Vice President Salous Chilima on Wednesday held a joint meeting with the top leadership of Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) and Electricity Generation Company (EGENCO) to ensure there is power all day, everyday in the country.
Chilima said later in the day he also met Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) top management in a drive to free the public broadcaster from political capture.
He said the meetings were part of the public sector reforms that he is championing under the leadership of President Lazarous Chawera.
“As we start engaging individual parastatals following the Reforms Status Reports that they have been submitting to my office, today I had a joint meeting with the top officials of Escom and Egenco in our bid to ensure that there is stable and uninterrupted power supply in the country,” wrote Chilima on his official Facebook page.
The Veep said during the meeting Egenco, as a power generating company, presented a number of challenges choking its operations which include billions of unpaid electricity bills sold to Escom.
“The non-conclusive unbundling process that has left Egenco without legal title of assets; high operating costs from running diesel generators; and environmental degradation of the Shire Valley catchment area that has had adverse effects on its generation operations,” he said.
Chilima further said on its part Escom, as a power supplier, also presented a number of challenges including a K1.8 billion average monthly bill which Egenco charges which Escom feels is not sustainable.
He said Escom also complained about non-payment of bills by some government ministries and Departments who owe the power utility body billions in unpaid bills.
“The institution is also losing investments due to rampant vandalism among other legal and financial challenges,” said Chilima.
The Veep however says the meeting resolved that by next week, all the challenges that Egenco and Escom presented will be dealt with at a decision-making meeting that he will hold together with other government stakeholders with the two institutions.
“We must all go to work as soon as possible. Moving forward, we are devising a 24-month plan with Egenco and Escom to ensure that the current stable power supply maintains or further improves. The ultimate goal is to ensure that within the same timeframe, there must be surplus production of power that will ably sustain the manufacturing industries,” he says.
Chilima says the government will soon announce measures and mechanisms that are being put in place to ensure that issues of interrupted power supply are completely dealt with once and for all.
The Veep added that the government will also review all the interventions at hand to make sure that they make financial sense to the economy in the quest of power generation.