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Vandalism of ESCOM Transformers An Economic Sabotage – Matola

By Patricia Kapulula

Lilongwe, June 8, Mana: Minister of Energy, Ibrahim Matola has described vandalism of Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) equipment such as transformers as economic sabotage which was posing the utility body some challenges to effectively carry out its operations.

Currently, the power utility body was losing about five transformers in a month due to vandalism making it lose approximately K 2 billion annually in terms of replacement costs and lost revenue.

Matola said in Lilongwe on Wednesday during a press briefing under the platform Government Faces the Press that such vandalism was affecting consumers’ access to power.

He said with the load shedding programme there was already scramble for power with a lot of things requiring high voltage hence vandalism of transformers contributing to the already volatile situation.

“I urge everyone involved in this malpractice to stop henceforth or else the law will take its course,” Matola added.

ESCOM Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Kamkwamba Kumwenda said vandalism of transformers has led to customers losing more in terms of productivity.

He expressed concern that sentences and fines for those found guilty are very low hence the need for review in order to address the situation.

“The situation is beyond ESCOM as it is about the law. We, therefore, call for review of the law so that it should be fine and imprisonment,” Kumwenda pointed out.

Currently, the sentence for those found guilty is either fine or imprisonment.

Meanwhile, ESCOM is implementing a number of initiatives to alleviate the power challenges in the short and medium term.

Some of the initiatives include engaging some industries to shift demand to off peak period, implementing the Mozambique – Malawi Interconnection by December 2023, rehabilitation of Kapichira Power Station by the end of the year and installation of LED bulbs in government offices, commercial buildings and industrial premises among others.

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