By Austine Kachilika MANA

Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Mzimba South have taken the district’s Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) officials to task for their failure to address the power challenges which the district is facing.

Speaking during an interview on Friday, chairperson for Mzimba CSO Network, Christopher Milele, said ESCOM officials in the district have been reluctant to inform the general public about the power outages that have significantly affected the lives of many in Mzimba.

“For almost a year, Mzimba ESCOM officials have not addressed the public, mostly their clients, on the frequent blackouts which last more than twelve hours per day on average.We, therefore, consider this as an insult to the people and its customers in Mzimba,” said Milele.

He further said persistent blackouts have contributed to economic hardships of many individuals who solely rely on electricity to run their businesses.

“A significant population in this district rely on electricity for their income generating activities, such as barbershops, photo copying and printing service providers and leisure centers,” he added.

According to Milele, Mzimba ESCOM officials have failed to cite the specific causes of the challenges affecting Mzimba.

“Lately, we thought that these blackouts are countrywide; however, we have realized that Mzimba District, especially Mzimba South, encounters unusual blackouts as compared to our northern counterparts and all other districts.

“Hence, we decided to interface with them to underpin the specific causes and they have failed miserably to do so,” added Milele.

Speaking in a phone interview, ESCOM’s Northern Regional Manager, Thomas Mzumara, said there will be another interface meeting with the CSOs to give more details on the issue.

“We are having a meeting next Monday; therefore, we hope that some of the grievances presented will be addressed,” said Mzumara.

However, Mzimba ESCOM officials did not comment on the matter, saying they are restricted by the corporation’s hierarchy to comment on the matter.

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