Business has ground to a halt at government’s Southern Region office complex in Blantyre following a power disconnection by the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) over a K2.7 million bill.
The power was disconnected on Thursday last week.
When The Nation visited the complex on Monday, a standby generator was being used to provide power to the occupants of the building and a notice indicated that the power would only be for an hour from 10am to 11am.
A visit on Tuesday found workers at most government departments just seated in their offices while several offices were vacant as they had been told that there was no money to buy fuel for the generator and as such there would be no electricity.
Some of the notable government departments and offices being housed in the complex include Administrator General, Southern Region Information, Blantyre District Information, Blantyre District Commissioner, the Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services, the departments of Lands, Housing and Physical Planning.
Since the complex has got only one Escom meter, the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, through the department of housing serve as a coordinator for the other government departments as the others pay their contributions through the ministry.
Ayam Maeresa, spokesperson in the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, in an interview on Tuesday, attributed the blackout at the complex to delay in settling a bill of about K2.7 million that the occupants owe Escom.
Escom public relations officer George Mituka, in an earlier interview when the utility provider disconnected power at the complex, said the corporation will continue disconnecting customers with outstanding bills because it wants to be efficient in its service delivery.
“Escom is implementing customer service charter to ensure efficiency, but a lot of customers are not doing their part by paying bills on time to make sure there is proper implementation of the charter, so we will continue to disconnect customers with outstanding bills,” said Mituka.