Hon Otiko Afisa Djaba, the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection has said government will prosecute corrupt officials who try to put government’s work in disrepute by stealing from the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) beneficiaries.
She said there are a number of allegations that have been made against social welfare staff in charge of the distribution of leap funds of extorting from this poor and vulnerable people and that crimes against this people will never go unpunished.
Hon. Otiko Djaba disclosed this at the two-day Case Management Training workshop on Regional Programme for Heads and District Social Welfare Officers on the revised case management manual in Sunyani the Brong-Ahafo Region.
She said Nana Akufo-Addo’s government is poised to curb the corruption menace and that those who dip their hands into the LEAP coffers will be dealt with and will be treated as enemies of the vulnerable and poor.
“LEAP Programme represents government vision of creating an all-inclusive society through the provision of sustainable mechanisms for the protection of persons living in extreme poverty, vulnerability and exclusion. Therefore, any attempt by implementation officials to undermine this core principle will be fiercely resisted” she said’
The Hon. Minister said the government is in the process of refocusing the LEAP programme to ensure that it did not become a source of political patronage. In that regard, she said her Ministry will adopt effective and accurate means-testing to identify and enrol deserving beneficiary households onto the programme.
“LEAP is a cash transfer programme by the government for the poorest households to assist them with basic needs, including food and shelter,” the Minister added.
The Hon Minister also warned that, the programme “is not a family and friend venture for some few people who thought they must enjoy at the expense of the vulnerable.”
On the selection process of beneficiaries, government officials with support of community focal persons, will visit selected communities across the country, to collect data to assess the poverty status of families and prepare a list of selected beneficiaries.