Former minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Madam Otiko Afisa Djaba has called on government to pay caterers the amount of money that is due to them.
She made her statement during a media engagement following an ongoing nationwide strike taken by caterers in schools.
The caterers embarked on the strike to draw government’s attention to its failure to pay them their arrears and increase the feeding allocation of every child.
According to Madam Djaba, the contract is not charitable and caterers should be paid in order to survive and feed their families as well.
“It’s important that the government should pay the caterers all the amounts that are due them. The contract is not a charitable one. It is not a nonprofit exercise. It is for them to earn an income. Because most of them, 80% of the caterers are women. They are widows. They are single parents. They are looking for how to be breadwinners and take care of the needs of their family.”
Madam Djaba added that parents also financially benefit from the program due to feeding of their children being handled by the government.
According to her, the strike may induce less enrolment of students in the schools, hence the need for outstanding arrears to be paid immediately.
“The parents benefit because they don’t now have to find money for their child. But if you don’t do that, that means parents now have to look for money to feed their children. And children who don’t get that will not go to school. So…the purpose of increasing enrollment will backfire. And so the arrears are supposed to be paid in terms of the contract. It’s a pre financing thing.”