Consumers have taken the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) to task over persistent network failures they are experiencing whenever they want to buy electricity prepaid units.
The customers, some of whom have been queuing for hours at different designated selling points, have since expressed dissatisfaction with the way the network failures have been negatively affecting them.
“I travel all the way from Chirimba [in Blantyre] to town to buy electricity units, but I usually find that there is no network and have to wait for hours,” said Chimwemwe Banda, a customer The Nation found waiting for electricity prepaid units at a service station in Blantyre.
Another customer from Ndirande Township, Sai Moffatt, said he usually has such encounters when buying prepaid units to the extent that he goes around town searching for where he can find network access for the transaction.
“Most of the time I have to travel around town to find where there is network access so that I can buy units which is very tiresome,” explained Moffart.
In an interview yesterday, Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) executive director John Kapito said Escom has failed to put up a strong system that can enable customers to have access to the prepaid units without any network challenges.
He said it is said that customers ae experiencing challenges to buy the prepaid units
“The problem has been there for quite some time and Escom is to blame for failing to put up a strong system in its service delivery. There have been occasions when people have [waited for] two or three days to buy electricity which is a sad development,” said Kapito.
He further said the splitting of Escom into two firms would not solve anything unless there are strong reforms in its service delivery.
But in an interview yesterday, while acknowledging the network mishaps, Escom public relations manager Kitty Chingota said engineers are working on the problem which she said might be dealt with by the end of this week.
Recently, Escom has been in a staff allocation exercise to the two companies that have emerged as a result of the split into Electricity Generation Company (Egenco) and Escom as part of the power sector reform programme. n