Frimpong-Boateng's report accuses NPP officials of involvement in galamsey
A report by former Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, has accused several officials from the New Patriotic Party (NPP) at the Jubilee House of being involved in illegal small-scale mining, commonly known as galamsey.
The 37-page report, prepared in 2021 and handed over to the Chief of Staff has leaked into the public domain.
Prof Frimpong-Boateng who signed the report claims that some NPP officials hired Chinese nationals to engage in galamsey on their behalf.
He said that despite the President's commitment to protecting the environment, many party officials were involved in illegal mining.
“Throughout our struggle with illegalities in the small-scale mining sector, what baffled me was the total disregard of the President’s commitment to protect the environment. I can state without any equivocation that many party officials from the National to the unit committee level had their friends, PAs, agents, relatives, financiers or relatives engaged in illegal mining," the report said.
“Most of them engaged Chinese working for them. I am not referring to party people who had their legitimate concession and were mining sustainably as they were instructed to do. There are appointees in the Jubilee House that are doing or supporting illegal mining or interfering with the fight against the menace.”
The report also highlights that an NPP MP in the Ashanti Region used his position as a member of the Minerals Commission to acquire large-scale concessions and then sold them to private individuals, including party members, for two hundred thousand Cedis per concession.
“This infuriated the party in the constituency so during the 2020 primaries to select a candidate the electorate voted against the sitting MP, who was more resourced than other candidates. Although there were allegations that he “camped” delegates and attempted to bribe them, he lost to a lesser known individual who did not have any financial muscle,” the report stated.
Professor Frimpong-Boateng also accused leading NPP officials of serving as legal counsels for persons accused of involvement in galamsey and destroying the environment and water bodies. He also accused a journalist of engaging in unlawful excavator sales and money laundering at the behest of some government appointees.
The report was compiled following an order from the Chief of Staff and is dated March 19, 2021.
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng was appointed by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in 2017 to lead the fight against galamsey in Ghana and was removed from his position in March 2020, a year before he produced the report.
The reasons for his dismissal were not publicly disclosed, but it came at a time when some excavators seized during the fight against illegal mining went missing.
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng later revealed that his departure was part of a grand plan concocted by the government and the New Patriotic Party.
He claims that allegations of around 500 missing excavators seized from those involved in illegal mining were false and were fabricated by some people in the government to tarnish his reputation and force him out of office.
The former chairman of the ministerial committee has alleged that there were individuals in government who were keen to remove him from his post because of his strong stance on illegal mining activities in the country.
He has also stated that the military personnel deployed to arrest illegal miners at the start of Operation Vanguard triggered the rumours about him being responsible for the missing excavators.
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng explained that the soldiers were supposed to immobilize the excavators during the operation, but instead, they removed the control boards, allowing the owners to switch the control boards and move the excavators away.
He stated that only about 150 to 200 excavators were found when they went to check, despite the soldiers claiming to have immobilized over 700.
He emphasized that there was a coordinated effort within the government and the party to remove him from his position, and since his departure, illegal mining activities have increased.
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng has also alleged that there are people involved in illegal mining activities even within the government and the Jubilee House.
“The true story is that at the start of Operation Vanguard, the soldiers were supposed to arrest the excavators, but they will go into the forest and removed the control boards of the excavators and come back to report but when they went away, the owners will come with different control boards and move the excavators away," he said.
“So the soldiers reported that they had immobilized over 700 excavators, and so we appointed someone to go round and check but when we went round, we found only about 150 to 200 excavators, the rest had been moved away.”
“There was an orchestration within the party and the government to get me out and when I left galamsey activities increased. Now things are coming up, and we know those who are doing galamsey even within the party and even people at the Jubilee House.”