Cama takes Mera, Escom to court over tariff hikes
The country’s consumer watchdog, Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) has taken to court Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) and Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) over recent electricity tariffs hike.
Mera Board in December resolved that electricity tariffs be increased by 6.6 percent- to K53.69 (about $0.08) from K40.69 (about $0.06) per kilowatt-hour.
The increase came barely a month after the energy regulator gave Escom a 13.7 percent increase in tariffs.
But on 31st December, 2015 Cama through its lawyers filed a lawsuit against the two institutions, challenging their decision to hike the electricity tariffs despite Escom’s poor performance.
According to the Summons issued by Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda, Escom and Mera have been given 14 days to respond to Cama’s lawsuit or suffer default judgment.
Cama’s Executive Director, John Kapito told Nyasa Times they are seeking a court injuction stopping the tariff increase until the decision is reviewed.
”We are seeking an injunction before any tariffs increase in order for the two bodies (Mera and Escom) to explain to Malawians the reasons behind the current tariff increases that do not make sense to the ordinary Malawian,” Kapito said.
Kapito argued that the tariffs increase was inconsiderate to the consumers especially at a time when the country is unable to get any power supply from Escom due to continued blackouts.
”There is need for Mera and Escom to engage consumers on the justification for this tariff and we are also aware that Escom has consistently failed to meet its own Key Performance Indicators (KIPs)and why are they being rewarded for that failure,” further argued Kapito.
The lawsuit will surely please many consumers who are being overburdened by the sharp increase in the cost of living as the country’s economy is on downturn.
In December, Mera Board Chairperson Dingiswayo Jere defended the tariff increase, saying Mera approved the hike after considering the impact of inflation rate and exchange rate movement.
”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,” said Jere.
But Kapito queried Mera’s approval for a tariff hike, saying Escom failed in most of the KIPs necessitating further power hike.
Escom generates 351 megawatts of electricity which does not meet the country’s demand.
In Malawi, electricity tariffs are reviewed in every four years and since 2008 when Mera Board was elected, there have been two electricity tariff reviews, the first being from 2009 to 2013 and the second of 37.28 percent from 2014 to 2017.
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well done bwana kapito how i wish we supported you….most times you speak and ACT FOR THE VOICELESS
nothing will work wages of poor voting and dormant malawians
Ngati a Peter ati adzalephere chisankho cha 2019, china mwazomwe chidzawalepheretse ndikuzimazima kwa magetsi. Ndipo sindikuchiwona chifukwa chimene boma la DPP likungowaweta akuluakulu olephera komanso mbuzi zaku ESCOM kumangozilipira ndalama zambirimbiri chifukwa chowayika aMalawi mumdima. 2019 tu wolephera sadzakhala a Escom ayi koma ife tidzidzati boma la DPP linalephera. Ndiye ngati nkotheka chotsani nyongolotsi zonse ku Escom zimene zikufuna kukugwetserani mdzenje zinthu zisanafike povuta. Aah! Amayi JB tikukulirani ife chifukwa munthawi yani zoterezi kunalibe. Kukhaladi mzimayi sichifukwa, nanga tawonani madoda andevu paliponse akulephera kutipatsa mphamvu za magetsi? Ndipo magetsiwo asakweze chifukwa ifeyo ndiamene timayenera kukadandaula kuti ntchito zathu ndi mabizinezi… Read more »
there is low voltage and unstoppable blackout . let people use charcoal .escom 1st Sort ur ploblem don’t reap whe
re didn’t work. is same as cashgate
Press release mr Escom says in Usd terms they have not increased teh tariffs, but Escom should understand our salaries are not in USD so how do you expect us to cough up more kwachas for kwacha devaluation. The root problem of this country is devaluation if that can be controlled inflation will come down. Can Chuka please explain to why the kwacha has lost so much value against the dollar in 6 months, why cant they reverse the policy of exporters retaining only 40% of the export proceeds as that will help the kwacha to stablisie. Currently the exporters… Read more »
Kapito is miles away from this dog called Gift Trapence. Kapito is for us. Gift is for them americans who like to fuck tudzi tonunkha.
Ngati dheel yake imeneyi nde or mutanena lero kuti kuti tikathamange nanu pa nseu tituluka mwakathithi madala
thumb up Mr. Kapito !!
Let everybody citizen pay for electricity including staffs from escom , their chief executive so that we leave within the same level , waterboard so that they should feel the pinch.
Its high time some of these prevellages should be removed from the so called bosses coz the don’t understand the pain the juniors come across.
Mera useless board
Some of us have already felt the increase. Will it be given back? Thanx bwana Kapito
Well done Mr Kapito