By Grace Cryton
Nkhata Bay, June 8, Mana: People in Nkhata Bay have complained against Electricity Supply Cooperation of Malawi’s (ESCOM) for its delays in connecting electricity to houses despite paying connection fees.
The people have been accusing ESCOM of taking much time to fix electricity to their houses and business premises without proper reasons.
Residents in the lakeshore district allege that the corporation in some cases takes up to over two years to connect electricity after a client has paid connection fee dubbed Namagetsi Charge.
According to Dan Kalua of Mpholozi area within the outskirts of Nkhata Bay Boma, paid electricity connection fee in 2019 but has update not been served.
ESCOM’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Kitty Chingota said the delays in supplying power to customers are due to the corporation’s economic challenges.
“Basically, what customers pay is a contribution fee that does not cover the full cost to get connected. ESCOM is required to source additional funds to top up on the contribution to meet the full cost of new connections,” she said.
Chingota added that ESCOM advise clients who cannot wait for the company to provide the service to buy their own materials for the connection.
She said that Namagetsi Charge was a standard capital contribution that is charged to single phase customers who are within the connection range of a service transformer in urban, peri-urban and major rural centres with more than 250 customers.
“The current charge per connection is K93, 200.00 with Value Added Tax inclusive. However, the average connection cost is estimated at K361, 576.00 and K240, 915.00 in urban and peri-urban areas respectively and we contribute the balance,” she said.