Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi Limited (Escom) says it is losing millions of kwacha in uncollected reveneu due to illegal electricity connections, a development that is crippling its operations.
Escom public relations manager Innocent Chitosi said this on Friday when the power utility uncovered an alleged syndicate of illegal connections in Bangwe Township in Blantyre.
He said the discovery followed a reformist approach that Escom has embarked on to serve its customers better.
Said Chitosi: “Escom carries out random inspections on their customers and tip-offs from members of the public which alerted us of illegal connections in this area.
“We have discovered that there were plenty of illegal connections where one person was connecting 20 customers. This is serious to us as Escom as we are losing a lot of money due to the malpractice.”
He estimated that Escom has lost about K10.5 million through this bogus connection, but added that the figure could rise once all calculations are done.
One of the suspects had for the past two and a half years allegedly been using K1 000 worth of electricity units to supply power to 20 shops.
According to Escom, the suspect will be charged with two counts of illegal meter by-pass and unmetered supply which attracts up to K3.5 million in fines.
Another culprit is alleged to have connected 10 houses and was receiving money as the electricity supplier.
Chitosi said the second suspect will be charged with illegal meter by-pass and unmetered supply.
He appealed to customers who know or suspect that they might have been illegally connected to report to Escom.