Confusion Rocks School Feeding Programme

Caterers on the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) yesterday picketed at the National Secretariat of the Programme to demand from the Chief Executive, Mr Michael N. Nsowah, what the future holds for them. The caterers who numbered over hundred besieged the offices of the National Secretariat in Accra as early as 7.30am and requested to meet the Chief Executive since school re-opened today and as they put it “other caterers have come to our schools demanding that we pack our bag and baggage, that the contract has been awarded to NDC loyalists.” President of the Ghana School Feeding Caterers Association (GSFCA), Mrs. Juliana Woode, told newsmen at the secretariat that the caterers have pre-financed their contract with the secretariat and therefore did not see why government should terminate their contracts in the media when their contracts have not ended. “The secretariat even owes us seventeen days arrears and were not contacted by the AMA before the announcement was made so , for now, all we know is that school resumes tomorrow and we are cooking for the school children”, she said. According to Mrs. Woode, the Prof. Mills-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) government assured the caterers during the electioneering campaigns that no caterer on the school Feeding Programme would be dismissed, “so if you now go against your own promise at least do it with some human face. We have not been given any formal termination letter yet others clam the contracts have been awarded to them.” The SFCA President told journalists that some of the caterers on the programme received their appointment letters barely a few days ago and therefore does not understand why their contracts should be terminated in the media when they have pre-financed the Programme. Worst to the plight of the caterers at the time of filing this story yesterday was that the Tema metropolitan Assembly (TMA) has started issuing letters to terminate the appointment of some caterers in Tema, especially those perceived to be New Patriotic Party (NPP) sympathizers. Meanwhile, later at about 12.20pm when the Secretary of the Association Madam Sophia Aduamah, met the Chief Executive, he assured the caterers to go back and cook for the school children and that he had not received any information or letter from the Minister directing him to halt the contracts of the caterers. A visit to the Tema Community 8 site 4 and 3 schools in the Metropolis established that the NDC Women Organiser for Tema East Constituency had allegedly sent caterers to cook for the children when school resumes today against the backdrop that she has been awarded the contract by the TMA Chief Executive. The caterers who have already purchased food items for preparation today were however confused as to who should be trusted. The Crusading Guide also gathered that the NDC Women Organiser at Tema East has started seeing some headmasters and mistresses in caucuses not to allow the caterers to cook today until further notice… Madam Agnes Amoah a known NPP sympathizer confirmed in an interview that an NDC women organiser had indeed been instructed to take over the school rightly allocated to her. “I am aware of their schemes but I am going there tomorrow to cook, the law must work, I simply can’t sit and watch people take away what I have worked for over the years. I have purchased foodstuffs for tomorrow’s cooking so what should I do”.