Escom changes tune on Malawi blackouts, admits faulty machines

Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) has taken a contradictory step and admitted to the nation that the current blackouts are a result of faulty power generating machines.

Kandulu: Escom boss

Kandulu: Escom boss

Kandulu (second frm left) addressing the news conference

Kandulu (second frm left) addressing the news conference

The revelation comes days after Nyasa Times, in one of its stories, revealed that Escom’s power plants developed faults.

The remarks by Escom’s management also contradicts the company’s recent statement in
which it attributed the persistent blackouts to low water levels in Lake Malawi and Shire River.

Escom has been warning the nation to brace for more blackouts in the next four months due to lower water levels in the Lake Malawi and Shire River, the excuse which Shire River Basin Management Programme and analysts dismissed.

But on Sunday, Escom management came out in the open to admit they are facing challenges to generate electricity due to power generation machines outages.

Escom Chief Executive Officer, John Kandulu told the media, they are experiencing machines outages at Nkula A and Kapichira, the situation which has drastically reduced the power generation.

Aside the outages of two machines, Kandulu added that maintenance works are currently being done at Tedzani, resulting in increased load shedding during weekends.

”The machine at Nkula broke down in April while the Kapichira machine developed a fault some two weeks ago,” admitted Kandulu.

Kandulu franked by other senior Escom officials, disclosed that the outage of the two machines has reduced the power on main grid by 40 megawatts, resulting in increased blackouts.

He was quick to say that repairs are underway for both machines, while insisting the water level situation is also impacting on the power generation.

”We expect Nkula machine to be back by the end of this month while the machine at Kapichira will be ready by mid September”.

Kandulu disclosed that Escom is in the process of constructing a new power generation plant, Tedzani 4 which will add 22 megawatts, by the next two years, to the current forecast maximum demand of 270 mega watts.

Last week, the Public Affairs Committee (Pac) backed calls for government to fire Escom management for incompetence.

Pac joined the chorus of Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) which has also dismissed Escom’s excuses, blaming it for being short-sighted and lack of forecast and competence.

Cama’s Executive Director, John Kapito said it was baffling that the blackout situation was getting worse under the DPP administration unlike during the PP administration, and suspected the Escom
management of sabotage.

The consumer watchdog has since urged consumers to demand money back from Escom for the period that they are being denied access to electricity since they have to find other alternative source of energy, saying they are entitled to that refund based on the contract they have with sole electricity producer through the Service Charter.

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75 thoughts on “Escom changes tune on Malawi blackouts, admits faulty machines”

  1. uncle boris says:

    the incompetence of these guys is astounding. They are single-handedly scaring off investors and destroying the economy of malawi if they don’t start acting professionally fast!

  2. Jacob Mkandawire says:

    Poverty sucks

  3. Dolo says:

    apapa a ESCOM ndiye mwaonekela pammbalanganda kupusa kwanu. Anyani inu mumatiyuza kwambili. Y doesnt the Govt just privatize? Demeti!

  4. Kaziulika Chimugonda says:

    ESCOM Public Relation’s Officer was emphantic that power outages was due to lower water levels. ESCOM CEO is telling the Nation that power outages are caused by faults. I still believe, we are not told the plain truth. The entire management of ESCOM should go!! Even loadshading is not fare. We are watching all this.

  5. Bratusha says:

    Taoneni mitu yawo ngati a chadzunda. Koma ma hefty packages for nothing.

  6. 666 says:

    wake up the presdent as i can see you sleeping. galamukani chonde zinthu zikuonongeka pa malawi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. All parastatals are incompetent why?
    1. Recruitment is not based on merit – mwana wa chemwali or tribal or mother language basis
    2. Staff are not appraised on stretching targets
    3. Therefore no accountability on non performers
    4. Our leaders can hardly separate performers from non performers
    5. Thus why I do agree that the biggest challenge in this country is simply lack of leadership.
    6. When you read some comments on this site you can see that most of our comments are not helpful to our already weak leaders
    7. Let us try to write advices that can perhaps help these guys although we know they would not like to take advices from these forums but who knows who reads these things may some future leaders will be helped too.
    8. for nor now these factors will cripple this country for at least foreseeable future from this crop of politicians.

  8. CHAKANAKUMVA says:

    WAIT FOR US WE ARE DISCUSING THIS ISSUE.WE WANT TO COMPETE WITH THEM.WE ARE GOING TO USE KARONGA URANIUM.BELIEVE ME

  9. Mtumbuka says:

    ACHOTSENI MANAGEMENT YONSE YA ESCOM !!!! FORSAKE amakupangani performance appraisal ndi muyani.

  10. footsoldier says:

    The truth of the matter is that Escom has failed to plan for the eventual disaster about to befall the country where the lake levels will fall so low that there will be no water flowing to Shire River as happened some 100 years ago! That is what the country needs to worry about most and begin planning for!

  11. GODFEARING PERSON says:

    Any ESCOM office is VIP, WHY? No competitor. It is us who need ESCOM. No care for customers and I do not know why they have many customer service managers with big vehicle when the company can not care for their customers. Please privatise ESCOM otherwise we will be singing the same song.

  12. khuere says:

    whitch BOMA MUNO TILI NDI BOMA TAZISIYANI ZIMENEZO BOMA LINAPITA NDI AMAYI BASI TINGOPEMPHERA BOMA LISINTHE BASI.

  13. Nabanda says:

    Najere!!! you are right, akanachuluka ngati makampani amafoniwa sibwenzi akuyerekedwa koma poti ilipo yokha mpakedi.

  14. najere says:

    aaaa ESCOM has let us down.I am sure all this is because they donnot have competitors.Amaziuza kuti azingogona tulo.akadzalota zokhonza machine azatero.MA BIG aku ESCOM mwaonjedza.ikuthereni basi.

  15. Consumer says:

    See!!!! How can the Government trust them. Today they are saying this tomorrow they say that. The Government should take action. Mukunyozetsa boma

  16. Gabriel Phiri says:

    Indeed the major issue here is that of sabotage. You can see how these statements are changing. It is taking too long in this DPP government to maintain the same machines that were taking shorter time during PP. Amenewa achotsedwedi ntchito basi. Who do you think you are punishing? State house does not have blackout. You think people will rise against the government on your failures? Sack the ESCOM top management including the Engineers please azolowera

  17. Truck says:

    Takuuzani mudzigula ma Generator aku Germany kapena France anzanu kunjakuno sakula Generator ya ku China kuopa my breakdown kiki!

  18. MBWENUMBWENU says:

    IWE @#2 YOUR COMMENT IS SO TRIVIAL. TRUE DPP GOES TO ESCOM AND GAT REVENUE, THIS IS NOT TRUE. UNLESS U EXPLAIN WELL.
    THE FACT IS THESE ESCOM BOSSES ARE VERY OLD. EVERY FACE HAS A STORY IN THE PIC THERE. CLEARLY THEY HAVE NO INNOVATION CREATIVITY FORECAST etc.
    THEY SHUD BE RETIRED FOLKS FROM OTHER QUARTERS. WITHOUT SACKING THEM MALAWIANS SUFFERING FROM BLACK-OUTS WILL BE LIKE PAIR OF SHOES AND SOCKS.
    RECRUIT YOUNG GRADUATEES THEY ARE SIMPLY LOAFING IN CITIES THAN THESE GRAND PALS

  19. Vyaya says:

    Kapito wa DPP suspects sabotage from ESCOM??? We also suspect sabotage from you as since you started headin this organization,our plight as consumers keeps getting worse in Malawi,,,, isn’t it time for you to go as well? Honestry we are getting zero performance from you.

  20. chembiye says:

    I was wondering why water levels should have been an issue because water used for generation flows back into the river, unless they tell us that they drink the water after it has moved the machines.

  21. chefourpence says:

    Why pay millions for press releases knowing full well that such relaeses aree meant to deceive the nation, the public? Who made this decision? Why? Was Kapito right that this political sabotage to the DPP? Some pipo must resign and others must be fired! Don’t insult our intelligence! We demand full accountability for this nonsense!

  22. jokujoku says:

    Am definately waiting from Ann Matumbi to have sung another ” Mtokoto wa nyani pa main switch ya escom ” i hope panopa will be “Mng’ona watseka liwonde barrage ” kkkkk and he asks kuti how can a crocodile close barrage gates?????

  23. munyapa says:

    Mungoyigulitsa kwa Mulli wakhala akuyifuna pa kanthawi

  24. Trevor Manyi says:

    Tayanganani these fat bustard opanda nzeru..stupid stupid

  25. Bob says:

    Malawi is rotten it needs God’s intervention. There is literary no company, private or government owned that can be trusted. They are there to reap poor citizens of this country while the government looks on. What can it do? The politicians themselves are corrupt and that includes the president himself thats why they cant make things correct. One day this country will become ungorvenable. Escom is not being honest hence promoting charcoal selling and buying. This causes deforestation resulting into the much feared situation of our major rivers. May the lord intervene. I rest my case.

  26. drakes says:

    Escom management need to be fired, especially those on the Engineering side.Why can they lie to people? The President need to fire and replace these morons with capable results oriented engineers. Most of the engineers in Escom are incompetent, they simply want to drive and play around with company cars with their wives.

  27. Njolinjo says:

    That is the result of buying out dated reconditioned machines. I’m sure we can do better.

  28. Bristol says:

    The management can not fault govt of H.E. APM because of reprisals. The truth of the matter is that Govt is collecting all revenue from ESCOM and the company has no enough funds for maintenance. Ask privately any ESCOM employee and you be told this truth. It is not only power outages but even stock of ESCOM Meters. I am an MCP supporter but JB tried during 2 & half years of reign because during her time, power outages were minimised and ESCOM Meters were available for electrifying new connections. These are bad fruits of H.E. APM who is there to enrich himself with his friends while Majority Malawians are in dire problems.

  29. Mercy says:

    The problem is that there are competitors a ESCOM. Mpake they are getting away with all this mkumangoti pweteka ife ndi ma bill

  30. The Prison monger says:

    Its not rocket science, ESCOM is bankrolling the DPP a lot, that is why they are failing to maintain those machines. The best you and me as consumers should do is consult the guys who fix the ESCOM prepaid meters to charge very little while you consume more.

  31. Wilhelm says:

    The machine at Nkula is broken since April?

    Someone mentioned German machines. They can barely maintain the ones they have, never mind advanced German machines.

    Anyway, why the sudden noise about Escom incompetence? It’s always been next to useless.

    It sounded like a conspiracy theory when I first heard it, but it might be making some sense now. Just making excuse to sell off Escom and pocket the proceeds?

    Similar to MSB ‘bad loans’ – compalin it’s losing money (from your own corruption) then sell it off to eat the money.

    What’s next? Malawi Post? Wait and see.

  32. Two years of JB no blackout. Two years of JB no strike at Poly. DPP Woyeeeeee

  33. Beloved says:

    ESCOM MWAONJEZA VUTO LANU NDI CHANI MA DIGIRI ONSEWO

  34. myao says:

    Why are u worried about the old Gogoz at Escom when the countrys CEO is the senior Gogo? Mavotavota munavotera zovunda.

  35. Amaka says:

    Ma bwana akalambadi mma office mu akapume e.g George Mkodiwa . Asiyeleko a chinyamata.

  36. ..... says:

    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
    Malawi pansi pa bingu wang’ono sazathekanso kkkkkk

  37. Yo~get It says:

    Coming To The Open Due To Pressure? Wowww!!! Fire Dem Pliz! This Is Total Incompetence, What Next Our Sleeping Captain On The Dec.

  38. Mlamba says:

    Escom bought machine from China which they have installed at Kapichira, and the Chinese are failing to synchronize the machine ndiye akunama izi ndi izo, ma Chinese akutiwonjeza akumphunzitsa azibambo akulu akulu bodza tawoneni ngati zenizeni kunamiza mtundu wa a Malawi.

  39. drogba says:

    if I were the president, I would have demanded a report from the Min of Energy on these lies propelled by ESCOM. It seems this company takes all of us for foolish children. Aren’t u ashamed when you are receiving your hefty salaries while you don’t deliver?? Why should the whole ESCOM Management allow their juniors to lie to the nation as this?? to the extent of releasing useless Press Releases??

  40. kanyimbi says:

    So they were telling lies? Then fire them for telling lies.

  41. Harrineck Phiri says:

    Escom has not changed tune. They have provided additional information that had probably been erroneously omitted. The water level problem was also mentioned in the press conference. So where is the contradiction?

  42. nyapapi says:

    PLEASE CAN YOU APOLOGIZE TO THE HEAD OF STATE, TO ALL MALAWIANS, TO ALL INDUSTRY COMMUNITIES, TO ALL STAKE HOLDERS AND APOLOGIZE FOR YOUR SELF FOR TELLING NATIONAL LIES THAT PLANTED FEARS IN ALL THOSE CONCERNED ONES.

  43. Ntolilo says:

    ZITSHILU ZA ANTHU, KUVALA MA WHITE SHIRTS NO TIES KUTI CHANI? MACHENDE ANU, UHULE NDIUMENE MUKUDZIWA MUMAOFFICE, BASI NDI MA 10% NDI AMWENYE. THE ONLY THINK YOU KNOW IS TO ORDER CUT OUTS FROM SOUTH AFRICA AT INFLATED PRICES, IDIOTS. YOU MUST ALL BE FIRED ALL JUST RESIGN REAL ENGENEERS SHOULD TAKE OVER.

  44. kanyani kumutengo says:

    charged up manje munazanamizila my cousin zoti wa timisa ma gesi we nyanis are watching you

  45. Benson Chirwa says:

    Ask the junior bwanas, they’ll tell you (I’ve forgotten the percentage?) that goes to every ruling party since UDF days. How can we develop like that? Infact the rates are so high because of government offices and state residences that do not owner such bills. May be Chakwera is the solution.

  46. yaya says:

    IS THIS ESCOM MANAGEMENT UNIFORM?
    WHITE SHIRTS AND BLACK JACKETS WITH NO TIE!

  47. Bikiloni Nachipanti says:

    The entire board should just be FIRED because they dont know what they are doing there. Nawonso ntchito mapwevupwevu ali dibwilidibwili mmagalimoto awo opuma.. Big headed thieves!!1

  48. mulopwana says:

    these pipo should be fired for lying

  49. Brainless leaders
    Where are your priorities? Buying expensive vehicles, high energy consumption and maintenance – Forturners are like handouts at ESCOM, Top range twin cabs even for human resource managers
    extensive external travels, Over stuffing who uses free electricity despite abolishing this policy long time ago
    How do you operate without a reservoir at shire river – you let the water go and now you are crying foul? shame.
    Honest; if ESCOM would cut down on staff benefits – and invest that money in power generation ie buying new machines, constructing reservoirs of course with support from the government will experience improved power supply. Koma attitude ya chuluka ndiyokuti with these leaders ndiyakuti ESCOM tiyidyere. APM these are some of the issues you need to investigate if you are serious with your public reform agenda – osamangopwevula – think Mr. President think!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Electricity is the engine of economic growth – titukuka bwanji with these rampant blackouts?

  50. Thank you says:

    Thanks Mr. Kandulu for telling us the truth. We know you from Pump AID. You have a very good reputation and your work is always outstanding. Just avoid those guys at ESCOM who are trying to fool Malawians.

  51. observer says:

    ESCOM does not know the implications of telling lies. The head of state will be paying these lies.Imagine soon after you planted fear of having four months in blackout, pentecostal pastors went to APM over the same issue.The pastors were led by Augustine M’gala. If Mgala talked in strongest terms to APM, then whose problem this has caused between APM and M’gala. For sure first you could have appologized to Malawians. Then coming up with the version of lies for today. Yet no appology at all. You are useless. I think ESCOM do not know business communications. You are taking this for granted. No this is not a mean issue at all. Machende amanu. Ngini yako.

  52. MABVUTO says:

    Malawi is not fit to be a country with these prolonged blackouts.Government should stop hiring people based on tribalistic lines as nepotism contributes negatively to the economic situation of the country.See what is happening with escom can we encourage investors to invest in this country? Fire all those that you see as being inefficient.Should we be talking a belling as a cause of the problem? Mr President are you sure?

  53. Chemjambe says:

    I’ll keep on saying that, as long as we keep on voting for or keep people of above 60 years in power or in big positions these will be same songs we’ll be singing year in year out…i rest my case

  54. Zinjani says:

    Useless Mgt and DPP govt must fire this mgt plz

  55. Fasa mkuipisre mbiri says:

    These bare headed idiots are the most foolish homos of this decade.Obvious they are up to something against DPP.Please Squeeze them. These poor communications can not be made by a reputable ESCOM. No no no mboshombosho nooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  56. zopusa says:

    Luck of committed workers, starting from top to bottom

  57. P..do says:

    Guys out there which is whih? Should we wait for four months before blackout disappear or just by September. These four executives are useless dudes. how can they violet our peace of mind. why planting fears in our life.So these big headed CEOs do tell lie. What is it, then? This is total sabotage to DPP.Please DPP do something as it is better you shoot your enemy before he does so to you. These guys are stealing your 2019 votes. do something immediately.I mean even looking at their faces you can tell that these faces can not tell the truth at all. Are they acting out of frustration with reforms or is it because the president interrupted their plans with Kapichira Project. Indeed these old guns are useless in purest forms. Please APM can you just squeeze the balls or boobs for one of them. Finish them one by one after all they just too old to compete with modern technologies.let them retire as soon as possible. Even employing an expariate from other countries, no problem.Remember had it been that John Kapito did not say anything against their lies, these guys would have come with this correct version of their rubbish.

  58. mbwiye wapata says:

    Is this ESCOM old age home?? kwaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!! ndiye kuti anthu achichepere kulibe?..Ma oldtimer okha-okha…pano simupanga blame Nyani?? what a joke!!!

  59. There were some lomwe guys here who castigated Mr Kapito here left and right as if Kapito is stupid. With this news now its when you lomwes will best understand yourselves as the worst fools Malawi has ever produced from time immemorial. LEARN TO RESPECT PEOPLE WITH WISDOM AND NOT JUST FOLLONG BIG HEADS WITHOUT WISDOM. JUDGE YOURSELVESTO BE MORE STUPID THAN THE REST.

  60. Malawian says:

    Can we please have visionary management at ESCOM! you are thinking of upgrading with only 22 megawatts? Are u serious? Why don’t you think of a reasonable figure? Cry for my beloved country

  61. Mbiyazodooka says:

    Seems lying to the nation has become fashionable among our leaders of both government and parastatals. We have heard lies about the reason for the delay of civil servants salaries; lies about the state of the economy; lies about shortage of drugs in hospitals; lies about the cause of blackouts, etc. We have become a nation of perennial schemers and conmen.

  62. NN ONE says:

    Come september this guys will change the tune,frankly speaking ESCOM is full excuses,corruption etc etc imagine installing prepaid meters to consumers at a fee of MK30,000 will be punished for this.

  63. chimwemwe says:

    escom should buy german machines they have a long lifespan problem in tenders they go for cheapest so those machines are not durable so the result is blackouts

  64. BONFACE says:

    MUKUNGOLANDIRA NDALAMA ZA WANTHU

    OSAWAWIIKIRA MAGETSI AGALU WAKUBA INU !!

    Shupit Zanu !!

  65. basa says:

    THATS MALAWI ,FULL OF EXCUSES . KOMANSO MA BWANA AKALAMBA OFUNIKA RESTRUCTURING

  66. poooooo says:

    nde zopusazo zmenezo. This company at all cost needs to be sold at a cheap price. Nanuso boma mungosekerera zopusa za ku ESCOM, ok khalani choncho akukuthandizani kuzipanga decampaign. zanu izo.

  67. KARU UNITED says:

    As Long as ESCOM continues to hire Asian companies to do major machine rehabilitation, we will never move forward. Hire the Germans or the South Africans.

  68. mapapaya says:

    za ma megawats mungochedwa nazo kufotokoza ,ife tifuna magesi.

  69. ujeni says:

    Old tired guys, with no clue of modern world, the fact that they grew up in backward dictatorship one party state does not help. Look at their faces, the dressing, it tells a story, backward with no clue of modernisation, this also goes to other Parastatals which are staffed with such ilk

  70. Dammie says:

    Koma inu mmene anzanu avutikira ndi madzi osefukira ku lower shire pano nkumatitiuza kuti low rainfall?
    Mukuuza mwana or wat?

  71. Bob says:

    Kuzolowera bodza aMalawi. This will not take you anywhere.

  72. Honest Commentator says:

    It is therefore fair to fire them all for being foolish in the way they are handling this important issue. Feeding us lies should stop and let them try their skills within their families. So fire them now. The president has already shown that he can fire non-performers. Ask Chibingu and Gowelo, it is happening.

  73. Nyama Banda says:

    Vuto simabwana koma DPP Ikumapita kumakatenga ndalama zaso how can we have power all the time look timanena koma kumsava

  74. chepetsani says:

    FIRE THE FOOL. WALUZITSA MIYO NDI KATUNDU WA ANTHU. GARUUUUU.

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