Escom disconnects Malawi gov’t building for unpaid bils

Government business has come to a standstill at new government building in the commercial city of Blantyre after Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) cut off power supply due to unpaid bills.

Escom disconnected power supply to the building on Wednesday morning, forcing the State employees to abandon their respective offices in what can only regarded as ‘holiday’.

The building, situated at the heart of Blantyre town adjacent to Blantyre Sports Club is now a deserted dark-hall with no hope that the paralysed government operations will return to normal anytime soon.

Chingota:  Unpaid bills
Chingota: Unpaid bills

Nyasa Times visit to the building discovered that the utility provider cut off the power supply at around 9am this morning as most of the government institutions are failing to settle outstanding electricity bills due to inadequate funding.

“How do they expect us to be working without electricity? Nobody wants to remain in office with what has just happened,” complained one of the civil servants Nyasa Times caught up with while they were leaving the building.

The officer disclosed that most of the government departments owe the utility providers-Escom and Water Board-outstanding bills due to government’s poor funding allocations.

“Departments are being given between K300,000 and K400,000 as funding; and how do they expect us to work effectively with such financial support? There are alot of bills to settle and not to mention fuel. Don’t expect anything productive from us if this will be a trend,” complained the officer.

Efforts to talk to Minister of Information, Brown Mpinganjira who is also government spokesperson proved futile as he could not answer his phone.

Escom Public Relations Manager, Kitty Chinseu-Chingota while confirming the power cut at new government building refused to disclose how much the company is owed in electricity bills.

“Our customer privacy policy does not allow us to divulge such information,” said Chingota when contacted.

Government operations have been scaled down in most ministries since last year following directive to cut-down funding as one of controlling measures government adopted in the wake of pulling out of funding by some donor countries due to Capitol Hill looting of public funds christened as Cashgate.

In December last year the new government building, constructed by the Chinese Government, had no power for two days after Escom cut off supply due to same issue of unsettled bills.

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