Scores of Malawians have reacted angrily and differently to Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) call for an upward adjustment of end-user tariffs, which the power utility body says will sustain its operations.
On Tuesday, Escom Chief Executive Officer, Kamkwamba Kumwenda, told a press conference in Blantyre that the state-owned parastatal has been operating at a loss, which cumulatively stands at MK112 billion since its unbundling in 2018.
Kumwenda disclosed that the company buys electricity from power producers at MK140 per kilowatt per hour but sells it to the end-user at K104 per kilowatt per hour, a thing, he said, is crippling operations.
“Escom is dying. The choice is ours; either we close Escom or increase tariffs,” he told journalists.
But taking to social media, hordes of irate Malawians have bashed ESCOM, with some cursing the unbundling of the utility body while others ruing what they describe as the company’s “carelessness”.
Francis Munthali accuses ESCOM officials of driving expensive cars that guzzle a lot fuel whose money can easily payoff the debts the company has”.
“Very useless. Just close ESCOM, it has no use. Who cares about ESCOM anymore,” said Elton Mhango
Kabula Chinga wrote: “All this is a smokescreen by the corrupt MCP government of Chakwera to initiate new contracts, so they can benefit from this and also milk people. Chakwera and MCP incompetence is what is worsening our economic problems”.
“Total nonsense. Why does Egenco sell electricity at such astronomical price? Egenco should be incorporated back into Escom. You created two companies out of Escom to milk an already frail cow. Nonsense. Just unbundle Egenco and return to old status quo,” said John Mndala
Hastings Chago Themba Maphonyane had this to say: “This is a very sad state of affairs. We need electricity, the damage was done and we have no choice but to increase tariffs. This organization has been plundered before, sadly nobody has been taken to task. POLITICAL MUSCLES are killing this country.
Owen Soko urges close of Escom as soon as possible, saying the country is better off going for solar energy.
Thokozani Chitatanga agrees with Soko, adding that Malawians are fed up with Escom’s incompetence.
“They have money, asamatinamize. Instead of investing in other sources of energy to help the civilians koma ayiii. Make way for other corporations to help with this Mr President”.
“How much money did they spend on politicians during campaign? Its better we track money stolen from Escom. And its about time our tax money go to Escom than building MPs houses,” Steve Chihana wrote.
McDevis Kamende said: “It seems the only solution to ESCOM’s losses and inefficiencies is to adjust the electricity tariffs upwards. Why can’t they go deeper and wider!
Haswell Banda says this is a man made problem which “the previous government did as they were taking a lot of money from Escom”.
“So no need to raise the tariffs. Just go and get the money you were giving to the political parties and use it”.
“We need two more electricity supply companies in our nation and ESCOM will know what it means to really make losses,” Jephil Christ Choko said.
He added: “So many engineers who are just in the offices, instead of being in the field trying to fix things”.
Sarai Kaunda wrote: Tsekani🚶mufuna mukweze ngati ma salaries anakwera bwa? Afterall, it’s not that we can’t survive ndima blackouts, infact, you made us adapt to these blackouts.
Pemphero Katho bashes without mercy: “They say they are making loses but next thing u hear is they bought the new Land cruiser and fortuners for their top managers. Useless company. If they are really making loses we should be seeing it from the top managers as well. What they drive, their salaries and other packages says a different story from what we keep hearing. They look like they are swimming in money those guys”.
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