Renowned clergyman, Rev Prof Paul Frimpong-Manso, said he is saddened by the plight of thousands of Menzgold customers whose monies are locked up with the embattled gold dealer.
The General Superintendent of Assemblies of God Church believes that government should have acted swiftly to stop the activities of the firm.
He said had the operations of Menzgold been stopped by agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Bank of Ghana (BoG), instead of the warnings they issued to the public against dealing with them, the number of swindled customers would have been few.
“In fact, I am heartbroken for those who are going through pain in a time when money is difficult to come by,” Prof Paul Frimpong Manso told Raymond Acquah on Upfront Thursday.
The government has ruled out using taxpayers’ money to settle the aggrieved customers whose funds are locked up with the firm.
A statement issued by the Information Ministry on Thursday explained that although government sympathises with customers of Menzgold, the Bank of Ghana (BoG) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are not “clothed with any legal mandate” to refund monies to clients.
Government explains that both BoG and SEC had warned the public against depositing money with the firm, however, Rev Frimpong-Manso said the public warnings were enough.
Using the analogy of an unlicensed driver, the renowned man of God said police and other regulatory agencies would have gone beyond warning passengers from travelling with the driver to making sure he was stopped from driving altogether.
According to him, allowing Menzgold to operate while warning the public from dealing with the firm was counter-productive.
“Nobody can say that the government is responsible, but nobody can say that they [government] is not responsible because in the Constitution when somebody takes leadership, he vows to protect the people. If any institution can take advantage of people, they should be stopped,” he sad on Upfront.
The BoG and SEC should have taken the bull by the horn and shut down the firm when they were convinced that it was breaching its operational licence, he said.
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