BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)—In a clear display of arrogance, Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) went ahead with their greedy decision to hike electricity tariffs despite Malawi Energy Regulation Authority (Mera) advising them to put the adjustment on hold.
This has been revealed during an interface with the Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources and Climate Change today Tuesday 27th April, 2021.
According to Welani Chilenga, the committee’s chairperson, Escom officials told him earlier that the increase was made to bail out the institution from its financial quagmire, and based on the minister of energy’s statement in parliament.
Escom officials have meanwhile failed to produce the statement that the minister allegedly made, which the Committee demanded.
The revelation has left some members of the Parliamentary Committee surprised.
One of the members, Kamlepo Kalua, has described the move and explanations by Escome as “useless” to discuss.
The Committee says it is perplexed on why Malawians should be bailing out people or institutions that are messing up things in their institutions.
Ironically, Mera Consumers Affairs and Public Relations Officer Fitina Khonje told journalists that the decision to hike electricity tariff was made during the electricity tariff review meeting held in February this year.
Khonje also said apart the depreciation of the Malawi Kwacha against major foreign currencies; Mera approved the adjustment to allow ESCOM to carry out its functions effectively.
“The adjustment of the electricity tariff comes about because of two main issues. The first one is that out review of the electricity tariff using the automatic tariff adjustment formula necessitated that the tariff be adjusted upwards by 5.72 percent.
“The formula is applied every month and the aim is to reinstate or restore the value of the tariff that was already agreed on. The second factor is on the based tariff that was agreed to run from 2018 to 2022 and we started implementing in 2018. In 2020, the review showed there should have been an adjustment of tariff based on the based tariff trench,” she explained.
It is yet to be known where Khonje got the powers to comment on the matter in total agreement with Escom while Mera says it did not approve the adjustment.