Chakwera talks tough on Egenco management

President Lazarus Chakwera has given until June the board of the Electricity Generation Company of Malawi EGENCO, to deal with the state run power generating company management for missing his December deadline for the completion of rehabilitation works at Kapichira hydro-power plant.
Chakwera said time for doing things with laxity is over, saying the country needs to up its production following the cyclone disasters, therefore, he said electricity was key to such productivity.

President Chakwera
Speaking when he officially opened International Trade Fair and inauguration of Malawi Bureau of Standards on Wednesday in Blantyre, Chakwera said those in higher positions caused the delay in the rehabilitation of the power station which forced Malawians to experience prolonged blackouts.
He said, this is unacceptable and should not be tolerated at any level.
He urged workers in government ministries and departments to work with speed and refrain from unnecessary delays in processing documents for businesses.
Chakwera said in the digital era that we are in, business certificates should not take too much time before they are issued.
He spoke against deliberate moves by some officials who delay issuance of documents in order to solicit bribes from business operators.
Chakwera said the country must build back its lost productivity and the new MBS infrastructure in Blantyre is key to this.
He said the facility will modify the conditions of attaining certification of SMEs.
Chakwera has since called on the Ministry of Trade and Industry to improve the process of issuing of certification.
“Friends of Malawi want to help but there are slow processes of certification.
“We have too many people in this country moving in slow motion.
“I do not want to hear that happening and I will send people for inspection,” he said.
Minister of Trade and Industry Simplex Chithyola Banda said he is equally concerned with the foreign exchange challenges and the ministry is working on measures to address the same.
He said the ministry is among others, engaging big domestic players to buy from local suppliers.
To this effect, he said the Ministry of Trade and Industry has signed a memorandum of understanding with Malawi Defence Force to buy their goods locally and is currently discussing with Ministry of Homeland Affairs  that all uniforms for the Malawi Police Service should be bought locally as well.
Apart from that, he said his ministry is also intensifying its investment promotion and facilitation drive and currently courting investors to invest in Malawi in sectors that will promote exports.
Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) president Lekani Katandula has urged government to put up deliberate incentives to make long-term financing affordable for targeted growth sectors like mega farms, agro-processing, energy generation and tourism.
Katandula has further urged government to incentivise import substitution and grow the country’s formal exports. He however observed that this would be difficult to achieve as the country’s official exchange rates are  misaligned.
 “Rebalancing our trade through industrialisation will require that, besides other policy reforms, we should also ensure that the exchange rate regime is supportive of exports and import substitution,” he said.
In his words, Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) board chairperson Dalivn Chokazinga said the new MBS laboratory will go a long way in contributing to the growth of local and international trade.
He said the new laboratory will also ensure that MBS operates in line with best international practices for standardisation.

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