Karonga businessman Moffat Kuyokwa has lost about K4 million kwacha worth of goods to an inferno that was started by candle fire which was lit to cover for a blackout that hit the district last Thursday.
Sounding distraught, the owner of Maneno Wholesalers blamed his fate on utility body Electricity Supply Commission of Malawi (ESCOM) saying that had it been that there was no power outage during the day his shop would still be running today.
According to his narration on Tuesday, Karonga had experienced a blackout for a good part of the day and at around 6 pm shop attendants lit a candle to cover for the darkness.
“But while my shopkeeper was attending to a customer, he did not notice that the candle, which started a disturbing fire, had fallen off,” said Kuyokwa.
He said much as he has been able to do some renovations on the shop to start fresh, government “must seriously look into the challenges” facing the power sector in the country.
“The issue of power is crippling thousands of businesses. This is not healthy for our families and our economy as a country,” said Kuyokwa.
Malawi is currently facing deplorable power challenges currently blamed on low water levels in the River Shire.
ESCOM chief, John Kandulu, has said people “must brace for more power challenges.”
A human rights watchdog Centre for the development of the people (Cedep) has warned that Malawi risks being declared “a failed state” should water and electricity woes persist.