Malawi civil servants abandon work 2 days because of blackout

Government work has stopped for two days in the commercial city of Blantyre because of power blackout whose cause is not explained.

The new Government building in Blantyre which houses government departments has been without power from Wednesday and civil servants have since abandoned their offices.

“We have had no power since yesterday [Wednesday] because there is no electricity. Nobody has explained the situation. Most offices are abandoned because people cannot do anything,” said an officer in the Ministry of Information which has an apartment in the building.

Another officer from the office of the Administrator General also housed in building said since the blackout, he left his office and was doing personal business in the city.

“I have taken advantage of the blackout and am doing my own things in the city. We do not know when power will be restored. It is not the same usual power interruption,” he said.

A visit to the building by Nyasa Times confirmed that most offices were abandoned and there was no work taking place.

A source in the Ministry of Lands who are also the land lord for the building said there is a huge Escom bill which the tenants [government departments] are failing to pay.

Officials were not available to explain the development.

The new building is not without controversy. A few years ago, there was a lot of filth in the corridors because there were no cleaners.  A year after it was opened, windows and doors began falling off.  It was constructed by the Chinese Government.

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