A 14-year-old boy lies in agony at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (Qech) Burns Unit, bandages round his shoulder and feet. He has spent 33 days in hospital and already missed 24 school days.

The boy identified as Pawa Magumba who hails from Gumbi Village, Traditional Authority Namseta in Thyolo District has his right arm amputated following an electric shock he sufferedon January 20.

The teenager is in pain and had difficulties talking to us in the presence of his mother.

On that fateful day, the boy and his three friends went fishing at Mkwakwazi River.

While there, they saw a fallen Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) pole. It was left unattended to for three days despite several calls.

Pawa said he touched the cable with wet hands to cross to the other side.He added that everything became blurred thereafter as he lost consciousness.

His friend Kelvin Kachingwe, 12, said he heard Pawa calling for help sayin “He was stuck to the power lines. I saw sparks and I could not go near. I rushed to the village for help,” 

Kelvin’s father Madalitso Kachingwe was the first on the scene and he said that separating Pawa from the live power line was dangerous.

He was severely burnt and we had to cut some tissues on the feet with a razor],” said the 36-year-old.


Pawa sustained burns on the skin and internal tissues. He was taken to Thyolo District Hospital where he spent a night before being referred to Qech.

Pawa’s mother Falesi Master said doctors recommended an amputation of the right arm as it was damaged.

“He has lost his right arm and is disabled. He had no disability from birth; why Pawa?” she broke dowm.

“Taking care of Pawa will not be easy”, she wailed.

Pawa’s father died in 2022.

Kachingwe claimed Escom were informed on January 17 about the fallen pole, but simply promised to attend to the fault.

“This could have been avoided because we told them on time. Even when Pawa was trapped, they did not come and only arrived on January 21, a day after the accident. We are disappointed,” he said.

When there is an electricity fault, people normally call Escom officials to fix the problem.

However, the power utility takes days to fix a problem, jeopardising lives.

At the burns unit, we met two other children who were admitted following electric shocks.

Roy Maloya, 10, is in Standard Five at Nansato Primary School in Thyolo.

His uncle  Mike Chitseko was electrocuted in 2006. and the boy  has also injured at the very place that his uncle was killed.

According to Roy’s mother, Dorothy Chitseko, Escom is yet to fix the problem despite several reminders.

“That place is a death trap. There is an electricity supply line that hangs low, posing a danger to anyone passing by. I lost my brother and on January 27, my son was affected,” she said.

Roy has difficulties in walking. He has deep wounds in the legs and arms.

Fourteen-year-old Yamikani Kampango is another victim of live power lines. He was in Standard Five  at Manyumba Chisawani Primary School in Mulanje District.

According to his mother Rose Pierson, the incident happened after school on October 13 last year and they arrived at Qech the following day.

Today, Yamikani is still in the High Dependency Unit (HDU). He has a deformed face, deep wounds on the legs and arms.

However, spokesperson for Escom Kitty Chingota has asked more time to comment on the issue.

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel: