By PETER KOMBE
A cement manufacturing firm has rubbished claims that the weekly food distribution program to locals is a political strategy to ascend to power.
Mombasa Cement revealed that the program that targets vulnerable communities is meant to relieve them from the pangs of COVID-19.
Vulnerable members in the community according to the firm’s spokesperson Sayani Imtiaz are cushioned with a food package to last the beneficiaries a week.
Sayani who was addressing the media at the food distribution point in Kizingo Mombasa County further revealed that a total of sh9 million is distributed on a weekly basis.
“We distribute food three times a week. We give out food to everyone who comes in this compound. This is only charity and not a political tool,” he said
Imtiaz says initially the firm started with a total population of 3000 beneficiaries, and then the number rose to 5000 and currently over 30,000 locals benefit from the corporate social responsibility program.
He adds that security has been beefed up to ensure that beneficiaries adhere to all health guidelines.
“We have everything to ensure that people adhere to the government directives. We have masks and sanitizers so that people can sanitize themselves before they head to their special sitting areas,”Imtiaz noted.
The speaks person says this is to ensure that the beneficiaries stay free from Coronavirus.
“We have maize meal, juice, biscuits and soap. Again we have enough security who ensure that the exercise is peaceful,” said the officer.
At the same time Hamisi Mwagarashi lamented that following a dwindle in the economy the situation is now pathetic.
Mwagarashi notes that thousands of Kenyans now lead miserable lives after being rendered jobless by the pandemic.
“Do not think that all this large population you are seeing here is happy. They are lamenting inwardly. Hunger is what has brought them here,” he pointed out.
The resident asked politicians to work together for the benefit of the community saying the corona virus has brought equality amongst Kenyans.
Meanwhile Mwanahatibu Mwinyihaji, a mother of six who hails from Magongo in Changamwe Sub County lauded the initiative terming it humane.
Mwinyihaji observed that she treks all the way from Magongo with her siblings to get at least a day’s meal.
She called on other donors and well-wishers to come in and assist the less fortunate in society.
“More donors should come out. This Corona period is beyond our control, and life has become unbearable,” appealed this lady.
At the same time, Debora Kemto a beneficiary from Timbwani ward in Likoni Sub County said the initiative assists hundreds of vulnerable persons in the community.
Kemto asked leaders to join hands in assisting the vulnerable families.
“Initially I did not have money to buy bread for my family, now I can get that bread and even keep some to last me a week,” she said.
The cement manufacturing firm has an annual production capacity of 2.3 million metric tonnes.
It was founded in 2007 and has installed the mother plant in Vipingo, Kilifi County.