Parliament’s Finance Committee divided over Menzgold’s cry for help
The Finance Committee of Parliament is divided over a petition from Menzgold Ghana Limited for some state intervention over the company’s present predicament.
While a section of the Committee believes that the company must be left to tackle its own mess after failing to operate within stipulated regulations, others on the Committee believe a level of state intervention is required.
The Chairman of the Finance Committee, Dr. Mark Assibey Yeboah, said the Committee was yet to even decide on inviting Menzgold for a meeting.
“We’ve distributed their petition to all members of the Committee and the generality is a divided Committee on this matter; whether to invite them or not.”
He however insisted that the affected customers had ample warning of Menzgold’s shaky foundation.
“Government warned those who put their monies there. The government warned them. As late as February 2017, Menzgold came to the Finance committee and we told them what they were doing was illegal. At that point, if anyone wanted to take out their funds, they would have been able to do so,” the MP said.
A Ranking Member on the Committee, Cassiel Ato Forson, however described the issue as “dicey”, and was clearly in favour of a government intervention.
“I strongly believe that government has a responsibility to intervene. I also strongly believe that government’s attitude of ‘I don’t care’ is not good enough because the government should intervene to ensure that at the minimum, the assets of the owners of Menzgold are confiscated.”
Menzgold was asked to suspend its gold trading operations with the public by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in September.
This was shortly after the Bank of Ghana had issued a warning to the public on Menzgold’s operations.
Menzgold had been dealing in the purchase and deposit of gold collectables from the public and issuing contracts with guaranteed returns with clients, without a valid license from the Commission.
The SEC said this was in contravention of section 109 of Act 929 with consequences under section 2016 (I) of the same Act.
The most recent development saw a Kumasi Circuit Court order the sale of properties of Menzgold in Amakom in the Ashanti Region by public auction before 10:00am on January 16, 2019.
This followed a suit brought against the company by an aggrieved customer, Henry Darko, over the failure of the company to pay his principal investments and extra value.
The court, in its ruling, while instructing the company not to sell or gift out the property, cautioned the general public not to receive the property whether by purchase, gift or any other means.
Several other customers including over hundred police officers in Kasoa, recently sued Menzgold over their locked up investments. There have also been a series of demonstrations against the company, and staff of Menzgold have also risen against the management.