Minister of Energy Ibrahim Matola has expressed concern over delays by Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) to clear the backlog of applications under the Malawi Electricity Access Project (MEAP).
Matola made the remarks on Wednesday when he paid a surprise visit to ESCOM Offices at Game Complex and Power House located in Old Town in Lilongwe.
He said his visit follows an incident where a gentleman who decided to splash out urine due to frustration that ESCOM took ages to connect its customers to its greed.
“Most people applied for electricity in Malawi under the project in 2016 few were connected while some of them until today have not been connected,” he said.
Matola said he was not impressed looking at the figures of those who have been assisted hence the sudden visit on how they are handling the applicants and complaints.
Apart from MEAP issues, Matola also visited the Power Station where faults are handled.
He urged workers to give good customer care when answering queries from people as well as avoiding indulging into politics.
He however assured Malawians that the President Lazurus Chakwera and his Tonse led government is doing everything possible to make sure people are connected to electricity.
ESCOM Regional Manager for the Centre George Matukuta acknowledged that they are indeed genuine complaints and others emanating from lack of knowledge.
“We will improve in communication with the customers so that they should know what we are doing and addressing the short falls,” he said.
Matukuta added that the utility company has been assured of resources to clear the backlog in MEAP and other projects.
According to him, in MEAP project, ESCOM is aspiring to connect 180,000 customers with a backlog of 72000 but reduced it to 35,000 nationwide.
Headteacher at Mtemambalame Secondary School, Forget Chiphale, who brought his complaint at ESCOM said he is yet to be assisted of electricity connection of teachers’ houses at the school.
“ESCOM connected only houses five houses leaving out six houses. We have been coming here with this complaint for so many times but to no avail,” he said.
Chiphale was optimistic that the minister’s visit will speed up the connection to the houses at the school.