MCA Malawi Applauds Escom: There Is Effective Corporate Governance

A crosssection of participants at workshop -Pic by Roy Nkosi
In its quest to address constraints facing the country’s power sector, the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) Malawi says there is effective corporate governance within Electricity Supply Commission of Malawi (Escom) and other power supply partners in Malawi.

This was disclosed on Thursday in Lilongwe at a dissemination workshop where the evaluator recruited by MCA Malawi presented results after assessing the performance for the power sector reform project under the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s Infrastructure Development and Power Sector Reform projects in Malawi implemented from 2013 to 2018.

The evaluator was to explore energy challenges and changes over time at the household level where several case study communities expected to benefit from the Infrastructure Development Project (IDP) investments, to represent multiple regions, and a combination of income and access to electricity.

MCA Malawi Power Sector Reform Director, Grace Simwaka said the report is a mixed bag because it shows that there has been progress but with some challenges remaining.

She said the project which among other issues focuses on the issue of governance within Electricity Supply Commission of Malawi (Escom), Malawi Regulatory Authority (Mera) and Electricity Generation Company (Egenco) who are the partners of the project working with the government of Malawi has done a good job.

Simwaka said it was pleasing to note there are great improvements in the way Escom is operating after several discussions that included government.
“We have been having discussions with government to ensure that we bring to the attention that we would want Escom to have effective governance processes and procedures in place as well as to ensure that government appoints the right people into the board of Escom and Egenco in terms of the qualifications, skills and their standing in society,” said Simwaka.

She said half way through the project, government has tried to appoint the right people and there has been less conflict of interest in terms of representation of the board of Escom from the ministry responsible for energy.

“As of now, the principal secretary only sits on the board of Egenco and not Escom. There is still room for improvement but at least there is a step forward,” she explained.
According to her, there is also an improvement in financial management as compared to the previous years both in terms of position since they were assisted on processes and procedures to be followed.

MCC Senior Program Officer Jeff Garnett making a presentation -Pic by Roy Nkosi
“They are collecting more revenue now because Mera granted them some tariff increases and we also provided capacity building to their staff in terms of financial management, planning and on how best they can use the income they get and develop a procurement plan where they will know what they need and when they need,” she said.

However, responding to this, one of the participants at the workshop raised a concern for the future of tariff increases in which he highlighted that MCA should consider tackling this so that it benefits Malawi’s small and medium-sized businesses.

In response to this, Simwaka said the use of generators is a short term intervention hence an increase in tariffs just to lessen the blackouts and once the long term interventions are fully implemented all challenges will disappear.

She added that MCA’s facilitation in the provision of management information system, has enabled Escom to have the right tools in ensuring that they are more efficient in their operations visa-vi the time they started the project.

Commenting on the same, MCA Director for Monitoring, Evaluation and Economics, Themba Chirwa said they continue to focus on results through monitoring to make sure that they have the right data and through evaluation they learn from the interventions they implement.

He said through the compact, they have three key objects they want to achieve, to make sure that there is a reduction of the cost of doing business, to make sure that there is an expansion in terms of access and value addition in terms of production and the study focused on how these businesses are being affected by the way electricity is being produced.
“We did a baseline in 2015 and a midline in 2016 and the three key issues are positive and these are a result of an improvement in Escom’s finances, the way they operate and corporate governance,” Chirwa said.

He said the achievements in the compact should assure people that there is light at the end of the tunnel though it is a long way but heading in the right direction.

The Millennium Challenge Corporation is working with the Government of Malawi to address the structural, operational and financial inefficiencies of power subsector institutions, and the generation, transmission and distribution capacity constraints facing the country’s power subsector.

3 Responses to "MCA Malawi Applauds Escom: There Is Effective Corporate Governance"

  1. Anonymous   March 16, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    PRESS RELEASE BY THE MALAWI ASSEMBLIES OF GOD REGARDING
    ALLEGATIONS AGAINST REVEREND DR. LAZARUS CHAKWERA

    In an article published by Malawi Voice on Sunday, March 11, 2018, titled “Assemblies of
    God Wants C. hakwera to Refund K100 million He Stole from the Church”, the following false
    allegations were made which we, as a church, would like to refute in their entirety:
    1. Malawi Voice alleges that Dr. Chakwera “stole hundreds of millions worthy of
    money from Assemblies of God Press when he was the very President of the
    Church.” This is totally false. The Malawi Assemblies of God Press is governed by a
    Board, not the church President. Had Dr. Chakwera tried to steal any money from AG
    Press, the Board would have stopped it, and had any money been found to be
    unaccounted at the end of Dr. Chakwera’s tenure as President, the Board would
    have summoned him to account for it. Additionally, this allegation is inconsistent,
    for while the headline claims the amount stolen is one hundred million kwacha, the
    article contradicts this by claiming that the amount stolen is not one hundred
    million, but “hundreds of millions”. This allegation is totally false.
    2. Malawi Voice alleges that “the court told the Church to pay K100 million to Mr.
    Zungeni for unfair dismissal” from his position as General Manager of AG Press. This
    is totally false. No court in Malawi has ordered the Malawi Assemblies of God Church
    to make the purported payment.
    3. Malawi Voice claims that the alleged court case is “represented by Ambukile Salim”
    and that in the case, “Mr. Zungeni successfully proved with a chain of emails that it
    was Chakwera the then President of the Church who was demanding and using the
    money.” Both these allegations are totally false. No individual named Ambukile
    Salim represented the case and no evidence was presented or proven to exist
    MALAWI ASSEMBLIES OF GOD

    Substantiating any claims of impropriety on the part of Dr. Chakwera.
    4. Malawi Voice alleges that Dr. Chakwera “tried to change the ownership of the Area 9
    Church house into his name” and that he hopes “to return the stolen house back to
    the Church before campaign begins”. Both these allegations are totally false. The
    Area 9 house in which the Church lodged Dr. Chakwera when he was our President
    is not now nor has it ever been owned by the Malawi Assemblies of God Church. The
    house is the property of Press Corporation, and the Church was merely renting it,
    and at no point during his stay in the house while he was our President did Dr.
    Chakwera try to change the house into his name, nor would such a thing be possible
    under the laws that govern change of property ownership. As such, there is no
    stolen church house that needs to be returned to the Church, since the house is
    presently neither owned by the Church nor is it still rented by the Church.
    5. Malawi Voice alleges that by the end of his tenure as church President, Dr. Chakwera
    had “a record of torturing pastors when he was a church leader.” This is totally false.
    As far as the Malawi Assemblies of God is concerned, Dr. Chakwera served with
    honor, integrity, humility, and distinction as a Church Minister in the Malawi
    Assemblies of God for 30 years before joining front-line politics. He also served as
    President of the Malawi Assemblies of God for 24 years, during which the Church
    thrived and grew, and continues to do so, thanks to the contributions he made.
    Today, though holding no office within the Church, Dr. Chakwera is still a licensed,
    credentialed, and ordained Minister of the Malawi Assemblies of God, with all the
    responsibilities thereto appertaining, and is a man in excellent standing with the
    Church.
    Lastly, we have deliberately not addressed the allegations Malawi Voice has made in the
    article about Dr. Chakwera’s leadership as a politician. This is because Malawi Assemblies
    of God has no input or involvement in his leadership as a politician, for we are a Church
    that does not align itself politically with any party or individual, not only out of obligation
    to focus on our mission as a church, but also out of respect for the freedom of our church
    members to exercise their constitutional right to engage in politics according to the dictates
    of their conscience. Therefore, we wish to inform the general public that any news
    publication that claims or insinuates that the Malawi Assemblies of God as an institution

    Has a political agenda should be regarded as fake news. Further, we wish to inform Malawi
    Voice that should the publication of false stories about the Malawi Assemblies of God
    continue, the Church reserves its right to seek redress in a court of law and disabuse itself
    of these unsolicited, unwarranted, and unsubstantiated acts of defamation. Any rumours
    concerning issues to do with Malawi Assemblies of God should be verified with the National
    Board of Administration (NBA) housed within the Sheaffer Complex.

    Reverend Matilda Matabwa,
    SECRETARY GENERAL.

    Reply
  2. Anonymous   March 16, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    PRESS RELEASE BY THE MALAWI ASSEMBLIES OF GOD REGARDING ALLEGATIONS AGAINST REVEREND DR. LAZARUS CHAKWERA
    In an article published by Malawi Voice on Sunday, March 11, 2018, titled “Assemblies of God Wants Chakwera to Refund K100 million He Stole from the Church”, the following false allegations were made which we, as a church, would like to refute in their entirety:
    Malawi Voice alleges that Dr. Chakwera “stole hundreds of millions worthy of money from Assemblies of God Press when he was the very President of the Church.” This is totally false. The Malawi Assemblies of God Press is governed by a Board, not the church President. Had Dr. Chakwera tried to steal any money from AG Press, the Board would have stopped it, and had any money been found to be unaccounted at the end of Dr. Chakwera’s tenure as President, the Board would have summoned him to account for it. Additionally, this allegation is inconsistent, for while the headline claims the amount stolen is one hundred million kwacha, the article contradicts this by claiming that the amount stolen is not one hundred million, but “hundreds of millions”. This allegation is totally false.
    Malawi Voice alleges that “the court told the Church to pay K100 million to Mr. Zungeni for unfair dismissal” from his position as General Manager of AG Press. This is totally false. No court in Malawi has ordered the Malawi Assemblies of God Church to make the purported payment.
    Malawi Voice claims that the alleged court case is “represented by Ambukile Salim” and that in the case, “Mr. Zungeni successfully proved with a chain of emails that it was Chakwera the then President of the Church who was demanding and using the money.” Both these allegations are totally false. No individual named Ambukile Salim represented the case and no evidence was presented or proven to exist substantiating any claims of impropriety on the part of Dr. Chakwera.
    Malawi Voice alleges that Dr. Chakwera “tried to change the ownership of the Area 9 Church house into his name” and that he hopes “to return the stolen house back to the Church before campaign begins”. Both these allegations are totally false. The Area 9 house in which the Church lodged Dr. Chakwera when he was our President is not now nor has it ever been owned by the Malawi Assemblies of God Church. The house is the property of Press Corporation, and the Church was merely renting it, and at no point during his stay in the house while he was our President did Dr. Chakwera try to change the house into his name, nor would such a thing be possible under the laws that govern change of property ownership. As such, there is no stolen church house that needs to be returned to the Church, since the house is presently neither owned by the Church nor is it still rented by the Church.
    Malawi Voice alleges that by the end of his tenure as church President, Dr. Chakwera had “a record of torturing pastors when he was a church leader.” This is totally false. As far as the Malawi Assemblies of God is concerned, Dr. Chakwera served with honor, integrity, humility, and distinction as a Church Minister in the Malawi Assemblies of God for 30 years before joining front-line politics. He also served as President of the Malawi Assemblies of God for 24 years, during which the Church thrived and grew, and continues to do so, thanks to the contributions he made. Today, though holding no office within the Church, Dr. Chakwera is still a licensed, credentialed, and ordained Minister of the Malawi Assemblies of God, with all the responsibilities thereto appertaining, and is a man in excellent standing with the Church.

    Lastly, we have deliberately not addressed the allegations Malawi Voice has made in the article about Dr. Chakwera’s leadership as a politician. This is because Malawi Assemblies of God has no input or involvement in his leadership as a politician, for we are a Church that does not align itself politically with any party or individual, not only out of obligation to focus on our mission as a church, but also out of respect for the freedom of our church members to exercise their constitutional right to engage in politics according to the dictates of their conscience. Therefore, we wish to inform the general public that any news publication that claims or insinuates that the Malawi Assemblies of God as an institution has a political agenda should be regarded as fake news. Further, we wish to inform Malawi Voice that should the publication of false stories about the Malawi Assemblies of God continue, the Church reserves its right to seek redress in a court of law and disabuse itself of these unsolicited, unwarranted, and unsubstantiated acts of defamation. Any rumours concerning issues to do with Malawi Assemblies of God should be verified with the National Board of Administration (NBA) housed within the Sheaffer Complex.

    Reverend Matilda Matabwa,
    SECRETARY GENERAL.

    Reply
  3. #DzukaniAmalawi   March 16, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    Rebuilding takes time but at least there’s commitment from DPP and the government to turn energy sector around. MCA focus on capacity building at both ESCOM and EGENCO. The MGDS III has included a 300MW power installation doubling current power availability. Not adequate but certainly a good start.

    Reply

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