Prof. Frimpong Boateng, where are the 500 excavators?


Ghana is a country where often, burning issues die a natural death. Many issues come up, even some bordering on death and murder; but die out of the blue, without getting to their logical conclusions.

What’s more intriguing is the fact that some of the issues, although get to the courts, the grinding pace of our judiciary system makes often victims or affected individuals, give up in the pursuit of justice.

There are still the gruesome murders of Major Mahama at Denkyira Obuasi and Ahmed Suale who was shot in traffic at Madina, a suburb of Accra that is either pending at the court; or still being investigated respectively.

Major Mahama’s death is some four years now; while Ahmed Suale’s close range shot is three years and as stated, the two murderous acts are still hanging for the stated reasons.

The family of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority staff, Josephine Asante is still brooding over the murder of their relative who was murdered in her home some three years ago; yet perpetrators of the gruesome act are still out there in the open.

On February 21st, 2020, the Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, Prof Frimpong Boateng assured the nation, including the President, that the over 500 missing excavators under his watch would be found.

That’s when it was widely reported that the excavators which were seized by the Ministerial Committee on Illegal mining, otherwise known as galamsey, were missing. These were excavators were seized from Chinese and Ghanaian illegal miners.

Prof Boateng lost his position as the chairman of the Ministerial Committee or the anti-galamsey task force; but still hanged on as the sector minister which duties cover mining and all of its related businesses, including small scale mining and illegal mining.

From when he threatened—February 21st, 2020 to when his tenure of his office ended on January 6th, 2021, Prof Boateng could not find even one of the missing excavators; or gave a clue what might have prompted his stoical determination to find the excavators.

Prof. Frimpong Boateng has since lost his position as Minister of Environment, Science and Technology in the second term administration of the President, without being held accountable for the bold promise he made to the Ghanaian people.

The learned heart surgeon has since retired to his call as the lead Heart Surgeon at the Cardiothoracic Centre at the Korle-bu Teaching hospital. Ironically, Prof Boatend’s son, Joojo Boateng, the Ministerial team uncovers, was also a kingpin in the galamsey business.

In a video that trended in the aftermath of the missing excavators, other NPP chiefs like John Boadu, Ekwow Ewusie and Charles Bissue were seen deeply involved in the galamsey practice.

The missing excavators generated a lot of furore with names of some government officials including those stated in the article being linked to the scandal. The chief culprit was Charles Bissue, a presidential staffer and the Western Regional secretary of the NPP.

Charles Bissue was said to be the chief architect behind the sudden disappearance of the excavators and also a galamsey facilitator. He was found complicit in the galamsey scandal by investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas for collecting bribe to facilitate galamsey operations.

It turned out that for his punishment, Charles Bissue was relieved of his position as the secretary to the Ministerial Commission mandated to sanitize operations of small scale mining that has been taken over by illegal miners. And that was it.

Today, Charles Bissue walks freely; to the extent that he put up guts to represent the ruling party at political talk show programmes on some leading television stations in the nation’s capital.

A deputy Central Regional chairman of the ruling party Horace Ewusie was also said to be deeply involved in both the galamsey loot and the missing excavators. Ewusie was chased by NPP foot soldiers who swore to lynch him for not helping them with all the galamsey money that he made.

Ewusie went underground at the heat of the galamsey uprising to avoid the prying eyes of the media; perhaps waiting for the proverbial “Ghanaians forget easily and too early” period to elapse for him to show up again publicly.  

The lingering and unresolved question still remains “Prof. Frimpong Boateng, where are the excavators?”