Nankhumwa lambasts Chakwera on Blackouts


The Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly and Democratic Progressive Party Southern Region vice president, Kondwani Nankhukwa has lambasted the state president, Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera on his failure to deal with the issue of blackouts.

Malawi has been hit by the issue of intermittent blackouts and Nankhumwa says Chakwera is just giving people speeches instead of acting saying people cannot eat speeches.

The past weekend Malawi was hit by the nationwide blackout and the state president delegated his minister of Energy, Ibrahim Matola to meet with both Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi and Electricity Generation Company and discussing the cause of the power outages.

Chakwera through his Facebook page said he was occupied by other matters of national interests.

Nankhumwa says the announcement by Chakwera was announced as Big news and it was surprising.

“Rather being a norm that the President should be in office every working day, it was announced as exception, “said Nankhumwa.

According to Nankhumwa, the statement gave an assumption that Chakwera has not been going to the office, he was only jolted into action by only nation-wide blackout which the country experienced over the weekend.

“The power crisis the country has been experiencing over the past month did not warrant any action such as the deployment of the Minister of Energy,” said Nankhumwa.

He has also blasted minister of Energy for waiting for Chakwera’s directive as if he could not see the crisis himself.

“Chakwera is hugely detached from reality and doesn’t know the challenges that Malawians face on daily basis.

“Chakwera should know that the problem of intermittent blackouts reached a crisis level more than two months ago and now it is becoming a national catastrophe.

“Escom has been dutifully sharing load-shedding schedules, informing people the times when the Electricity Supply will not be available, and they times when Electricity will be available,” added the Leader of Opposition.

Nankhumwa further said that Malawians cannot eat speeches.

“Mr President, your idea of solving Malawi’s problems starts and ends with speeches. Your speeches are truly great -no-one can take that away from you -but Malawians don’t eat speeches,” he added.

Nankhumwa has therefore urged Chakwera to put his interests on the plight of Malawians and fulfill his pledges that he made during campaign.

“During the campaign for office, President Chakwera informed Malawians that he was going to eradicate blackouts without excuses. Mr President, this is your third year in office, and there is still nothing you have done to eradicate blackouts. You are busy blaming the previous regime.

“Mr President, the previous regime made its mistakes, but Malawians elected you to correct those mistakes. You cannot run away from your responsibility by scapegoating endlessly. What are you doing yourself?

“Every time Escom announces a 12-hour power restoration period, but this is also not always the case of Electricity is retired for only ine hour, then its off.

“Businesses that rely on Electricity are on their death bed. Those rearing chickens who need incubators, can no longer use incubators, leading to huge losses.

“Welding businesses can no longer weld. Shops with perishables that need to be kept frozen have to throw their perishable stocks away due to to lack of power supply. Milling businesses have practically been shut down. Mr President, the problem is not only what you call ‘the system shutdown that resulted in a nation-wide blackout over the weekend.

“To imagine that the President had woken up to this fact over the weekend shows that the country is on autopilot, and that he is totally disinterested in solving its problems, ” added the statement by Nankhumwa.

Meanwhile, Escom has defended the President saying the issue of blackouts is there due to unbundling that happened in 2017.

Escom Chief Executive Officer Kamkwamba Kumwenda said the biggest problem is Egenco which is mandated at generating energy saying it is generating less than the required amount of power grid.

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