Malawi’s first citizen Peter Mutharika weeks ago witnessed the sad reality of power outages while presiding over a graduation ceremony at Chancellor College in Zomba.
His speech was disrupted not with noise from the graduates at Chancellor College (Chanco) but darkness that engulfed Great Hall as students were getting their prestigious academic qualification papers from University Malawi.
Reports reveal that Mutharika jammed while presenting what was on his paper for that congregation at Chanco.
The blackout has since led to suspension of senior staff members of Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM).
ESCOM’s management faults those staff members for sharing with Mutharika what is now normal on power cuts in this country.
Why the suspension is a hypocrisy?
For the past years, Malawians have lived without power for more hours. Mutharika’s government put that blame of power failure to previous regimes.
Mutharika’s 2019 election campaign was built on ending power cuts with billboards saying that his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) led government is to put the situation of blackout into Malawi’s history.
Short term solution was power supply generated from diesel genets to feed the power grid needed in Malawi.
Besides business being at a standstill, something worse than companies failing to generate profits was happening and perhaps still happening now, people’s death due to power cuts in hospitals.
Malawi Heath Equity Network (MHEN) disclosed in a 2017 press statement that power cuts resulted to deaths of patients on Oxygen during the switch to power back up when hospitals have been hit with power cuts.
Though news of people dying due to power cuts was being passed in newsrooms for the country to appreciate the situation of power failure, no ESCOM employee got a suspension.
Years that Malawi has been in darkness, no one from ESCOM was blamed, though the cost of such blackout was huge to the country.
But with Mutharika getting disrupted for only a few minutes with power cut, someone’s job has been left hanging.
ESCOM’s management action on the suspension to the staff management is a super hypocrisy that shows that Malawians are good at “worshiping” their leaders who are treated like sacred creatures