By Antony Isaiah Jr

…….Blames Egenco for Persistent blackouts

The Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) has defended The State President, Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera and pointed finger to the Electricity Generation Company (Egenco) for the persistent blackouts that the country is facing.

Escom Cheif Executive Officer Kamkwamba Kumwenda made his sentiment during the joint parliamentary meeting in Lilongwe on Tuesday.

Kumwenda said Escom is receiving less power from the company that generate power and Escom is only mandated at distributing, transmitting and marketing the generated power.

In 2017, the government of Malawi in its quest to implement the Power Market Restructuring (PMR) programme, meant to increase efficiency in power generation and creating enabling environment for Independent Power Producers (IPP) to invest in power generation, unbundled Escom, creating two companies, one responsible for power generation and the other distribution.

The generation of power was carved out of Escom and that a new company called the Electricity Generation Company Malawi Limited (Egenco) was now operational.

Kumwenda said Escom is receiving 68 percent of Electricity. He added that if Electricity Generation Company was supplying at least 90 percent, the country would not be in a situation that is in.

“Escom has the mandate to only transmit, distribute and Market the power. We no longer generate and we can only distribute what we have been given.

“As of now, this massive blackouts, how can we distribute things that we have never been given? This is not the problem of Escom, give us the power, we will distribute the power,” said Kumwenda.

He added that if they power grid that Escom receives is not increased, loads loadshedding will be the best option.

“To balance the system and to avoid system shutdown, we do load shedding because the power that we receive is very less. Our mandate is not to generate, we distribute and the problem is not about Escom.

“We have been called names and even the President. Personally am here to defend the President. This is not our problem, its a sectoral problem and Escom will only deliver what it has been given.

“Energy is the centrepiece of everything else. For mega farms need both rain-fed and irrigation and irrigation needs Energy,” added Kumwenda.

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