Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) says it has lost K10.5 million from illegal connections that bypassed ESCOM meter board and supplied electricity to 30 buildings at at Nthandizi Market in Blantyre.
ESCOM Public Relations Manager, Innocent Chitosi, revealed this on Friday at Nthandizi Market in Bangwe Blantyre, after the corporation disconnected two main illegal power connectors at the market.
He identified the two as Horrace Khan who bypassed ESCOM meter board and supplied electricity to 20 buildings where he was collecting money from and Mabvuto Kapyepye who had unmetered supply and was selling electricity to 10 buildings.
“As a result of their connections, ESCOM has lost close to K10.5 million within the three years that we are taking into account.
“Our records show that in 2018, Khan bought electricity units of K500 and again in 2019 where he also bought another K500 voucher, as an institution ESCOM is losing out a lot in revenue collection and this is worrisome,” he said.
Chitosi warned that illegal connections pose as a danger to lives and property in case of faults.
“This poses as a danger to lives and property as a big fault may arise that could lead to loss of lives and property.
“The unfortunate part is that when that happens, it is the corporation that gets the blame as if we are failing to do our job,” said Chitosi.
He then expressed gratitude to some ESCOM customers who have, from time to time, been tipping the corporation on illegal connections in different locations.
“We conduct random inspections on our customers and we also get tips from our customers and the public.
“Here we discovered that there were plenty of illegal connections and we had to come and check of which it was discovered that indeed a number of buildings were connected illegally,” said Chitosi.
He then said for those who were disconnected to be reconnected, they will have to reapply to the corporation and will have to pay fines of K3.5 million, a process he said may prove to be difficult for them as they had displayed dishonesty.