Scores of aggrieved customers of the DKM Microfinance Limited in the Upper East region have vowed to vote against President John Dramani Mahama for what they described as failure on the part of government to help retrieve their investments from the company.
The disappointed depositors declared this intention during a public demonstration staged Friday in Bolgatanga, Upper East regional capital. The irate demonstrators took to the streets and the main highway that links Ghana to Burkina Faso, waving under an ‘angry’ sun an assembly of placards with an emphasis that sums up their frustrations.
The inscriptions on the placards among others include: “Killer government, who permitted DKM?”; “Upper East is burning”; “DKM is digging NDC grave”; “The suffering is too much”; “BoG, we need our money”; “No money, no vote” and “DKM workers must be investigated.”
Whilst vowing to boycott the November 7 general elections if government fails to get their monies back from the company, the demonstrators also declared their intention to vote against the Mahama Administration for not tackling their plight as expected.
“No money, no vote! We are overthrowing Mahama like how they overthrew Kwame Nkrumah back in the days. We will overthrow Mahama. Imagine I’m here; I’m supposed to be in school. I should have been in school, now here fighting for my money,” a customer, Inusah Fuseini, told Starr News as fuming voices in the background tore the air apart with rage.
Another incensed client, Kofi Amatepey, groaned at full volume, saying: “It’s a serious matter! You sleep by your wife; you want to touch your wife; your wife says DKM. You want your wife to provide you tea― that DKM. I’m facing problem in marriage. Anything at all I want my wife to do, she says DKM because I used all my investments, my suffering of 15 years all in DKM. I can no longer eat three times a day. And I’m telling Mahama that if he [doesn’t] do anything about it, he knows that I am coming from Volta region, and I will go to the Volta region to campaign against him!”
The DKM shock, in what reportedly has seen some disillusioned savers take their own lives and some down with stroke nationwide, is not limited to the man in the street who stashed his fortune with the microfinance company with great hopes for a life-transforming turnover. The infamous upset has not left out some eminent figures in the region, including clerics, lecturers, traditional authorities and bank managers the majority of whom, however, did not take part in the public protest.
A popular opinion leader at Gbani in the Talensi District, John Bawa, asked the President to help the grieving customers to get back at least their investments. He warned that failure to do so could spell an electoral misfortune for the President at this year’s polls.
The demonstrators ended their procession at the forecourt of the Upper East Regional Coordinating Council block where they presented a petition to the President. Receiving the petition on behalf of the President, the Deputy Upper East regional Minister, Daniel Syme, assured the demonstrators that their grievances would be addressed.
“It is unfortunate that somehow DKM has managed to swindle the system to put you in this peril. I want to assure you about the commitment of this government and His Excellency the President to see how this problem can be resolved. Indeed, you are all aware that he (the President) ordered deep investigations into this matter. And I can assure you that the processes are being taken through, since this is a country of law and order, to ensure that at the end of the day whatever investments you have made are refunded to you,” the Deputy Minister said.
Charles Ayambire, who read out the petition on behalf of the demonstrators, told the Deputy Minister the demonstrators would be back in the streets if government delayed in resolving the matter as soon as expected.