MCP demand scraping off 25 percent electricity hike amid power outages; Genset saga

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has called for a reversal of the 25 percent electricity tariffs hike because the generators that necessitated the increase have not worked.

Mera, the energy regulatory authority, approved the hike to help pay for the lease of the diesel-powered 55 megawatts generators.

MCP president Lazarus Chakwera told The Daily Times that when the generators arrived, Malawians were told that electricity problems would be dealt with but the country continues grappling with electricity blackouts.

“They said we will hike tariffs for electricity, ostensibly, because we want to cover this cost. So what is happening now? We are still paying for non-electricity. We still have that being maintained.

“Why are Malawians being punished? Why are we letting things like this slip-by as if nothing really matters when Malawians should matter? And their welfare should matter?” Chakwera queried.

He said Malawi must be serious about production as foreign investors cannot be attracted to a country where those in the private sector keep on complaining that electricity is their number one problem.

“I am just telling you the gut feelings that I have on why we must do things right and we must be seen to be doing things right. Not just because we want to get something out of every programme that government runs. It’s Malawians that are suffering, it’s Malawians that we must respond to,” he said.

The Leader of Opposition maintained what he told journalists in November last year that the generators’ deal was corruptly messed up to benefit few individuals.

The generators deal is currently under the Anti- Corruption Bureau (ACB) probe after the hiring of Aggreko, the deal that the then Office of the Director of Public Procurement (now Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Authority) cancelled.

In the petition that Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) presented to President Peter Mutharika on Friday, the organisations described Malawi as a nation in darkness saying they are tired of blackouts and generators excuses.

The CSOs have given the President an 85-day ultimatum to address electricity blackouts problem.

When he commissioned the generators in Blantyre, President Peter Mutharika conceded that the generators cannot solve all the power problems that the country has been experiencing for many years but the government’s plan is to do away with power shortage problems forever.

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