Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng
Former Minister for Science of Environment, Science and Technology, Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng is of the strong conviction that his exit from the Ministry was a grand scheme orchestrated by the government and his party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
According to him, the allegations against him of some missing 500 excavators seized from persons engaged in illegal mining activities popularly called galamsey in 2020 were fabricated by some members in government to just tarnsh his reputation for him to be kicked out of office.
He pointed out that there were some people in government that wanted him removed from office because of his stance on illegal mining activities in the country.
Prof. Frimpong Boateng explained that the actions of military personnel deployed to deal with illegal miners triggered the entire falsehood about him being responsible for the missing excavators at the time because the military were on top of their job and affecting people associated with illegal mining.
“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.
“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.”
He further stressed that “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 behind it and party people who are there including government and Jubilee House who are doing galamsey and so on and even now,” he said when speaking in an interview on Ghana Television (GTV).
The missing excavators saga sparked in 2020 when Prof. Frimpong Boateng, the then Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation revealed on Joy Fm that most of the excavators seized from illegal miners had gone missing.
He therefore wrote a letter to the Police CID to investigate Horace Ekow Ewusi, then suspended First Vice Chairman of the governing NPP in the Central Region over his alleged involvement in the missing earth-moving equipment.
Ekow Ewusi was contracted by the government at the time to cart excavators and other vehicles and pieces of equipment seized by the anti-illegal mining task force to designated areas for safekeeping but ended up in people’s homes.
By Vincent Kubi