By Robert Kumwenda
Civil Society organizations in the country have asked government to stop interfering in the operations of the two power generating companies Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) and Electricity Generating Company (ENGENCO) for them to operate smoothly.
The call was made at a media briefing Friday in Blantyre following a visit by the Civil Society organizations to Mwanza at Chichiri power house to appreciate the progress the two bodies are doing towards improving the supply of electricity in the country.
Speaking at the briefing Chairperson for Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC) Robert Mkwezalamba said they found that there is a slow type of response from government to help the two entities.
“We would want government to divorce their hands on issues of procurement and appointment of individuals and there should not be political interference in their operations. Initially government promise us that the problem of electricity will end by 31 December and we want to see where we are and seriously look at other factors that are affecting the operations of the two entities,” he said.
We have hope that we were supposed to have 76 megawatts by the end of this month but now we have 55 megawatts and the other 23 megawatts will be added on top of other generators that are coming from ENGENCO he said.
Mkwezalamba added that they have understood the situation and it seems that there is a commitment from what has been happening from October to now and by March the situation would have been improved so that everyone should be happy.
“We would also want to see government giving incentives to the two entities so that the ordinary person on the ground should not suffer as the cost of hiring and using them is high. We also commend government for commissioning the two megawatts gene rator in Mzuzu by ENGENCO,” he said.
Also speaking at the press briefing Executive Director for Civil Liberties Committee (CILIC) Emmie Chanika said the issue of electricity is not for government alone but everyone.
She said people should be responsible by not cutting down trees carelessly on mountains and along rivers.
“There are companies that are making plastic bags but they do have disposals and people should use other alternatives like energy saver bulbs,” she said.
The tour followed the discussions the Civil Society members had with officials from the two entities to get an update from what they are doing towards improving blackouts as well as the plans they have put in place.