Don’t frustrate efforts to fix ESCOM – Chilima tells employees

Vice President Saulos Chilima has warned Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) employees that they will face severe consequences if they attempt to frustrate government’s efforts to fix ESCOM.

Chilima, who is also Minister of Public Sector Reforms, issued the warning when he met management teams of the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) and the Electricity Generation Company (EGENCO).

He said the administration of President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera is committed to fixing ESCOM so that it serves the people of Malawi better and with efficiency.

“As such, no one within ESCOM must attempt to frustrate the efforts this far. The consequences will be severe. We will push until we get back an ESCOM that we all yearn for as a country,” said Chilima.

According to Chilima, the turn-around strategy for ESCOM will be put into effect within this month of September.

The strategy will be led by a Task Team that will comprise members from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economic Planning and Development, Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Justice and Department of Statutory Corporations.

Chilima said he is impressed that ESCOM management is already up and running correcting some wrong decisions that contributed to the current poor financial state of the parastatal.

“For example, it is working on its Power Purchase Agreement with Aggreko so that ESCOM only buys power without supplying diesel to Aggreko. ESCOM is also working on fleet management basing on cost benefit analysis to help the institution save resources.

ESCOM and EGENCO officials during the meeting

“The Corporation is also accelerating installation of pre-paid meters in government ministries and departments to improve its cash flow. The Malawi/Mozambique 400kV power interconnector will also be expedited, concluded and commissioned by December 2022,” said Chilima.

The Vice President then assured ESCOM that the government will continue engaging the company’s management in order to produce results and take the company out of its current poor financial state in the shortest period possible.

On EGENCO, Chilima said the company’s reforms performance status shows tremendous progress in reforms implementation, strategic direction as well as the status of the organization’s financial health.

“It is commendable that from the 57.7 MW that EGENCO added to the national grid since 2017 after the unbundling process, the company has managed to utilize its own funds to carry out various projects except for the rehabilitation, modernisation and upgrading of Nkula A which was a grant under the Millennium Challenge Account (MCC),” he said.