The Office of the President has responded to a 37-page report by former Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, accusing government employees and some top officials at the Presidency of engaging in galamsey and frustrating his fight against the menace as the former chair of the Inter Ministerial Committee on illegal Mining (IMCIM).
“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”, parts of Prof Frimpong-Boateng’s report read.
Reacting to the allegations in a statement, the Office of the President indicated that the report was not an official report formally delivered to the Office of the President.
It described the 37-page report as a catalogue of personal grievances by Prof. Frimpong-Boateng, intended to respond to some issues he faced as Chairperson of the IMCIM.
The statement explained that the document was handed to the Chief of Staff at the Office of the President on March 19th 2021, in an informal meeting, where Prof. Frimpong-Boateng complained about public attacks and criticisms made about his tenure as Chairperson of the IMCIM.
“This was after Prof. Frimpong-Boateng’s tenure as Minister had not been renewed by the President of the Republic in his second term. The document did not have a transmittal or cover letter nor, indeed, an addressee, such as to suggest that it was submitted to the Chief of Staff for action. It is noteworthy that the IMCIM was a creature of Cabinet, and any formal report on its activities would, normally, be submitted to Cabinet through the Cabinet Secretary, or directly to the President of the Republic as Chairperson of Cabinet. Till date, Prof. Frimpong-Boateng has done neither,” the statement said.
It added that whilst Prof. Frimpong-Boateng makes serious allegations against some government appointees, as having been involved in, supporting or interfering with the fight against illegal mining, not a single piece of evidence was adduced or presented to enable the claims to be properly investigated.
The Office of the President described the allegations contained in the document as hearsay.
According to the statement, since Prof. Frimpong-Boateng’s meeting with the Chief of Staff in March, 2021, he has taken no step nor acted in furtherance of the matters contained in his report.
The statement assured the public that the President’s commitment to fighting illegal mining is unassailable, and the Office of the President welcomes any information on illegal mining activities which provides a credible basis for investigations to be conducted by the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service.