Shayona cements relationship with Kasungu communities
…builds a K2.1million house for Senior Group Village Headman Mwimila
By Chiku Jere
Shayona Cement Corporation has strengthened its relationship with Kusungu East communities by donating a house to Senior Group Village Headman Mwimila, in a gesture the company describes as a token of appreciation for the hospitality and good relationship it enjoys in the area which hosts its factory plant and limestone mine.
The donation is part of the company’s corporate social responsibility programme which has an annual budget of K30milion, catering for several projects including construction of school blocks, bridges, boreholes, and provision of education bursaries, medical drugs and other health facilities.
The two-bedroom house was officially handed over to the communities by Shayona officials through District Commissioner for Kasungu James Kanyangalazi who was visiting the factory for the first time having been transferred to the district a few months ago.
The DC praised Shayona for the house as well as the investment which he said is not only benefiting the people of Kasungu but the nation as a whole.
Before I came here I thought it was just one of those most pampered investments which has nothing to show on the ground only to discover that it is indeed ‘a mini city in the bush’, whose infrastructure, even beats by far that of some districts’ headquarters,
said the DC.
He described what Shayona is doing as a long lasting venture which will benefit several generations in the area.
Kanyangalazi described Shayona’s CSR programme as exceptional, owing to the fact that it benefits rural communities not authorities, and it tackles essential elements such as education, health, and environment.
He advised the communities to maintain and guard jealously the good relationship they have with Shayona for continued enjoyment of the benefits.
You can take advice from elsewhere on how to handle issues to do with Shayona but you should assess it first to find out if it is helpful to your cause. Make sure that whatever advocacy you do should not disturb the good work that Shayona is doing here or you will end up losing and regretting,
The DC then pledged to take necessary action to address the problems that are impeding smooth operations of the company including the poor condition of the 28km Mwimila Road leading to the factory, which is also important to farming communities who use it to transport produce to the market.
Before the house handover ceremony, Kanyangalazi was taken through a tour of the factory where he appreciated the Shayona project.
In an interview after the day’s events, Shayona’s Administrator Spencer M’baka explained that the company is heavily investing in CSR because it feels duty-bound to Malawi people, who are the ones who make the company thrive.
We are talking about the communities surrounding our factory as well as Shayona cement customers across the country, these are the major contributors to the growth of Shayona and the company owes them much appreciation,
He said the company is happy that its CSR initiative has brought happiness to the communities, gauging by the jubilation and dancing that spiced the presentation ceremony.
Meanwhile, Shayona is making strides with plans to open a new mine as the current Rivwezi mine is almost exhausted. The new mine site whose concession area covers 200 hectares is located in the same jurisdiction of T/A Wimbe but at Chikowa Village, which neighbours Mwimila.
Shayona Factory Human Resource and Administration Manager Austin Mvula disclosed that the company has already compensated community members who have been relocated from the area where the new mine will be opened.
They are all happy with the handsome compensation they have received and they all feel they are part and parcel of this investment and development in their area,
said Mvula, whose sentiments received backing from Group Village Headwoman Chikowa who confirmed her subjects received ‘huge’ sums of money, ranging from MK2million to MK6million, depending on piece of land one forwent.
So far, Mvula said the company envisages brighter future of their investment, particularly with the cooperation they are getting from the communities.
Projections indicate that the current Rivwezi mine plus the new Chikowa mine have combined limestone deposits that will sustain Shayona’s cement production for an estimated period of 50 years.
This piece was initially published in Malawi’s Mining & Trade Review Issue Number 51 (July 2017).
The full edition is available for download here. This monthly publication is edited by Marcel Chimwala.