during the galamsey fight.
“What money do they have? They are just looking for work. Who does the gold go to?” he asked.
Chiefs have been noted as key stakeholders in the fight against illegal mining because of their authority over lands vested in them.
As part of the recent renewed attention on illegal mining, President Akufo-Addo met with the National House of Chiefs to seek their support in the illegal mining fight.
Before that meeting, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, had blamed Chiefs, among others, for the worsening state of illegal mining in the country.