Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources chairperson Werani Chilenga on Tuesday asked Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) to end power outages or change their motto to reflect the persistent blackouts.
But Escom chief executive officer Alexion Chiwaya said they cannot change the motto as that would make the power supply body complacent.
During a meeting the Parliamentary committee held with Escom officials after touring Malawi Rural Electrification Programme (Marep) 8 projects in Balaka, Zomba and Chikwawa, the legislators said they were not happy with the persistent blackouts which Escom has previously said will persist until 2022.
The committee therefore suggested that Escom changes its motto from Power all Day Every Day to ‘Towards Power All Day Every Day’, arguing the institution is far from fulfilling that dream.
Said Chilenga: “I think it is right and proper for you to bring back that word ‘towards’ because we still have persistent blackouts. Please [add] this word.”
But in his response, Chiwaya said it was difficult for them to have that word in their motto as they have improved their services.
“Putting the word back will make us fail to achieve our goal. The [current motto] is our aim and we cannot add ‘Towards’, because if we do that it means we are not certain that we will achieve our goal. We are focused and want to achieve our goal. That is why we removed it and cannot put it back,” he said.
Previously, Consumers Association of Malawi forced Escom to change its motto from Power All Day Every Day to ‘Towards Power All Day Every Day’. Escom reverted to its old motto a few years later after claiming to have improved on service delivery.
The country has been experiencing power blackouts for a long time.
In February this year Escom and Egenco switched off diesel generators that supplemented power supply, citing increased hydro electricity generation resulting from heavy rains the country received early in the year.
In April, Malawi signed an agreement that offers the country an opportunity to buy 200 megawatts (MW) from the Southern Africa Power Pool (Sapp) once a $127 million (about K94 billion) power interconnection project with Mozambique materialises by 2022.
Besides the Sapp agreement, the country is also buying power from Zambia.