The Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) has said it will undertake an inspection of electrical installations of buildings across the country as guided by the Electricity Act and electricity by-laws of 2012.
The authority has since warned that all persons whose structures were not certified by the organisation shall be guilty of an offence and, on conviction, be liable to a fine of K5 million (about $14 705) and imprisonment for 10 years.
Mera chairperson Lyton Zinyemba said on Tuesday that Mera is concerned with the many fire accidents which result in unnecessary loss of life due to use of non-certified installers.
“The above measures have been put in place to reduce these incidences,” said Zinyemba, at a news conference in Lilongwe convened to inform the general public the requirements for all electrical wiring installations in the country and on the need to use electrical installers certified by Mera.
He said Mera will soon publish in the media a list of companies and individuals that have been certified by Mera as at December 31 2012.
Zinyemba reminded Malawians that electrical installations personnel should possess a valid permit issued by Mera according to the 2012 electricity by-laws.
“They [electrical installers] have to be qualified and permit given to them according to the standards. Anybody who does not comply will face the wrath of the law,” he warned.
Mera chief executive officer Dr. Allexon Chiwaya, in an interview, noted that such enforcement is in tandem with the institution’s strategic plan.
He assured that Mera will continue monitoring the energy sector to flush out ‘briefcase’ renewable energy installers.
“We know that most people have done shortcuts and we want every structure to be inspected,” said Chiwaya, and appealed to Malawians to engage experienced and certified electricity installers to avoid fire accidents.