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Caterers cooking for School children in the Kwahu Afram Plains North District in the Eastern Region under the National School Feeding Program have virtually been weeping after it became clear to them that the appointment letters presented to them were fake.
About twenty schools in the area, which were added to the program under the current New Patriotic Party (NPP) government and which are currently benefiting from the said program appears not to be in the books of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.
Sector Minister, Cynthia Morrison, in a recent meeting with the Eastern Regional Executives of the NPP, the Constituency Executives in the Kwahu Bloc as well as caterers under the school feeding program in the Kwahu area announced this to them.
The meeting was to offer the minister the opportunity to get first hand information on the implementation of the program and also to familiarize herself with the caterers.
The beneficiary Schools include, Atakora D/A Primary, St. Michael R/C Primary, Nana Baadu Primary, Brubeng D/A Primary, Kayira Primary, Amankwakrom Primary, Amankwa Tornu Primary, Abomasarefo Primary, Bridge Ano Primary, Abotanso Primary Roman Catholic Primary, Ntonaboma R/C Primary, Mem-Chemfre Primary, Dodi Primary, Anidzi Primary, Kamalo Primary, Catapila Tornu Primary, among others.
According to the Minister who did not hesitate to lambast the Constituency Executives of the ruling government in the Afram Plains North for claiming ownership of contracts awarded their Member of Parliament, Betty Krosby Mensah, to cook for the pupils of Kwaekese R/C by the ministry, “per the records I came to meet, the ministry has since 2017 not awarded any school feeding contract to any caterer in your area, even if it is then there is no records in the Ministry to that effect apart from the eleven contract awarded by the NDC government, and that of the Member of Parliament for the area.
She entreated the caterers to seek payment from whoever awarded them the contract be it the District Chief Executive (DCE) or the Regional Coordinator for the School Feeding Program, because the ministry is not in the position to pay for contracts it did not order.
Speaking to ghananewsonline.com.gh some of the caterers who claimed to have paid Ghs1000.00 before receiving their appointment letters expressed surprised at what they are hearing from the Minister responsible for Gender, Children and Social Protection that their appointment letters signed by the former Minister Afisa Otiko Djaba cannot be traced in the files at the Ministry.
“It was and is still a shock to me, I still don’t believe my ears, did Cynthia Morrison say she did not come to meet our files at the Ministry” a caterer in shock asked rhetorically.
“We were expecting our payment since the end of the first term but the Constituency and Regional Women Organizers always assured us of payment as they are putting things in order to effect our payment, up till date we have not received a pesewa, I was happy when I received the invitation letter to this meeting. I was thinking we were going to be paid, but here we are frustrated,” another caterer stated.
The caterers have since threatened to withdraw their services as they are unable to settle their debts with banks and shops they have acquired loans and bought food stuffs from on credit.
Checks from some beneficiary Schools revealed that caterers throughout last week did not provide meals for the pupils and have not sent any message to the headteachers as at the day of vacation. It is unclear whether they (caterers) would return to cook for this children in the next academic term.
Some headteachers also complained bitterly about the caterers and the quality of food they prepare for the school children in the area.
“They are supposed to provide food for the children from Monday to Friday every week but in our case caterers sometimes prepare food only ones in the week, they never cook for the whole five days within the week the most they do is three days, meanwhile they raise five days certificate to the government for payment” a Headteacher lamented bitterly.
Ghananewsonline.com.gh has gathered that some Constituency Executives paid Ghs 8000.00 to one Madam Fati Vondolie the Regional school Feeding Coordinator who is also the Regional Woman Organizer of the NPP in the Eastern Region,
Source: William Dei-Gyau