* Immediately after the blackout, which the public thought was the load shedding exercise
* Such kind of vandalism of 66kV overhead line can only be done by an expert
* The conductors that ESCOM says were vandalized were left behind because they were of no use to an individual
By Duncan Mlanjira
Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) says it is investigating the actual cause of the system shutdown failure that resulted in loss of nationwide power loss at around 18:00hrs on Saturday, June 18 — which coincided with vandalism of conductors on Nkula A to Blantyre 66kV overhead line around the same time.
Immediately after the blackout, which the public thought was the load shedding exercise, ESCOM issued a statement explaining that it was actually a system shutdown
And on Sunday, ESCOM issued another statement that by 01:00hrs power had been restored to most areas of the country that were affected and that they are still investigating the actual cause of the system failure since it coincided with vandalism of the conductors on Nkula A to Blantyre 66kV overhead line around the same time.
With this explanation, people took to social media indicating that such kind of vandalism of 66kV overhead line can only be done by an expert and strongly suspect that such saboteurs could be disgruntled former staff that were unceremoniously dismissed.
One commentator on social media observed that such nationwide black has taken place three of four times in past 3 months, and in suspecting that this was just some sabotage, the equipment vandalised were left behind.
“The conductors that ESCOM says were vandalized were left behind because they were of no use to an individual — that’s why I suspect that this is sabotage of highest order, which to me tantamount as treason,” said the commentator.
Another observed that after tripping the major power line, and once the line was out under the national blackout, they go on to steal power line cables — indicating that “this could only have been done by insider” adding the question: “Where does one get the knowledge on how to trip a major power line?”
It was also reported that on June 12, a similar vandalism took place in Rumphi — thus the the suspicion strongly pointing at some recently fired, who are disgruntled and are hitting back.
The consensus from the public is that ESCOM should get on the ground seriously and monitor the recently fired members of staff and once caught should face the law.