Mzuzu City residents Friday told Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) to show tangible service delivery improvements first for people to support electricity base tariff increase.

The residents said this during a day-long public hearing on the electricity base tariff Increase application at Mzuzu Hotel organized by Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA).

One of the residents, Professor Marambika Shawa said ESCOM should first give out a detailed and clear outline on how it would ensure that it does not give a raw deal to Malawians.

“80 percent plus Malawians don’t have access to electricity despite paying taxes; what is the assurance that they will get the service as promised in your proposed application?” he noted.

An Electrical Power and Renewable Energy Expert in the City, Dr Collins Zalengera observed ESCOM needs to improve on efficiency for Malawians to trust the corporation.

“A good example of ESCOM’s inefficiency is their delay in responding to a power outage which now stands at an approximation of eight hours.

“Until they assure us that they are going to reduce that to about 2-4 hours, we can’t accept to pay more when we will be spending on other sources of power as well,” he pointed out.

Another resident, George Phiri said ESCOM needs to improve on power strength to enable more investors come into the country.

He appealed to MERA not to be lenient with the electricity supply body until they meet agreed standards before they can raise tariffs.

MERA Board Chairperson, Bishop Joseph Bvumbwe assured the public that the regulatory body will not allow ESCOM or any other institution under them to provide substandard services in the country.

“Be assured that no tariffs will be raised without the approval of MERA; and should the application pass, we will ensure that ESCOM adheres to all its promises before the tariffs are adjusted.

“After this meeting, we will sit down and evaluate all your contributions and make a decision which will be announced publicly,” Bvumbwe told the gathering.

Source : Mana

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