Members of Parliament Tuesday vehemently supported the Electricity amendment Bill which seeks to allow more players in the power sector but asked government to ensure that there will be no job cuts at Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom).
The Bill once passed will also allow Escom, the country’s only power generating company to be solely responsible for buying, transporting and distribution of electricity power to the many parts of the country.
Furthermore, the Bill seek to give Escom the mandate to import and export electricity power to and from neighbouring countries.
Presenting the Bill in the House, Minister of Energy, Mining and Natural Resources, Bright Msaka, SC said for a country to register meaningful development, it must have reliable source of energy.
He said electricity power stimulates improvement in areas such as industry, mining and health among others.
Msaka said, “Lack of adequate power has been posing challenges to the development process of this nation. Without power, we cannot achieve our hope and inspirations. Therefore, we think Escom has done its best and it’s time to engage more players.”
According to Msaka, the new companies will be responsible only for the generation of power and sale to Escom.
Dowa East MP, Richard Chimwendo Banda said Malawians were duped in the contorversial sale of Malawi Savings Bank to FDH Holdings where they wetre assured of no job losses but later on saw people but retrenched.
Chimwendo Banda asked the Minister “to be sincere” and tell the nation that jobs will be safe .
He said most of the times when they pass bill in the House, the later see the rich rushing to Stock Exchange to buy shares and Malawians becoming losers.
“We should be doing things in the interest of Malawians,” he said.
Alex Major, Malawi Congress Party’s Spokes person on energy issues welcomed the development and called on the government to speed up the processes.
Major said the coming in of new companies will help to reduce power black outs that became a major hindrance to the country’s development process.
“We hope that power outrages will be the thing of the past,” he said.
People’s party spoke person, Welani Chilenga while welcoming the news asked government to discuss with the companies to offer lower tariffs and ensure that no one loses job at ESCOM as was the case with Malawi Savings Bank.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :