Privatise Escom to end blackouts, economist Kachaje urges Malawi govt

President of Economists Association of Malawi (Ecama) Henry Kachaje has told the Malawi government to privatise power utility firm, Escom saying the frequent power cuts are contributing to economic slowdown.

Kachaje:  Ecama president

Kachaje: Ecama president


Kachaje said the only way to make Escom more efficient and effective is to put it in the hands of the private sector.

“If it is in the hands of the private sector, it will be run as a company and it will be more efficient and effective,” said Kachaje.

He said the power blackouts are not conducive for both local and foreign investors.

Kachaje’s comments come on the backdrop of severe power cuts that is leaving most parts of the country with two to three hours of electricity power.

Some major industries in Lilongwe have not ruled out job cuts as most times the machines are idle and industries are making huge losses.

An official from the ministry of Energy Kester Kaphaizi says the government will not privatise Escom but increase its power generating capacity.

President Peter Mutharika said Malawi will be out of perpetual darkness after the Chinese funded coal powered electricity plant is commissioned in three years time.

The coal powered electricity plant is expected to add 300 megawatts of electricity on the grid.

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33 thoughts on “Privatise Escom to end blackouts, economist Kachaje urges Malawi govt”

  1. SIR TIJOY says:

    you mean the whole Malawi relying on ESCOM since independence? this board is incompetent! let competetors come in and boast power supply. osati Escom yokha ai. Ndi chipani? you were saying you negotiating to trade protocol with Mozambique and Zambia. until now deal siinathekebe? its high time Malawi must awoke! let more investors come and compete with all the Statutory corperations (SC). No privatization apapa.

  2. Investor says:

    This Government entity needs management massive overhaul. We can nor rule out the possibility of sabotage and or gross incompetence .The Government should intervene as a stake holder

  3. Ndinunkha says:

    Open up the sector to private players and let there be competition. If Escom does not perform it will fold. Period.

  4. NVM says:

    In the 1960s Escom mostly had expatriate Engineers, Managers and No Political influence. Apart from the well known fact that most of the equipment has outlived its usefulness reforms will not rejuvenate the turbos to run effectively. What we need at ESCOM now it for government to replace everything to effectively generate enough electricity to cater for the current consumption which is 700 percent more than than what the same equipment was meant to cater for then. Privatization is just change of management. It is like a young boy of seven who is not able to carry a bag of maize in one house moving him to another house believing he can be able to carry it in that house. Truth be told se need new machinery not theories.

  5. chimuponho says:

    Y are these ppo tryn to be wise yet they a kachaje do u the cost of producng electricity

  6. Mbolozidana says:

    Mr Kachaje l used to respect you, but slowly u are losing your integrity, just look how many people some even economist are criticing your stupid idea, you want to tell me that if your daughter is always getting sick the solution is to poison the lad and kill her? Thats a completely returded idea and advise, many people have lost their jobs bcoz of those crazy ideas, look at Air Malawi, Import and Export, B&C, David Whitehead etc, people are suffering bcoz of such ideas of privitising the company. The problem with escom is of water levels and managment. Mr Kachaje do you want to tell the nation that if Escom is sold then the new company will raise waterlevels in the Shire River to increase generation? The best solution here Mr Kachaje is to invite more investors in clean energy such as solor, biogas etc and divide escom into intities such as generation, distribution etc. Escom is a national asset and security entity, during conflicts power utility is heavily manned. Mr Kachaje go and read your books again.

  7. steven banda says:

    Privatisation is not a solution Mr Kachaje,its like you are selling the whole country,have you ever considered the negative effects on that? You should learn from past mistakes,hgow many companies are you going to sell? The solution is to find a competitor or increasing generation thats all,not what you are cheating pple,am an economist myself.

  8. kasim says:

    which economics do you practice Mr kachaje. you are talking too much your integrity is being eroded. did you ever come to Escom to appreciate what is happening there? don’t use use emotional ejaculations in matters of national interest Mr kachaje. can you tell the nation what are your qualifications?

  9. wika says:

    by the way .Who is the president of this country? May i know please.

  10. gontomois says:

    yes thats right kachaje has spoken like 10 men!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Nabanda says:

    Kapena ingobwera company ina idzipanga ngati zimene ESCOM imachita, so that competition should be there.

  12. Nankununkha sadzimva says:

    @1 has said it all. Privatization is not a solution. We have had bad precedence. Ethiopian Airways is 100% owned by government but is one of the most thriving air transport company in Africa.

  13. PM says:

    @ Swenge, is it not the case of wrong parking. However, since they say a problem shared is half solved. Let us follow what the law says. It is a case of incest, and is punishable by law. Abortion is illegal let the bay live. So in both ways, you are looking at the law.

  14. khwangwi says:

    I also believe that privatising ESCOM is NOT a solution. All what is required is proper planning to end the persistent blackouts. We require demand versus supply analysis. Supply must always outstrip demand.

    ESCOM could also use withdraw and concentrate strategy where other sources of power like solar energy could be deployed in areas with lesser concentration of commercial interests upon grid withdrawal.

    The simple rule is Do Not Expand when you Do Not have resources to assure quality. This has been the disease in the third world where scarce resources are usually spread thinly over a large area to give the impression that development is taking place. This approach is retrogressive.

    Look at roads in the MHC locations! Pathetic! Look at our education system. Pathetic!

    We need a firm hand to guide our nation away from from substandard social and economic activities. We need to do with what we have in a manner that ensures quality of life.

    We connect new centres to the grid when the power grid can no longer support even the existing centres!

    We open new learning centres when the existing resources cannot support the old learning centres!

    Everything is cosmetic in Malawi and I do not believe that this will take us anywhere!

    We need to take stock of our existing situation in order to make a new start.

  15. Professional Analyst says:

    I feel sorry for Henry. Every time he opens his mouth, he says trash and he is not creative enough

  16. chatonda says:

    Bad idea, and please do not start it Kachanje. You are telling the IMF to push the government to sell all government companies. This is how people have lost jobs and fresh memories are those of big companies that we have lost already due to privatization as you are intending to ask for the same. This the worst idea coming from an Economist like you. Wrong and very wrong.

  17. SONG says:

    DPP must resign please with immediate effect. We had no black outs in two years of a Mayi where is it coming from. I agree, the solution is that Mathanyula has failed period.

  18. Ndribe zokamba zambiri but chimene mungaziwe munthu osewera NJUGA akayamba kugurisa katundu umangoziwiratu kuti Mavuto aripooo..kwasara muzapangaso ndi DZIKO lathuri!! kuduka mutu kwina simunagwirise bwino ntchito munthu wa Mulungu Prophet Bushiri, rero akuthandiza ma Million ku company ya magesi ya ku South Africa, i dont even want to point out nkhani za cashgate mapeto ake mavuto okha okha,.kodi WHY boma rimarephera kuitanisako ma company ena amagesi akunja? mumaopa zichani? muganizepo bwino osamangonyopora vindarama ku parliament or kumagura viphakasa voyendera akuru abomawa..Last point mungaziwe nichoti macompany or industries akunja sangakhazikise bwino business zao kuno coz amaopa nkhani ngati zamagesi zomwezi..nikadakamba zambiri koma nikatenge akazi wanga kuchigayo tigonera chipisi akuti magesi momwe azimira mamawa ndiye sanagayise!!

  19. Let Us Pray says:

    Awa ndiye masewela enanso. Privatising ESCOM while even a 5 year old can tell you what the problem is with the corporation? Trial and error what? I doubt your Economical theories Mr ECAMA President Sir. Stay blessed.

  20. Wiseman says:

    I am an Economist but I would like to differ with Mr Kachaje. Reason: as we all know a private entity is profit oriented whereas a public entity is there to serve the public… Since there is high inequality in income distribution(i.e a lot of wealth is accumulated in the hands of a few) it is better for ESCOM to remain a public institution… Reason: privatising it will mean only Mr Kachaje and people who have a lot of money would be able to pay… What is required is for the government, to lower itself and kneel down to donors so that they should assist in funding the project to revive the ESCOM…

  21. Chizontho says:

    Mr Smart says,

    I am baffled that Henry seems to have all the solutions to all problems facing Malawi. I am at times scared with his suggestions and recommendations because they are not thought out intelligently. My take is sometimes you need to slow down and take a back seat. He appears to know more that anybody else in Malawi. Please have a self-introspection,

  22. Drake says:

    Escom is one of the organisation that employs high flying graduates from the Polytechnic almost all Engineers there are graduates and Accountants are graduates and AccA. It is not true that In Escom there ate illiterate people that’s misplacing facts. Escom is underperformed because of the Govt and personalisation of issues by those in control at Escom
    Malawi is not doing well because of our crop of Graduates, normally they don’t work they are always looking for courses to get masters, after that they want PHD’S and they spend most of their time crisscrossing the World attending seminars and at the end of the day they don’t have anything to offer but asking for more benefits. Being a graduate is just a paper people need to work to prove their worth not just claim to be graduated without results and morals. We need in organisations people to defend their qualifications not just singing that one has a degree but fail to perform. Unless our mind set will change Malawi will not change. No one should brought promoted simply because he has the paper but must prove his worth by being productive, that what the most developed countries do

  23. GN Phiri says:

    I have very close friends from Escom who allude to the fact that discussions are already at a very advanced stage on the sell of this company. Every month some top official(s) goes to South Africa where these discussions are held. At the time I heard this, my friend disclosed that already over 500 million Kwachas had been spent on allowances and accommodation to carter for those who fly to South Africa for the discussions. Perhaps Ecama just want to test the waters? to asses the feelings of the people….I smell a rat here!

  24. Vagina says:

    The truth of the matter, is this is subbotage. Don’t even privatise ESCOM at all. Change leadership, blackouts will be history. Two years of JB is a testimony to this.
    by the way ACB is completely doing nothing on corruption on the sale of vehicles at PVHO coz I understand because DPP is partly being financed by KAMU state Agents who is at the helm of selling vehicles

  25. kwalewera Zinyemba says:

    What Mr Kachanje has proposed is not the right solution. The black outs now could be man made. During the former government the were few black outs. So there should be another reason for the blackouts. Can a proper investigation be done to ascertain the real cause to the problem. Selling Escom would be dangerous.

  26. kambwali says:

    kachaje ndinakuonela patali kuti bomali akufwindamo sikono mkamwa ndipo ukudya nawo ma pwevupwevu. dziko ndilosauka kale ili nde pano ukufuna anthu atenthe nkhalango zonse chifukwa mtundu wamalawi sungakwanitse kulipila magetsi. kamuzu sanali chitsilu kuyambitsa zinthu ngati zimenezi. mwalemela mwayamba kuona ngati mmalawi aliyense akupeza ngati inu.

    I have always respected you but you have lost my vote. Is selling of companies the only way to make them sustainable?
    The question that should be answered is what is going wrong with this government that since its come back the country is experiencing hell blackouts?
    What did joyce banda do to contain the situation? There must be something wrong with management not escom itself.
    You really want these politician to robe malawians again? What has come on your mind kachaje?

    Ndakwiya kwabasi ndi iwe kachaje. Basi nzeru zako zathera pogulisa basi? you cant ask government to let this thing run professionally without its interference?

  27. makito says:

    This Kachaje is a businessman , NOT an economist. He is still using textbook economics.

  28. Shuk Shukor's says:

    Just kill yourself.because it’s you to blame

  29. mphatso says:

    We were better of econmically during mandasi she was a better economist,

  30. Mzozo kununkha says:

    The other way to go yes but who is going to buy? at what cost Malawians will be paying to the one buying Escom. I dont think this will really solve the puzzle but only inflict more pain to a country man like me.
    My take is to speed up the public reforms at ESCOM and split the parastatal into two if not three sections, namely 1. Generation 2. Distribution and transimision 3. Revenue the spitting will not only help to effectively service delivery but also curb corruption.
    Lack of proffessionalism is another contributing factor as companies shun graduates and employ un / semi skilled workforce (cheap labor) as a result we end up having this mess we are in. If only my advice is taken on board and qualified and experienced people are in control of the system only then the issue of black outs will be history.
    most of the excuses we have from Escom are empty and baseless they do forget that some of us are engineers who really knows what is happening on the ground. honestly these blackouts are out of political will. Mind I don’t wear party colors and I will never but this is true and I know what I’am saying. please expedite the reforms especially at Escom till there and then blackouts will be history…………

  31. Swenge says:

    Dear Readers: Help!!! My Husband Has Been Sleeping With Our Daughter

    I had always wanted to marry a loving and most especially a caring man, and finally one of such men came my way, oh, and what did I do, grabbed it with both hands.

    I was even happier when he said he liked “the girl child”, and babies in general, because of course, that would take some pressure off me.

    We got married and had our first baby; it was a girl, an adorable jewel to behold. She was fair skinned, very weighty, and I knew she was going to grow up to be the cynosure of all eyes.

    And my husband, wow, was really supportive, helped with everything except breast feeding. He was awake at nights, tending to our baby, wasn’t complaining, to cap it all up, he was more like the mother and I, the dad.

    Our daughter grew up to be, as I guessed, an adorable princess and everyone wanted to have a second look at her.

    As she grew I noticed that she was closer to her dad than she was to me and I just concluded that it was because her father spent more time with her at the formative stage.

    Later when she got into the senior secondary school, I noticed that this time, she wasn’t even coming so close to any of us, and again I concluded that it was one of those “trying to adapt to a new environment” since we just moved.

    All hell was let loose when she fell ill and had to be rushed to the hospital, and series of tests was done on her, and the pregnancy tests came out positive!!!!!!!!! Ha, I almost died.

    When we got home, I sat her down and tried to do it the easy way, but she wouldn’t say anything, so I resolved to merciless whooping, she still wasn’t talking, as I was thinking of my next action plan, my husband walked through the door and, the next thing I saw knocked me out, my – daughter – pointed – to – her – father.

    I found myself on the hospital bed, and as I woke up a whole lot kept rushing through my head: was I careless? How did I miss all the action? Where was I when all these were happening? Why didn’t she talk when he made the first pass at her? Who should I tell? Should I just keep quiet about this abomination? Should she keep the baby or abort it?

    These questions keep playing in my head as the family is currently shredded in a thousand places

    Please, I need help? What should I do?

    1. The Analyst says:

      “Advice is what we ask for when we know the answer but wish we didn’t.” – Erica Jong

      Is this not incest? Is incest not punishable by a 14-year jail term? The answer to both questions is “YES” in English, “Eya” in Chewa and “Enya naDi” in Tumbuka.

      Anyway . . . options . . .

      Report this stupid fool you call husband to police, he will be paraded before the court and slapped with at most 14 year-jail term. And then move on coz you sound young and hopefully can do without your husband.
      End the marriage. Take the pregnant daughter with you and whatever you do with the pregnancy, we don’t wish to know. But leave this man with untold lust.
      Shut your mouth up and forgive your stupid husband. Let the girl deliver and you and your stupid husband should raise the delivered child together while still living as husband and wife. After all, lust is madness. And the dick has no brain or eyes to see where its going.
      Do nothing.
      Have I anywhere blamed the daughter or you in all this? You don’t wonder why? Watch out for episode 2.

  32. The Analyst says:

    This economist has a strange mind.

    Have you already forgotten the results of the structural adjustment programmes of the 90s; one of whose outcomes was privatisation? Are you sure that the privatised companies are doing better now? We may be from different generations, but let us not cheat each other here.

    The problem with ESCOM is poor management, which can easily be reversed if political interference is taken out of the equation without necessarily privatising it. When Matola was the minister of energy, what happened to blackouts? Answer me? What is preventing this government from asking Matola the button that he pressed for the blackouts to disappear? Arrogance, right? If you cant ask him diplomatically, why not just squeeze the already excited eyes out of him?

    Only if there are institutional frameworks in place to protect consumers from exploitation can a sane individual support the privatisation issue. Otherwise, the efficiency may come at the expense of massive attack of a common man’s pocket via insanely high utility bills. We all know that one of the things that saddens a common man is an attack on his/her pocket. And a sad man is not a development-minded creature.

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