Residents of Wimbe in Kasungu where Shayona Cement Company has a plant, have challenged the company to set aside 10 percent of its annual profits for corporate social responsibility projects.
Led by the Millennium Information and Resource Centre (Mirece), a Kasungu-based membership community organisation formed to address the plight of Malawians on issues of human rights and social development, the residents also want the company to sell them cement at factory price.
Mirece is currently implementing a two-year project titled ‘Liu la eni nthaka’ regarding rights of the people on mining and land.
The project aims to create a better understanding between investors and citizens surrounding mining industries and also to promote transparency and accountability.
Mirece chairperson Flywell Somanje said Shayona has been growing steadily over the years but residents of Wimbe are not benefiting from the investment.
“We want the company to build for us a hospital, construct a better road and school and allow us to buy cement at factory price because the stones used to make the cement are in our area.
“We have lived in this area for a very long time but we are still poor,” he complained.
Somanje said the fact that Shayona is expanding its operations in the area shows that they are making profits and they are also happy with mineral deposits used to manufacture cement.
“If Wimbe has mineral resources enabling a company to grow, then the company must also give back in equal measure,” he said.
Shayona administration manager Rowland Mwalweni refused to comment on the issue, saying his boss who is currently abroad, is in a better position to comment on the matter.
But the firm’s human resources manager Augustine Mvula recently told the media that the company has constructed school blocks and donates medicines worth K3 million to the clinic near the company every three months.
Shayona Cement Corporation, whose production has tripled after the installation of the first phase of a new manufacturing plant in the district, was incorporated in 1994 and started production in 1997.