Malawi Energy Minister weeps during Friday press conference over power blackouts

Energy minister Ibrahim Matola on Friday broke down emotionally and shed tears in front of journalists as he narrated how the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) literally bled Escom to death over mis-procurement tendencies and dubious payments and contracts, among others.

Matola, minister of Information Gospel Kazako and officials from Egenco, Escom and Power Market Limited were addressing the press on Friday in Lilongwe over the persistent power blackouts in the country.

Weep of a minister
Commenting on some revelations made by Escom Chief Executive Officer, Kamkwamba Kumwenda on lawlessness and mis-procurement at the power supplier, Matola shed tears.
He cried over what he has termed as possible sabotage,  political influence or a mere case of negligence.
Mainly, the tears came immediately after his comment on revelations that Escom paid K30 million for purchasing land which doesn’t exist.
The country continues suffering the harsh impact of persistent blackouts; pushing most already struggling business operations on their knees.
Matola accused the previous administration of plunging the electricity utility companies into the current mess where the utility companies are failing to provide adequate electricity to Malawians.
He singled out politicians forcing the utility companies to misprocure and by-pass laws governing the operations of the companies, being public entities.
Matola has also said the previous government was wasting resources for the companies by using their assets such as vehicles to ferry party supporters to political rallies and drawing free fuel from other power producers hired by government such as Aggreko.
He has said these malpractices have led to the reduction of national power production from 444 mega wats to 235 megawats currently.
 Matola added that this scenario has affected all sectors of life including economy, health, education and agriculture.
Secretary for Energy Alfonso Chikuni said the Ministry will be consulting the World Bank on the unbundling of the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi.
Chikuni said the ministry’s ambition is to turn utility companies into project sites and end the procrastination and attitudes which have had a huge impact to the current situation.
Electricity Generation Company (Egenco) Chief Executive Officer William Liabunya said Kapichira Hydroelectric Power Station which is the main cause of the current energy crisis, will be up and running by December this year.
He said rehabilitation works on the site will commence on September 24, 2022.
Meanwhile, Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has given President Lazarus Chakwera 30 days to solve blackouts challenges.
HRDC through its Chairperson Gift Trapence has told President Chakwera to take lead in finding long lasting solutions to the electricity problems.
The Human Rights group further demands that government go back to Parliament to revise the Act that should bundle Escom, Egenco and Power Market Limited (PML) into one to cut costs and create a seamless entity that should be managed under one roof.
“In simple terms, what the unbundling means is that instead of paying one single CEO, managers, employees and related operating costs, the electricity consumer now has to pay for three different operating entities.
“We would have no issue with this if the unbundling improved efficiency, reduced blackouts or brought the electricity prices down. But it has done none of these,” reads the HRDC statement.
The Grouping has since threatened to mobilize Malawians to hold countrywide demonstrations on 12 October, 2022 if government does not work on the demands.

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1 year ago

Haa…thus buying favors from the president. The man cannot be trusted. He wants the president to think he’s a serious man when doing things, not knowing, he’s is simply doing drama. Not long ago this man called us as achule (frogs). Malawians cannot easily forget your immediate past. 2025 is fast approaching

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