The UK based Civil Society group of concerned Malawians under the banner Concern for Malawi (COM) has expressed concern over the recent approval by Malawi energy regulatory authority (MERA)for Escom to hike its prices.
The group main concern is that Escom in” its current state has no moral right to increase price for a service which they hardly deliver “. The call was made by the groups Executive Director Chalo Mvula who questioned the mathematics of increasing the price for a product that doesn’t match up to the levels of quality expected.
Mvula, when speaking to this media said “ Escom has consistently failed to provide quality service to its customers over the past 5 years . This has in a negative way affected so many people and so many businesses. People have struggled with so many blackouts and all Escom has done is kept promising that things will get better, yet nothing has improved”.
“We feel Escom cannot justify the price increase- if anything we are saying they are not deserving of the price increase” argued Mvula.
The grouping has asked Government to intervene and help Malawians not to be ripped off .
“We are calling on the government to intervene on Mera’s decision and call for the “Price freeze” until the electricity blackouts are sorted. The group is calling Escom to sort itself first and overcome the issues of blackout before thinking of increasing the prices.
Concern for Malawi is not the only group that has so far voiced concerns over the proposed price hikes .Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) and Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) have in the past argued against the increase of the price.
Escom claims that the major causes of the increase, is the increase in purchase price from producers which has gone up by 50 percent. Government has failed to fund Escom recently for fear of collapsing the economy and has urged the organisations to explore more commercial avenues.