To ensure enforcement of energy laws in the country, the Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) yesterday called on the Judiciary, police and other stakeholders to go through all laws that the regulatory body deals with.
Mera chief executive officer Raphael Kamoto said at a meeting in Lilongwe that Mera faces challenges in enforcing energy laws against individuals who are not licensed and other entities.
“The only mode of enforcing energy laws against such individuals is through criminal law provided for in the Penal Code and the energy laws. We need them to understand what the law says in terms of licensing, penalties and other issues,” said Kamoto.
He hailed the cooperation between Mera, police and the Judiciary which he said will lead to a common understanding of issues related to energy laws.
Speaking of offences under energy laws, Mera senior legal officer Mphatso Kachule, cited offences and punishments under the Liquid Fuels and Gas Act, the Energy Regulation Act and Electricity Act, among others.
“Any person who commits an offence under the Liquid Fuels and Gas Act shall be liable upon conviction to a fine of K50 000 000 (US$119 617) and to imprisonment of 10 years,” said Kachule.
Judge Chifundo Kachale, who also attended the meeting, said the court exercises authority on behalf of society.
“Courts only impose sentences as permitted under a given law. They exercise the authority to sentence on behalf of the society whose expectation is to live in a peaceful and secure environment,” said Kachale.