Ghana Individual Bondholders Forum has petitioned Parliament to exclude its members from the government’s domestic debt exchange programme.
The Forum forms part of the groups seriously fighting the government’s decision to give individual bondholders a haircut under the debt restructuring initiative.
The forum which consists of persons holding investments in the Government of Ghana’s Local Cedi Bonds, Government of Ghana’s Local USD Bonds, ESLA PLC Bonds, Daakye Bonds, Ghana Eurobonds, and Collective investment schemes with investments in the above securities said the announcement of the programme “has been extremely unsettling and catastrophic for our membership” and demand that they be excluded.
Like the other individuals and unions vehemently kicking against the programme, the Individual Bondholder’s Forum said its members were not consulted prior to the announcement of the programme.
Over 10,000 bondholders have signed up to campaign against the controversial debt swap, asking Parliament to save the 1.3 million Ghanaian individual bondholders who have been shortchanged in the domestic debt exchange programme.
“We are unaware of any Parliamentary approvals, directly or indirectly that the managers of the DDE have been granted to make unilateral decisions over financial arrangements originally clad with binding contracts. If that was the case, your office would have invoked the principles of fair and impartial hearing for both parties, in this case, Individual Bondholders and assigns of the DDE programme to justify their positions. Suffice to say, this has been the basic approach adopted in other jurisdictions that ever dealt with creditors in a domestic debt exchange programme. Parliaments by their truly representative nature will not only consider the overall national interest however precarious, but will also ensure citizens are protected from capricious decisions by the executive.
“The Parliament of Ghana may have been liberal when it comes to approving expansionary national budgets even in the face of austerity. However, we are also aware that it does not take kindly to being sidestepped by the executive especially when it senses evasion of accountability. Sirs, let it not be said ever that during your leadership, you looked on when your constituents whose primary duty to country was service and love through hard work and taxes were impoverished by executive fiat. Your constituents should never ever be afraid of their representatives. Save them.
“Finally, we wish to state that within our group are persons who possess technical and policy skills and are willing to assist government explore viable options without catastrophically impairing the interest of Individual Bondholders,” excerpts of the petition read.