Members of the Pensioner Bondholders Forum say they will be dragging the Ministry of Finance to the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ).
This comes after the Ministry indicated its inability to pay the interest demanded by the Bondholders on all matured principals since February, 2023.
Speaking to the media after a meeting with the Finance Ministry, convener of the group, Dr. Adu Anane Antwi said an arbiter is needed for an amicable conclusion to the issue.
He stressed that CHRAJ must indicate whether an issuer can keep their money when it is due to be returned, and deprive them of their investment income.
“First the pensioners are asking for payment of interests on the delayed principals. The issue is that, that is the money we are using to invest to get interest and to buy medication and fend for ourselves. So if you have delayed it in some cases over 108 days, then we are saying you can’t keep the money for free, pay interest as you were paying when the principal was with you. So once you haven’t returned the principal, we are asking for payment of interest.
“I have suggested that we will submit the matter to CHRAJ for CHRAJ to go into it and tell us whether we have a right to demand the interest or not,” he explained.
Touching on the suspended picketing by the group, Dr. Adu Anane Antwi said they will resume the exercise following the refusal of the Ministry to pay them their matured coupons.
He said, although the Finance Ministry had assured the group of payment since last week, their accounts are yet to be credited.
“We were expecting the coupons that were due to be paid but we haven’t received any alert. The Deputy Minister says Bank of Ghana has told them that they have sent money to the banks for the banks to credit our accounts but we haven’t seen any crediting from the banks.
“So once no alert has been seen, we are going to continue with our picketing.
“If by the time we leave here we see an alert that the amount is being paid, we won’t come tomorrow but if we don’t see any alert system working today, we will come again Friday.
“Then Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, we won’t come and if within those three days we see arrears being paid, we won’t come but if we don’t see that, we will come Thursday and Friday.”
The picketing at the ministry by members of the Pensioner Bondholders Forum started in the wake of delays in the payment of coupons and matured principals to pensioners exempted by the government from the domestic debt exchange programme.
A statement said the forum wrote to the Ministry of Finance on March 30, 2023, advising “that pensioners be paid all their outstanding coupons and principals by April 21, 2023, and make payments of subsequent coupons and principals as and when due, and without delays”.
It said at the time of writing the letter of March 30, 2023, “there were 13 coupons and two principals in arrears, with the earliest due amount being in arrears for 38 days.
“We advised in our letter of March 30, 2023, which was copied the Speaker of Parliament, that if the anomalous situation we were complaining about was not resolved by April 21, 2023, we shall be left with no other option than to resume picketing the ministry to further press home our demand for the payment of all coupons and principals in arrears, and an end to payment delays,” it added.
But despite the numerous picketing by the members of the forum, their demands are yet to be met by government.