The Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Cynthia Morrison has emphasized that government has plans underway to pass a Witchcraft Bill.
At a press conference today, Madam Cynthia Morrison stated that her outfit is in the process of putting together a report that will guide Parliament to pass the Witchcraft Bill.
“The only solution we have is a law that will prevent anybody from lynching anybody. We are putting our report together, then from there, we will present it to Mr. Speaker and then we will know the way forward.”
The proposed law comes on the heels of the recent callous lynching of 90-year-old woman Akua Denteh for allegedly being a witch at Kafaba, near Salaga in the Savannah Region.
During the second meeting of the fourth session of the seventh Parliament, the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye, also hinted the passage of a law to help protect people accused of witchcraft.
According to him, the highlights of the proposed Witchcraft Bill include the prohibition of professional witchcraft, prohibition against the accusation of witchcraft, participation in the declaration of a person as a witch or wizard and penalty against chief or headman encouraging witchcraft.
Madam Cynthia Morrison also disclosed that she has decided to cancel the LEAP program to enable the Ministry amass for funds to support the project.
“A lot of them have refused to go home because of fear. What we are looking at is going to renovate where they are and give them a better life. A lot of them tell me they are not on LEAP and so we are putting them on leap. Yesterday I cancelled ther program because we want to save that money, for our mothers in the camp, and they agreed with me”.
Madam Cynthia Morrison added that the Ministry is accumulating funds internally to help them assist elderly women in the witch camps.
“We are taking money from almost every part of our department. Social welfare, social protection and Gender department is giving out something. And then we will come to the Ministry of Information and get funds to add up and do something for them. We want to change their lifestyle and give them a better life”
According to the Minister, the re-integration of these abandoned women into the society is the most difficult task, hence the need to set up a task force to specialize in that area.
“We are setting up a task force who will go and do the community dialogues to make sure that their families understand why they should accept them back”.
Assessing the progress of the Ministry, she stated that since last year October, her outfit has achieved all their goals.
“The ministry in the year under review achieved our target so far, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic . we will continue to implement our planned activities and program for the rest of the year 2020. We will be guided by the challenges posed by the pandemic.”
Story by: Joylyne Oko-Matey | universnewsroom.com