Brace for darkness

1

Malawians should brace for more blackouts as Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) is struggling financially and government has rejected the electricity supplier’s request for a K58 billion bail-out.

According to reports, Escom owes Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) K2.7 billion in unremitted Malawi Rural Electricification Programme (Marep) levies.

ESCOM

It is also failing to pay Egenco about K28 billion while local and foreign suppliers are owed close to K40 billion.

Escom board chairperson Thom Mpinganjira said they had a surplus of K18 billion in February but due to bad decisions they have a deficit of K58 billion hence the request for the bail-out.

Secretary to the Treasury Ben Botolo told the local media that giving K58 billion to Escom soon after a K45 billion payout to ADMARC would hugely affect the country’s economy.

“We cannot, therefore, go ahead and do the same with another institution. If we do that, we will start collapsing the economy because we don’t have that money. If we do that [the bail-out], it will force us to print money to that magnitude… The consequences might be huge if we take that path.”

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