Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) has disclosed that some of their employees, both active and former staff members, are contributing to illegal power supply connections.
This was disclosed on Friday, July 31 by ESCOM’s Public Relations Manager, Innocent Chitosi when the power utility supplier disconnected a total 40 houses at Nthandizi in Limbe’s Bangwe township for illegal connections.
In its ‘Random Inspections Exercise’ of electricity, ESCOM discovered that some of their customers, Horrace Khan and Mabvuto Kapyepye, connected power supply to over 40 customers from 2018 and were receiving money from each customer.
The connected buildings included shops, restaurants, bars just to mention a few.
According to Chitosi records show that the two suspects have only paid K1,000 in buying ESCOM power units for a period of three years, losing out on revenue to over K10.5 million.
“The two suspects will be charged with the cases of Illegal by-pass and unmetered supply,” Chitosi said. “Let me also state that Mr. Khan and Mr. Kapyepye have been fined K3.5 million.”
He added that ESCOM managed to discover the malpractice after getting a tip from members of the general public and has so far thanked Malawians who are taking part in providing information once they suspect other people who are practicing illegal connections.
“We do understand that there are plenty of Illegal connections which is contributing to challenges in as far as collecting of revenue is concerned.
“So, that is the reason why we decided to embark on Random Inspections Exercise in order to deal with this behaviour because we losing a lot of money,” he said.
Chitosi alluded that their staff members sometimes connive with members of the communities to by-pass the power supply.
“There are some active as well as former members of staff who are involved in this syndicate as you are aware that the power market is liberised and we have got a lot of constructors, who sometimes are contracted by us to do some works.
“So, we just urge Malawians to continue tipping us tips because it is helping our exercise and also helping us to continue providing good services to the public,” Chitosi said.