Jan 21, 2018 Last Updated 7:39 AM, Jan 19, 2018

Malawi electricity tariffs up by 37%

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The Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) has approved an average electricity tariff increase of 37.28% for Escom, to be implemented in a phased manner over a four year period effective April 4, 2014.

The increase will start with 13.5% from 4th April,2014, 18.18% in the second year, 8.9% in the third year and finally 1.09% in 2017, and represents a change from the current K31.54 per kilowatt to K43.24 kilowatt, MERA Chairperson Lyton Zinyemba says in a statement.

Escom initially proposed a 58% electricity tariff raise for the same four year period.

Zinyemba added that the authority had taken into consideration some of the issues raised by stakeholders at the hearings to come up with a decision now, adding Escom will be required to adhere to some key performance indicators to ensure quality service delivery.

But those commenting on the matter in the social media and in the streets describe the development as 'unfair and insensitive to the part of the energy authorities considering the current economic time'.

Some even questioned if at all MERA considered the views of the people as it claims, saying the public clearly was against the raise by citing 'poor service delivery by ESCOM characterized by the frequent power outages.'

"I once said that the public consultations were just a formality,these people had already made their decision..other countries import electricity but the tariffs are not this high,how come we produce our own power but we are paying heavily? Whats the advantage of having power plants then? This is the money they [Escom management] buy a fleet of luxury cars to their executive at the expense of a welder in Mponela, a maize mill owner in Dedza, a barber in Mulanje. We have too manY greedy people in Malawi," wrote on Francis Juan Ngwira our facebook page.

On his part, Chief Executive Officer of the Blantyre Water Board, Andrew Thawe said the development may prompt them to increase their water tariffs too.

However, Consumer Association of Malawi (CAMA) Executive Director, John Kapito says the development will also enable customers hold accountable the electricity service provider.

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