The World Bank has trashed reforms at Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom), including the unbundling of the state run power house, as not benefitting the people because of the continued power black outs.
World Bank senior private sector development specialist Ephraim Chilima said this during a meeting on Tuesday in Blantyre convened to evaluate the impact of business reforms Malawi is undertaking.
“The reforms at Escom are not bearing the desired fruits,” said Chilima, adding, “the unbundling of Escom should have translated into action, instant improvement of power generation.”
He attributed the slow pace of the reforms results to rigidity and mentality of some government officials and unfriendly laws.
An official from ministry of Trade and Industry Esther Mwimba said the business reforms are bearing fruits.
She gave an example at the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) where people can pay tax just at the touch of a button wherever they can be, office or home.
Malawi is under severe pressure to effect reforms at Escom and tackle corruption seriously after threats from the US to withdraw the US$350m Millennium Challenge Account if the issues are not addressed.
The US wants the government to remove the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) dominated board, tackle chronic graft at the power utility state company and the introduction of tariffs which should be economically viable.
There have been wide reports of corruption in the procurement of materials for the MCC.
The US has also openly said the DPP dominated boards at Escom and Electricity Generation Company (Egenco) is a contributor to the inefficiencies at the two institutions.
The MCC project aims to improve the energy sector especially in the distribution of electricity.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :