President Arthur Peter Mutharika quietly sneaked into Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) headquarters’ offices which are housed on the 5th Floor of Umoyo House in Malawi’s commercial city, Blantyre for a surprise visit Wednesday morning.
The Malawi leader invaded the premises unannounced with business as usual and he sneaked in without the customary presidential fanfare catching people within the precincts of Umoyo and surrounding areas unawares.
A senior ESCOM official speaking to Nyasa Times on anonymity said: “The president just showed up at Umoyo House on 5th Floor and marched into ESCOM offices. It was both scary and dramatic as no one never expected that to happen. Heads rolled and the president appeared somewhat livid and unhappy.”
Added the ESCOM official: “This is the first time for a sitting president to storm into ESCOM offices unannounced in history. The look on his face tells it all. He is not happy with the electricity supplying outfit and he surely needs answers and thorough explanations as to what is really going on.”
Mutharika’s visit to the embattled electricity suppliers, ESCOM is believed to be an executive clampdown on the country’s most inefficient utility service provider whose incessant power cuts continue to annoy the country’s populace.
No roads in the city, including the Victoria Avenue, were closed as is the case whenever the president is travelling within the City.
Some people, however, are not buying Mutharika’s ‘surprise visit’ to ESCOM as a genuine bolt from the blue visit but just a rhetorical publicity stunt saying the visit was prearranged.
James Gondwe, who works at Umoyo House said: “Surprise visit? What surprise visit? Please give us a break; we all know it was a pre-arranged meeting. What kind of a surprise visit is this that the president is going about carrying the presidential coat of arms?”
“This, to me is nothing but a publicity stunt, he just wants to bluff Malawians and make them believe that he is doing something about the ongoing electricity problems,” said a seemingly irate Gondwe.
Ellen Mvulayagunda who also works in Umoyo House it is surprising that national and presidential flags were all well-erected at a surprise and emergency meeting or visit.
She said: “We don’t need surprise visits, emergency management meetings attended by the president, we need electricity and the only thing the president and his government must do is find and provide resources into the energy sector and ensuring that as a country we have the capacity to provide sufficient power to the people.”
“The president just wants to be seen to be doing something about the never-ending electricity problem in the country and he knows that perception is key in politics but it is a little too late now. We all know that these meetings do not yield any tangible results,” said Mvulayagunda.
During the purported surprise visit, the Malawi leader crept and leapfrogged into a closed-door joint ESCOM and EGENCO management meeting at 10:20 AM.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :