Malawi’s Council for Non-Governmental Organisations in Malawi (Congoma) has asked government to be transparent on the power interconnection deal between Malawi and Mozambique to avoid a repeat of the Nigerian crude oil deal.
However, Minister of Energy Ibrahim Matola said there was nothing that government was hiding and promised that the revised details of the deal, which he said would now benefit Malawi even more, will be made available to the public through the media.
Congoma chairperson Voice Mhone said on Thursday that as much as the council applauds government for signing the deal, it was concerned that the agreement still has areas that needed explanations, especially, on how concerns over costs to Malawi have been dealt with.
“What has now happened to the said costs? The late Mutharika argued that Malawi could not be paying both per consumption bills and a fixed cost; how has the new agreement addressed that element?” he said.
Mhone warned that if the country is not careful the power interconnection agreement is likely to end like the Nigerian crude oil deal which President Joyce Banda also “signed in a hurry and ended up not being a good one for Malawi.”
But Matola explained that the initial misunderstanding on the deal was not all about the cost. He expressed optimism that following the changes Malawi will benefit a lot.
“Actually the way the agreement is done, there is nothing we are losing but we will have more benefits,” said Matola.
During Mutharika’s time the interconnection deal was also further marred by the rejection of the interconnection bill in Parliament.