Government has been slammed over its handling of an unregulated investment company that has left thousands desperate to retrieve locked up cash. Security analyst Dr. Kwesi Aning weighing in on the Menzgold saga said the handling was “downright incompetent” and “extremely ineffective.”
The communication from government and state agencies he said was faulty.
“The narrative around such people is that oh well, we don’t care. You people are very greedy,” Dr. Kwesi Aning called this wrong in an interview on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Monday.
He said the state should not have dismissed the frustrations of anxious clients even though it had.
The security expert was referring to the Bank of Ghana which issued the public several times against transacting business with the company that promised 7%-10% monthly returns.
The Finance Minister also said clients at Menzgold were motivated by greed as he ruled out a government bail-out for the affected customers of the unlicensed venture.
Clients of Menzgold have also been ridiculed on social media with wide sections of society blaming them for falling for a Ponzi scheme despite warnings.
Dr. Aning said beyond warning the public not to do business with Menzgold, the state if it was a functional one still had a responsibility to ensure that “criminal enterprises are not successful.”
He said the state failed to check the background of Nana Appiah Mensah, his teamwork and the “network that supported the con game.”
“If official institutions failed…and you are now blaming me an ordinary person then …it releases anger, disaffection and pain”, he said and drew attention to the number of clients with Menzgold reportedly around 60,000.”
“Dismissiveness can be dangerous,” he chastised.
The Menzgold business module had gone on for at least four years until the Securities and Exchange Commission ordered a shut down last September.
Since then, clients have been agitating for the release of their monies as Menzgold became increasingly unresponsive to their concerns.
The Chief Executive Nana Appiah Mensah, the state says, has absconded after he was granted self-recognisance bail.
There is an international manhunt for the 34-year-old businessman.
Dr. Aning also raised concerns about the communication surrounding his escape. He said the communication and explanation surrounding his escape raises concerns about possible collusions.
The CID has said it had never arrested Nana Appiah Mensah while Burean of National Investigations is said to have arrested him and granted him bail.
His arrest was not publicly known until news of his getaway became public.
Menzgold branch in Dzorwulu
The Security analyst wants to know how Nana Appiah Mensah managed to get out of the country without notifying the security agencies as self-recognisance bail requires.
“It is crucial that people should not come back and wriggle out of their failures”, the Director at the Faculty of Academic Affairs & Research, Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre said.
Dr. Aning said once again, the Menzgold saga betrays a worrying culture of unresponsive institutions.
“When all your lives saving are lost and those who stole your money are enjoying and those who can help you are dismissive.”
He pointed to the failure of authorities of Kumasi-based public university KNUST to address students concerns until a violent protest resulted in a shutdown.
In another example, he pointed to an outbreak of violence after a student was knocked down on the busy Adentan highway.
Residents had for weeks prior complained about the lack of footbridge over the deadly highway but their complaints fell on deaf ears until an eruption of violence compelled the state to act.
“When people get angry and live is not worth living, others will capitalise on that anger and turn it into something else. “
“We don’t seem to be learning our lesson,” the security analyst believes.
He said government communication should have aimed at how to assuage the hurt, fears and pain of the affected customers after it failed to protect their interest.
“There is a dangerous development in this country when institutions woefully fail to act….they use unnecessary English words.”
Joe Bright Nyarko
Journalist/Communication Researcher. Environment & Sustainability Advocate. Managing Editor of aptnewsghana.com, a non-profit news portal with bias towards environment and sustainability issues, rural development policies and gender & inequality.