Board chairperson for technically insolvent power utility Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom), Thom Mpinganjira has said he has instituted a grand investigation to find out how some members of staff connived with the powerful ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials to fleece the powerhouse huge sums of money which left Escom with a debt trap of K54 billion.
Mpinganjira told a news conference on Tuesday that the money was siphoned out of Escom through dubious procurement processes.
“Procurement procedures were not followed. There were serious misprocurement processes,” he said.
He said there were some items which were bought but were not needed and might not be used in future.
“This has negatively affected the operations of Escom. We will engage the state prosecuting agencies like the ACB and DPP,” said the accomplished economist and businessman.
Escom asked for a K54bn debt bail out from Treasury as the utility company is struggling due to inefficiencies.
Mpinganjira said: “We requested for the bail-out of around K50 billion because we are in a deficit of close to the same amount of money. Basically, we were not supposed to be in this position, but we are in this position due to mismanagement. Just in February , we had a surplus of K18 billion, but we now face a deficit of K50 billion. This is due to bad procurement [decisions].”
The ruling DPP is accused of high level theft and corruption at Escom.