Namiwa for better consumers

By Thandie Chadzandiyani

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The country’s social rights group Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) is demanding Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) to pay back overcharged consumers following revelations that the company illegally hiked electricity tariff.

The demand comes as electricity tariff was increased from MK94.43 per kilowatt per hour (Kwh) to K104.46. Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) announced the hike on March 29 saying it would be effective March 30 but it was revealed yesterday that MERA on March 29 also advised ESCOM to put the hike on hold.

In a press statement made available to Maravi Post on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 CDEDI executive director Sylvester Namiwa said ESCOM should reverse the illegal tariffs and work out a mechanism to ensure that the consumers have been paid back what was overcharged.

Namiwa said it is illegal for ESCOM to make unilateral decisions. He, however, questioned MERA’s claims and suspected that the authority is being controlled by the Government to push the blame on ESCOM, following a backlash from the public over exorbitant charges, tariffs and levies on essential services and products such as water, electricity, fuel, cooking oil.

“It is high time the Tonse Alliance Government started taking responsibility for some of the administration’s mistakes, and not pushing the blame on individuals or institutions, as witnessed by this blame game between MERA and ESCOM,” he said.

Namiwa whose organization last week led the country in nationwide peaceful demonstrations against insulting tariffs and charges on essential goods and services, reminded President Lazarus Chakwera that Malawians are currently struggling to make ends meet due to among other things, the high cost of living, which is as a result of high cost of essential commodities and services such as water, electricity, cooking oil, fuel, mobile phone charges.

“The recent revelations at MERA and ESCOM are a clear manifestation that the country either ushered into office a President who is failing to firmly hold the reins of power due to his indecisiveness on matters of national importance, or a government which has total disregard for the plight of the poor and the marginalized people in society, or both,” he said.

The recent revelations at MERA and ESCOM are a clear manifestation that the country either ushered into office a President who is failing to firmly hold the reins of power due to his indecisiveness on matters of national importance, a government which has total disregard for the plight of the poor and the marginalized people in society, or both.

CDEDI therefore is making the following demands;MERA should discipline ESCOM over this embarrassing incident and That ESCOM should reverse the illegal tariffs and workout a mechanism to ensure that the consumers have been paid back what was overcharged.

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