Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources and Climate Change has expressed dismay with Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) for cutting down trees Parliament planted.
In 2015/16, Parliament led by then Speaker Richard Msowoya planted trees in Mtandire after hailstorm damaged police officers’ houses there.
Committee chairperson Werani Chilenga said on Friday the trees were meant to shield the houses from strong winds and also provide vegetative cover for the bare land.
He said: “We were shocked last year that Escom decided to cut down the trees, and now the place is used as a farm, where people are cultivating maize. We learnt with dismay of this and we need compensation for it.”
The committee has since given Escom up to February 10 to organise a tree planting exercise to which the Speaker will be invited.
“We are giving them up to February 10 to replant the trees, for every one tree they cut down we have requested them to plant five, we are aiming at planting 5 000 trees,” he said.
During the meeting, Escom chief executive officer Allexon Chiwaya apologised for cutting the trees, saying they only learnt that the trees were planted by Parliament when they were summoned by the committee.
“We didn’t know that the trees belonged to Parliament. It’s a mistake we made and we apologise for that,” he said. Chiwaya has since committed that Escom will plant the 5000 trees as demanded by the committee.