Government has described as “wicked propaganda,” claims by Klottey Korle MP, Dr. Zanetor Rawlings that food relief packages are being distributed on a partisan basis.
Dr. Rawlings while providing food for head porters in Accra made allegations to the effect that government officials distributing food to the vulnerable and needy as a result of the partial lockdown are demanding party identity cards before serving them the food.
Government embarked on that gesture in a bid to alleviate the plight of the marginalised in society who are bearing the brunt of the lockdown directive.
With the livelihoods of several Ghanaians in the locked-down areas of Accra, Kumasi, Tema, and Kasoa, under threat, the state began implementing measures including the feeding of some four hundred thousand people in within the catchment areas as part of measures to curb the spread of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic that has claimed eight lives out of the country’s 636 confirmed cases.
But the daughter of former President Rawlings, said the relief efforts are being done on a partisan basis, which to her, is unacceptable.
“This is a humanitarian crisis, women and children are hungry. They are locked down because it’s not their fault the virus is in Ghana. People are being asked to show evidence of their party membership before being given food. This is not acceptable [and] this is very sad [because] the virus does not show whether you are NDC or NPP before it infects you,” Dr. Zanetor Rawlings alleged.
But those cloams have been described as palpable false and borne out of political mischief.
In a statement setting the records straight on the food-relief distribution, Gender Minister, Cynthia Mamle Morrison said: “contrary to the claim that kayayei around Tema Station and Old Fadama are not being fed, the Ministry’s monitoring system shows that on the average 5,000 packs of food are distributed to kayayei and other vulnerable persons from that vicinity daily.”
She, therefore, described the MP’s claims as “false and unfounded.”
The statement issued and dated in Accra on Wednesday, April 15, 2020, also added that the Ministry’s distribution of social support to kayayei have been done in the spirit of adherence to the President’s social distancing protocols evident in the change of venue to the ‘spacious’ Efua Sutherland Children’s Park.
Touching on claims that the party ID cards are being requested before food reliefs are handed to deserving people, Madam Cynthia Morrison wondered how an exercise being supervised by the Military will take such a political dimension.
“In fact, the distribution of the food items to the kayayei and the vulnerable is being done by the officials of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection(MoGCSP) in collaboration with the AMA, NADMO and the Fifth Infantry Battalion of the Ghana Armed Forces. To say officials of these state agencies and our respected military personnel are asking the poor and vulnerable groups to present party cards before food items are given to them can only be a wicked propaganda purported to undermine the effort government is making to provide social relief to the poor and vulnerable in this difficult time.”
The statement also added that “it is worthy of note, that the Hon MP made these comments while on a partisan relief exercise herself.”
Cynthia Morrison made a clarion call on Dr. Rawlings not to “demonize” government’s well-intended efforts since “coronavirus doesn’t know political colour.”