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ESCOM ELECTRICITY TARRIF HIKE

By Cyrus Bengo

Government needs to show concern about deteriorating of social condition

The Electricity Supply Cooperation Of Malawi ESCOM keep an eye on hiking upward electricity tariff for the next 4 years. The reason adduced for the increment in the cost of electricity is the current exchange rate of the kwacha to the dollar or, as the companies put it, “the fluctuating exchange rate.

ESCOM CEO

We are amused that these cocktails of purchasing power-eroding policies have been reeled out by the government without a thought about the burden being placed on citizens and their capacity to bear the adverse consequences. The policies have been inflicted on Malawians as if they are subjects. No policy measures to ameliorate the burden have been contemplated by the government. It seems that the wishes, aspirations and welfare of citizens have been discounted by the government as unworthy of consideration.

Min of energy Ibrahim Matola

The government seems poised to continue to inflict belt-tightening measures on citizens while astutely promoting the interest of the ESCOM that exploit the masses. Indeed, the Consumer Association of Malawi( CAMA )has also described the plan to increase electricity tariffs as outrageous. Manufacturers will ultimately pass on the additional cost of production to the consumers of their products by increasing product prices in the market.

CAMA CEO John Kapito

We remind the government that Malawians as citizens are not conquered subjects to be treated with disdain. They deserve some consideration; their social conditions and living standards should matter to the government. The government must recognise that it exists to cater for the welfare of citizens. Elected officials were given the mandate to rule on this basis.

Therefore, the government must be mindful of the consequences of its harsh policies on life and living conditions. The government should not overstretch its luck in the honeymoon period as Malawians are likely to react to further exploitation in a manner that may involve clashes with it.

It is clear that the government is content to simply use its instruments of policy for the continued exploitation of the people rather than protecting and promoting their welfare. The government needs to show  concern about the deteriorating social conditions of citizens and make a commitment to improve their wellbeing. So far, citizens have been at the receiving end of the brutality of government policies. The continued exploitation and misery of the people is such that they are now incapable of adding and absorbing yet another electricity tariff increase without being plunged into abject poverty. Many households have fallen under severe pressure and hopelessness.

Chancellor Kaferapanjira MCCI

They need relief instead of the additional burden being placed on them.

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