The planned dividend payment by gold dealership company, Menzgold Ghana Limited, was yesterday fraught with challenges as many clients of the company rushed to its offices in panic to get access to their money. It was a scene of confusion, anguish, thirst for answers, insults and even curses when the desperate clients besieged the company.

With worried faces, the clients were seen gathered in small groups discussing what fate awaited them with the current state of the company.

As of 3p.m. when the Daily Graphic left the premises of the company’s offices at Dzorwulu and East Legon in Accra, about five people had been paid their dividends.

However, payments were still being processed.

Menzgold last Thursday announced that it would resume the payment of extra values from its gold vault market.

This follows the suspension of its operations on September 13, 2018, following a directive from the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) that the company shut down its gold vault trading platform.

Rush for money

Scores of customers besieged the premises of the gold dealership company to take their extra values on their principal amounts or the principal. As early as 6a.m., hundreds of expectant customers of the gold firm had started queuing on its premises.

Some of the customers who spoke to the Daily Graphic said they received text messages informing them that “those who did not receive their extra values between August 28 and September 11, 2018, due to the delays in the processes for the bank transfers should kindly visit their branches tomorrow at 1p.m. to check their payment schedules.”

Scheduled payments and no termination

Per the statement released by the management of Menzgold last Thursday, the payment would only be in relation to extra values that had accrued before the company was ordered by SEC to shut down its operations.

The company also announced that due to the shutdown, it was not in the position to process any termination of the contract that it had with its clients.

A notice pasted on the premises of the company also detailed the specific date customers could come for their extra values, which had accrued from August 5-September 12, 2018.

Angry customers

A number of customers’ extra values were not due for payment yesterday per the payment schedule released by Menzgold, but they were on the company’s premises determined to get access to their money.

Some told the Daily Graphic that they were ready to forfeit the 25 per cent penalty that the termination of contract would attract.

“SEC did not tell Menzgold to stop paying extra values to its existing customers. The directive was to stop signing on new clients. So why is the company only paying extra values before the directive from SEC?’’ an anonymous client fumed.

Others also questioned Menzgold’s decision not to allow clients to terminate their contracts in order to get their principal amount.

“The only condition for termination of contract is a 25 per cent penalty. I am even ready to forfeit 50 per cent of the money, but Menzgold said no. That is not what the contract stipulates,’’ another customer said.

Other customers supported the management of Menzgold, saying the company was being sabotaged by power forces.

“Menzgold was operating normally, it had never defaulted with the payment of extra values, but SEC decided to shut it down. SEC says it is protecting our interests and this is the result,’’ a customer added.

Legal action

Meanwhile, Menzgold last Thursday dragged SEC and the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to court with a case that the two regulators were engaging in activities “harmful” to its operations.

In a suit filed at the Accra High Court, the company wants, among other reliefs, a declaration from the court that its activities do not fall under the scope of the BoG or the SEC’s regulations.

Other reliefs include “an order of perpetual injunction to restrain the BoG and the SEC from interfering with its business activities or further acts by publishing any derogatory notices’’.