A cross section of Malawians have expressed concern over Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera)decision to allow Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) a 13.7 percent increase in electricity tarrifs to K53.69 (about $0.08) from the current K40.69 (about $0.06) per kilowatt-hour.
People who spoke to Nyasa Times correspondent on the streets of the Capital City, Lilongwe questioned the sincerity of Mera in the wake of economic turbulence.
“Mera is more concerned with Escom financial problems not financial problems of an ordinary person,” said a 39 year man identified as Chitekwe.
“The government increased secondary school fees then it is now increasing electricity tarrifs. We indeed need to tighten our belts. The economic problems are for ordinary Malawians after all,” chipped in a 25 year old man Bruno Mahata.
“We are paying for inefficiencies of Escom,” said a 55 year old lady Chikumbutso Mbango.
Escom raised electricity tarrifs twice within a month, first from K35 per kilowatt and two days ago from K40 to K53 per kilowatt.
Malawi Economic Justice Network (MEJN) executive director Dalitso Kubalasa said the explanations by Mera for the electricity tarrifs hike do not hold water and both Mera and Escom need to justify the hike at a time when the economy is facing huge problems.
Kubalasa said it was “unfair “to force tax payers fund inefficiencies at Escom.
According to a statement signed by Mera board chairperson Dingiswayo Jere, Mera approved the tariff hike after considering the impact of inflation rate and exchange rate movement that resulted in a 6.6 percent increase.
Reads the statement in part: “The tariff which was beyond the statutory plus or minus five percent threshold for revising tariffs and therefore the electricity tariff qualified for an upward adjustment.”
The statement said during its meeting on December 2, the Mera board noted a further depreciation of the local unit to K612.38 against the United States dollar and”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :