Former Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo has said she is no longer a government employee and, thus, she is free to air her opinion.
In her view, the government has failed and must show some respect to the elderly.
A very unhappy Sophia Akuffo, who joined Pensioner Bondholders on day 5 of picketing the Finance Ministry to drive home their demands that their investments be exempted from the government’s Domestic Debt Exchange Programme, said it was disrespectful and unlawful to include pension bondholders in the DDEP.
Speaking to journalists at the forecourt of the Finance Ministry, the former chief justice said “We are over 70 years now, I am no longer government employed, my mouth has been unguarded, and I am talking, and I am saying that we have failed, and it is important that the elderly should be respected. I find this wicked, I find it disrespectful, I find it unlawful, I find it totally wrong.”
“Quite a number of people here today, when they retired two years ago, they put everything into government bonds, it is a contract and now all of a sudden, you virtually want to force them to agree with you that the repayment of the yield of their investment should be as you dictate it. Why?” she quizzed.
Ms Akuffo wants the government to be transparent and accountable to Ghanaians.
“Why are we in the mess? Nobody has fully explained to us, yes we took debt, what was it used for? And where is the accountability? Exactly what was it used for?
“You are not telling us about how you are going to be able to make things better but just that ‘help me and I help you’, no, you help yourself first, let me see you doing something serious because we have seen these sorts of things too many times,” she added.
The government has proposed a 15 percent coupon rate for bondholders but the pensioners’ group has said it will not accept any haircuts on investments.
According to the group, it will not accept the haircuts on investments because the livelihood of its members depends on the proceeds.
Just like the former CJ, some members of the group have indicated they buy their medications and other essentials from the proceeds made from their investments and hence want the government to totally exempt the investments.
“We deserve total exemption; we have earned it.
“Total exemption,” the pensioner bondholders told Class News on Day 4 of their picketing on Thursday, February 9.