Activist Mayaya organises blackout demo, but also pockets hefty allowances from ESCOM

Divisions have emerged within the Civil Society Organisations (CSO) ranks and file over the  Wednesday November 8, demonstrations.

Activist Billy Mayaya being briefed by Escom officials.-Photo by Francis Mphweya, Mana

The self-acclaimed civil and muman rights campaigner, Mayaya, on 3 November, 2017, served Lilongwe City Council with a five day notice of peaceful demonstration against the unrelenting ESCOM intermittent power cuts.

Mayaya in the notice of intention to carry out peaceful demonstrations, which has been made available to Nyasa Times says: “We write to notify you of our intention to hold peaceful demonstrations on the above mentioned theme. This is in line with our right to demonstrations as enshrined in the Malawi republican Constitution.”

But investigations carried out by this reporter  indicate that Mayaya has been meeting ESCOM and EGENCO officials where he has been assuring them that demonstrations cannot take place as far as he is amongst the delegation of the CS0s to be taken around and paid handsomely.

The investigations reveals that Mayaya has been giving ESCOM false hopes  to extent that on October 12, 2017, he drove to Blantyre where he was taken for a familiarisation tour alongside other CSO leaders, starting from Mapanga , where EGENCO is planting gen-sets.

It is further revealed that from there, Mayaya was taken to Lilongwe Water levels controlling unit before travelling to Chingeni, Tedzani and Nkula power generation stations.

‘Hypocrisy’  

Other civil society activists and human rights defenders are not happy with Mayaya condemning him to be just a fortune seeker and a self-servicing covetous individual masquerading as an activist.

Forum for National Development (FND) director Fyson Chodzi however described Mayaya as “a hypocrite” who only wants to serve his own interests and not the general public.

But as representative of CSO leaders who visited Tedzani, Nkula and Kamuzu Barrage in Liwonde, Chodzi said he was concerned with the conditions which EGENCO and ESCOM were operating in, noting that water levels in Shire were indeed contributing to the country’s current and ongoing power situation.

Said Chodzi: “We were  planning to hold peaceful demonstrations in protest to the frequent blackouts but on account of what we have seen, it is only appropriate to create room to those concerned to work at addressing the problems through installation of diesel generators, for instance. We risk not being taken serious by the public. We engaged both ESCOM and EGENCO as a process of understanding the issues. The people who are proposing the demonstrations were also part of the engagement.”

“We were told that the issue of power would be addressed by January 2018. The consultations are still on going and this situation is a betrayal of trust that the two institutions had on the CSOs,” added Chodzi.

Chodzi further queried: “Doesn’t it seem that we are only bent to achieve political mileage rather than finding solutions to the whole problem. Collectively, we have been engaging the two institutions and explanations has been provided, so why is Mayaya acting as a lone wolf in a manner that only him understands? Does he really think by holding a demonstration with a handful [people] will change anything?”

Nyasa Times understand that within the CSOs, there is a lift and divisions, with the other group remain steadfast on dialogue and willing that the two institutions will do the right thing by engaging with the CSOs in all regions of the country and that they will stick to January deadline as agreed.

“It will be difficult in January to hold these two institutions accountable as this demonstration is premature when we had initially agreed that January is the deadline. However we wish those people propagating for the demonstrations now good luck and hoping they would get a different answer which we doubt. Some of us are convinced that the answers provided are enough for time being and would wait until January 2018 as it is just less than 60 days,” said Chodzi.

The FND boss explained that the decision to hold the demonstrations now seems to be based on emotions rather than public interest saying that it will it will be difficult not to separate political influence on the matter. As CSOs we should have stated the course and ensure to hold the two companies more accountable on their own proposal.

In the presentation, during the tour, which as highlighted, Mayaya was in attendance, EGENCO Director of Finance, Shadreck Namalomba disclosed that Malawi will be free from blackouts in January 2018 after completion of installation of standby diesel generators.

Namalomba said the continuous reduction of water levels in Lake Malawi has affected the flow of Shire River where almost all the hydro generation plants are located.

 

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Dipipi wa Yudiefu
Guest

Problems at Escom or/Egenco are DPP made. There is too much interference by the ruling party. Ndimgodi wawo. All the institutions that are not doing well are either headed by their home boys or DPP supporters.

Mayaya Mavuzi
Guest

A Mayaya tametani ku ujeni kwanuko kwawirira

Symon Mkweza
Guest

Abonzi, that’s very very true

Panganani
Guest

You can trust a Malawian with anything BUT MONEY.WE ALL BECAME THIEVES WHEN WE DELIBERATELY A CONVICT IN 1994.WE SET THE BAR SO LOW THAT THIEVING IS NOW NORMAL AND PART OF OUR CULTURE.

ADALATA
Guest

Za chamba basi,zikumatiwawatu ma bill omwe mukumatipatsawa koma magetsi kulibe,zopusa basi.STUPID.

Remnant
Guest

The more Malawians leave the universities as learned gentlemen, the more they remain the same. .Sukulu siikutithandiza aMalawi chifukwa cha umphawi.

Abonzi
Guest

This is just the beginning of our woes, just wait and see. Tikayamba kutengamo madzi kupititsa ku Lilongwe mu nyanja yanuyi mpamene mudziwire kufunika kwa feasibility study ndi EIA. Mukodza amalawi simunati ena atatenga ndalama akufunazo akudyera dziko lina.

ADZONZI
Guest

Zauchitsiru basi,ma black out lololo koma ma bill nde nyooo stupid,muonanso zomwe ndikuchiteni agalu inu

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