Bear with Escom on blackouts – Malawi President

President Peter Mutharika on Monday spoke openly, for the first time, about the continued  electricity blackouts, and urged the nation to be patient.

President Mutharika: Bera with Escom on blackouts

President Mutharika: Bera with Escom on blackouts

Malawi have, for the past six months, been experiencing massive electricity blackouts which Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) attributed to low water levels in Lake Malawi and low flows in the Shire river.

The country’s generation capacity now stands at 211.04 megawatts against a demand of 278 megawatts.

On Monday, Mutharika speaking to journalists at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe, said he was aware of the situation and defended Escom’s efforts to improve the situation.

”I am aware of electricity problems, its strategic problem. Escom is working out the issue. The problem is water levels,” said Mutharika.

Mutharika said was hopeful the situation would improve especially with coming in of Chinese funded Kamwamba coal-fired power station which is to add about 300-megawatt (MW).

”The minister of energy and Escom are doing their best to rectify the problem. I ask everybody to bear with us as we doing our best”.

Malawians are currently facing long hours without electricity as Escom revealed that generation capacity at its Nkula and Tedzani Hydro power stations has gone down by 50 percent.

Escom has been attributing the persistent blackouts to low water levels in Lake Malawi and Shire River.

However, in August the institution took a contradictory step and admitted to the nation that the current blackouts are a result of faulty power generating machines.

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59 thoughts on “Bear with Escom on blackouts – Malawi President”

  1. callen says:

    Tulo a prezidenti phwi … why back ESCOM’s failures?
    Wakuba upulezidenti

  2. The Most Concerned says:

    Zamunyansayo asamuke ku Malawi kuno, kapena apange Donate Genset tht can supply Electricity to the whole Nation. Ths z Engineering language, period…!!!

  3. Nangozo says:

    This small country is failing to be managed. No wonder the economy is going down. So many small and big businesses can’t do without electricity as a result their purchasing power is low and it affects all other businesses.

    The president should be putting pressure on ESCOM, but instead he is patting them at their back.

  4. Kumametsa says:


  5. macd says:

    chi escom cha manyi ….chi dpp cha manyinso

  6. tiwonge says:

    Huge bills every month but we are having a total of 5 days with electricity per month.Tikangoiwotcha Escom basi sanalakwitse kuotcha poyamba paja

  7. Tengupenya says:

    What does 50% capacity of generation mean? How long before the 300 mw is added?

  8. Sad that the president is dragged into ESCOM lies. The blackouts we are facing now have nothing to do with rains – too much or too little or vandalism. This is another of the so many leadership gaps the country is facing. We do not need an engineer to run ESCOM at the top but we need a good CEO who can understand current issues and face them head on rather than cover them up with lies. We need a CEO who can hold his non performing staff accountable. Leadership is the main reason for blackouts. The solution may not even lie with building coal fired generator if we proceed with these kind of management. We will waist the Chinese money just like we are waisting the MCC/American money. Sad.

  9. changalikandu pwagu says:

    This is the hallmark of a clueless, out of touch president. These blackouts have been going on for months and the idiot begs for patience? Why has he only now made a public statement on the issue, and only after being asked to comment by a journalist? Is this guy serious? How many people have the blackouts killed in ourhospitals, and how much business have Malawians lost as a result of the blackouts? In Lilongwe, the blackouts have been happening on a daily basis for long hours. People have complained bitterly in the papers, over the radio, on TV, and through other media. Only now does he comment on the problem, not to offer real solutions, but to demand patience. Really, professor? This shows that you don’t care a single bit about your people’s suffering. Escom must shape up or ship out, that’s what I would have expected a sensible president to say.

  10. Mirella K says:

    Nyapapi can’t appreciate the gravity of the hardships Malawians are enduring with ESCOM’s incompetency! He has Malawians paying for fuel for his mega-heavy-duty gen set at the State House.

  11. WAMISALA says:

    AGALU INU ; Eeeere???

  12. Jimbo says:

    Chinese coal-fired power station – where will the coal come from and who will pay for it? When is this power station due to open and come on stream? How long have people to bear with ESCOM before the blackouts cease? APM gives no time scale, just appeals for patience. Does he suffer from the blackouts? Is he inconvenienced by ESCOM’s inability to supply sufficient electricity? Does he lose money because of the blackouts? His words offer very little reassurance.

  13. John Union says:

    The Liwonde Barrage has been regulating water flow and storing water in the upper Shire river. It is undergoing renovation. Has anybody investigated whether this is not contributing to the problem of low water levels at the lower generation point? I thought Nyasa times should have already investigated this.

  14. kambindingu "hard & low" says:

    The problem we have in this country is that the authority appoints people on tribal lines without looking at their capabilities that makes it difficult to fire them due to incompetence. Its absolutely clear that Escom management has failed to deliver , the same thing happened in SA and the whole board and management were fire.

  15. manjolow says:

    Zero initiative towards real solutions – “be patient” is not a solution sir – can you sit down all those engineers at Escom and the finance people and craft a real solution and draft a proposal for funding with investors (mostly local in fact) and get the business done????????? This is stupidity at its worst to be honest. All we have to do is be patient until when – you weezle??/ Are you serious??

  16. gober says:

    Apologising to the nation is not changing the dituation in any way. The best option for you mr president was to consider resigning because you know very well that although there were these issues of cashgate but atleast electricity gave us a break during the PP regime. we wonder if the Shire river is now taking its water from Lake Kazuni when you want to lie about water shortage. Do you really think we dont know exactly why there are frequent blackouts?

  17. Mpumulo says:

    Mathanyula, why do you allow people to play you like that? These fools came to you with this bogus excuse, you obviously believed them and then you look like a stupid fool to the whole nation

  18. saisoni says:

    Eeeee zanyanya

  19. Tikudziwa mukonza zonse bwana. anthu akumaiwala kuti bomali mwangotenga pompano. ndiponso mavutowa nanu munachita kuwapeza

  20. cashgate1 says:

    Chindele chakufikapo

  21. Nankununkha sadzimva says:

    No wonder ESCOM works at business as usual mode as if everything is okay. If this is what can come from a head of state on an age old problem. Koma yes!

  22. Mpumulo wa Bata wayandikila says:

    This is not the first time Malawi has had low water levels. Please don’t insult our intelligence Mr President. You are justifying incompetence and mediocrity by ESCOM!

  23. wakulu says:

    nxaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! like they bear with us when it comes to paying them

  24. Jimbo says:

    APM doesn’t know what is going on. Is he suffering from the blackouts? He says the Chinese are going to build a coal-fired power station. How many years will that take to accomplish? Power stations are not built over-night and where will the coal come from and who will pay for it? ESCOM is a total failure and is jeopardising the future of the country. APM has no practical answer to the electricity blackouts and should just put up or shut up.

  25. James Phiri says:

    Is this the really the first time the President has spoken about the blackouts after 6 months? Is he really that out of touch. I know on BBC he spoke about Cashgate, floods and donors withholding funds – so he forgot to mention a fourth unprecedented challenge he is facing! Electricity deficiency is a result of poor long term management in ESCOM. Everyone knows demand for electricity is growing so we need to increase power generation. Why not more wind and solar power generation in a country blessed with sunshine and the breeze by the lake?

  26. Che Bakali says:

    So its understandable. But should not be a chronic excuse. In the next three weeks also the levels will pick up ndiye tisamveso za blackout.

  27. Umwana Wa Mwana Wane says:

    I lost trust in you the first three months you spent at plot number one. In one of the presidential debates, you promised malawians that the first few days you will be in office, you will tackle the constituitional review issue. Up to now nothing has been done. You promised you would pass the ATI bill but backtracked few days later. You threw the MSB issue for discussions but went behind approving it. I have never seen an old man like you who goes to church lie as you do, let alone an old man in the highest office. You are a disgrace to your children, your wife and the Bishops. Mr President pause and think. Reflect on your lies and let integrity prevail, for rightiousness builds a nation. How then can i trust that things as regards to blackouts is going to improve.

  28. mphatso says:

    the reason being given is really awkward.Low water levels on Lake Malawi and Shire river?Really?kkkkkkkkkk I cant believe this Mr President the water levels have nothing to do with the blackout honestly should we say Lake Malawi has dried up or what?Put these guys to the test before its too late fire and hire …….

  29. Afera says:

    Shut up you . It is us who are suffering because of these blackouts. We cannot keep fresh foods in our fridges because of this nonsense.

  30. sam says:

    We are worse off now then during JB era, at that time kwacha was trading at 350 to dollar, magetsi analipo, things have gone worst and you need to pull your socks up as we Malawians are fed up of excuses

  31. Jayjay says:

    There are not blackouts at statehouse. We must be patient while you ate not sharing out pain. JB used to say a Malawi tigwirane manja whie the economy gets sorted out and yet she was busy pandering the economy without sharing in our suffering.

  32. Balamanthu says:

    You mean we have sunk this low to wallow in such obvious mediocrity for the head of state to be taking nonsense for gratitude.If this was Kamuzu, he would have cracked the whip and the blackouts would have stopped immediately.

  33. choka phiri says:

    Malawians u complain but Come to elections u vote for This man. U all knew What was outcome of a man Who has not livet in a country for a decade. I live in Europe I haven loss so man years of What has happened in my country How can I just Come and be a good leader and understa problems of The nation and The People. U did not like JB and Chakwela now face This. Comes to 2019 u Will vote for This papangoa again.

  34. choka phiri says:

    This man he wanted presidentval post to live a luxiouly life rather than to vare for The nation. The worst leader in Malawi historia. What a mess. He should be worried not saying What he is saying. Coal is not good for enviroment. Why not sola like Zibambwe. I hat Malawi Who helped This old Muchona.

  35. pitala joni says:

    towards blackout all day every day imeneyo

  36. Alex Likoswe says:

    Mr patient. Your are indeed a patient

  37. Mzozo kununkha says:

    Unfortunately we cant Mr president some one is barber and the other one is a welder who can not survive without the utility. life is hard for a common man who is hardy surviving out there.

    please know for sure that these black outs are a result of political will at Escom and had nothing to do with machinery and the water levels…… Remember when Ibrahim matola was Minister responsible… black outs were find out from him why and how. these massive black outs is a result of your announcement to have Escom split into respective departments namely generation, distribution and revenue so to show you that they are not happy with that decision.

    To prove you wrong we Ndirande residents planned to march to Escom so as to show them that we are not happy, upon realizing this by the authorities at Escom, no more black outs in Ndirande township for three days now same water levels same old machines.

    Stop buying those white lies at the expense of our ailing economy Mr president its all political……… and a common man is stake honestly we are not happy with the politics you guys are playing with the opposition….. find something and Electricity you are killing us

  38. Dumerang says:

    why should we bear with ESCOM and yet you are stabbing us on the back by taking out money from the institution and raising tariffs as if there is no tomorrow. Shut uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuup

  39. jean says:

    Where this very beautiful country is heading?
    I was really shocked on Sunday at chileka international airport, there was no service about 2 hours, I understand about water level! So how about oil for generator? The airport has generator but no even 10 litres of diesel.
    Second the security was poor, we were very lucky to reach to our destinations safely.

  40. mphatso says:

    China coal plant is going to take 10 years so do we wait for that long, why is that nobody is getting fired when they are not performing. There is big need to fire staff who are underperforming in the country,ESCOM CEO, and Reserve bank economists as they cannot tame the inflation and kwacha freefall. But it seems nobody is going to get fired and we have to face the economy hardships. We are heading towards a failed state if we are already not there

  41. Gagama says:

    Useless govt



  43. Bob says:

    This man really needs his head examined how can you tell Malawians to bear with an incompetent organisation like Escom when small businesses like hair saloons and barbershops are suffering. Most of our livelihood depend on the little we get from that. We dont want to steal. Tell ESCOM to be innovative.

  44. Maboza a Pitala, Tapiwa Mutharika mwamitumiza kusukulu kuti akabwera inu mube mbali imozi ya escom ikhale yanu kuti tapiwa akhale mkulu WA kampaniyo……ine namanya kaleeeee…. Mugulaso motcipa ngati nyumba mumagula ma 3mita Ku namiwawa zina……….chala mmwamba

  45. SONG says:

    Total Failure. We did not have this before.

  46. Jon says:

    “A strategic problem ….from low water levels”. My foot, does this guy know what he is talking about????

  47. Gadabwali says:

    Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm! ndakaika ndithu. This problem wont end. We will still be suffering because of these few selfish individuals.

  48. Gadabwali says:

    Koma kunyasatimes kwadzadza mbuli ndithu. akukanika kulemba chzungu mpaka.

  49. gulugunya says:

    Mr President please get the CVs for those working at ESCOM. Evaluate them on tribal bases. This will help you to solve the problem. Ask the local people in towns to tell you what happens with electricity when you are outside this country. From day one you leave country until the day you come, we do have electricity throughout. Please mark my words. Political and tribal cold war is on. Open your eyes to see beyond what you are seeing now. Work up my buroda.

  50. Gulukunyinda says:

    Wen the water levels are high, ESCOM still comes with excuses for blackouts “Nyani wakodwa pa transformer”. Its either nyani wakondwa today tomorrow water levels, the other day zinyalala mu shire shuuuupiiiiiti zanu nonse ndi iweyo old toothless man. You have no clue of running government. In Joyce Banda’s time these blackouts were almost eliminated. The water levels were also low at the time of her ascendancy to power. Gogo uyu wangokhala clueless.

  51. Nankununkha sadzimva says:

    OMG! We are really in for problems with this dumbass president. He is unambitious. You mean for how long should Malawians be patient? One day I heard you saying your government is wooing investors to come to Malawi and do you know that the quack that comes out of your mouth gives no hope? Did you really spend all the years in America ir somewhere else? Sounds like telling a man to have that sort of patience of waiting on the queue to fuck his own wife.
    Koma yaaa!!! President uyu is low energy.

  52. Mzozo kununkha says:

    Unfortunately we can’t. do you know that someone is a barber, a welder, just to mention a few and can not make the ends meet without the utility Mr president…..

    These fools are telling you lies. Its all about politics….. take this we Ndirande residents planned to storm escom offices today if the situation was like before…. now if it is true why is that upon hearing that its now three days day and night without the so called blackouts you. Ask Ibrahim Matola the dude knows the actual button to press otherwise, I for one I will chose to disobey you…..

    The massive black outs is a deliberate move to turnish your political millage. Remember when did this all started, and why. Its when an announcement was made to split Escom into separate departments just to tell you that they are not happy with your decision sir.

    Only if the political will is driven out of the system, believe me this will remain the same…..

  53. Nazizwa says:

    Likanakhala kale mukani Zonsezi ndi John Tembo lero muti ndi ndani?

  54. citizen okwiya says:

    Why should we bear ESCOM as if you are affected Mr President? Sort out this mess once and for all, damn it !!!

  55. Sapitwa says:

    Don’t you have short term emergent strategies to deal with this problem whilst waiting for the coal fired power that will come in 3 years time may be May be?
    1. Encourage people and institutions to replace their electric geysers with solar ones and give them rebates?
    2.Bring in investors to install wind mills to generate power for sale? Could take only 6 months for reticulation!
    3. Encourage solar installations for lighting and provide rebates?
    4. Encourage use of cooking gas imported with low duty tariffs to make it affordable.
    This would in turn avail more power to critical consumers: zigayo, zipatala etc.
    I can’t wait for coal fired power for 3 years whilst you are not winning this current Escom challenge and not trying to find other urgent sources if power. Iam sick if this rubbish! My businesses are suffering.

  56. Ine says:

    Water levels huh! When we have the rains the problem will turn to silt and the blackouts will continue over and over again.

  57. haward says:

    ESCOM and Dpp do you know that you have messed up things in this country? Mukudziwa kuti alipo muno atsogoleri omwe atha kulamulira ndi nzeru zozama? Zowona president mpaka bear with us ena tikumva kuwawa koma iwowo palibe even tsiku limodzi blackout idawapeza. Munkadziwa za vuto limeneli kuyambira nthawi ya achimwene anu, bwanji osabwera ndi solution mmene mmalowa

  58. Kanyimbi says:

    But the rains are killing people almost each week and ESCOM has low water levels.

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