CSOs say blackouts sign of failed leadership

The Centre for the Development for People (Cedep) and Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHHRR) have said government’s failure to sort out blackouts issue in the country is a clear indication of a failed leadership.

A press statement signed by Cedep and CHRR executive directors Gift Trapence and Timothy Mtambo, respectively, said the electricity crisis in the country is a wake-up call for Malawians to demand good leadership which will not be clueless in solving people’s problems.

Co-signed the
statement: Trapence

The two organisations said they are alarmed by the country’s electricity crisis and worsening socio-economic situation and at also shocked by persistent investment in empty propaganda by the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials and State-run media.

The organisations have since said they are in support of the concerned citizens who want to demand their rights by holding national demonstrations.

Yesterday, the social media in the country was awash with calls for people to hold demonstrations today as one way of demanding answers from Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom, and Electricity Generation Company (Egenco) as the two are not giving convincing answers to the blackouts.

One of the organisers of the demonstrations, Billy Mayaya, confirmed to The Nation that the police and the council had given them a go-ahead to present the petition to the Lilongwe City Council.

“We have been granted the go-ahead by the police and the council, so the demonstrations are on and confirmed here in Lilongwe, starting from Area 18 roundabout to civic offices,” he said.

The outbursts from the human rights organisations come a few days after Leader of Opposition and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera described the country’s leadership as clueless in solving the power outages that have left the country plunged in darkness.

Chakwera accused President Peter Mutharika of being a liar, feigning concern about Malawians’ plight when his actions tell a different story.

Power generation woes in the country have worsened, with a loss of 20 megawatts within a week, prompting drastic load shedding where some areas are experiencing 25 hours of blackouts.

Egenco described the downward spiral of power generation from 180 megawatts to 160 megawatts as alarming, as the country is accessing only 145 megawatts against the demand of 350 megawatts due to low water levels in Shire River caused by environmental degradation. n


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