The Department of Statutory Corporations has appointed Hastings Bofomo Nyirenda as the liquidator of Power Market Limited (PML) which was dissolved in January this year.
In an interview yesterday, Comptroller of Statutory Corporations Peter Simbani said Malawi Government, as the only shareholder of PML, expects the exercise to be concluded the soonest.
PML was created as part of the power market restructuring process to perform a single buyer (SB) function in the electricity industry, but its functions have reverted to Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom).
In this regard, Simbani said: “The wish of the shareholder is that the liquidation process should be concluded as a matter of urgency. Following the dissolution, the SB function is now going to be taken back to Escom.
“The process of handing over that function has also commenced, but since it involves many issues like legal processes, I cannot say when that will be done.”
He said government is required to go to court not for litigation, but to make submissions on handovers.
Attorney General Thabo Chakaka-Nyirenda, in a separate interview yesterday, said his office was involved in offering advice on how the matter can be handled, but refused to disclose how the process will be carried out.
“I have been involved in giving legal advice, but in terms of actual implementation, I am not the one doing that. My role ends at giving advice,” he said.
Recently, energy expert and former Cabinet minister Grain Malunga said the decision to revert the power to Escom will slow down the participation of independent power producers (IPPs) as all negotiated projects may go back to the drawing board.
He said: “It is one step backward in the sense that there was a reason for disbanding Escom. Power sector reforms were backed by law and this means revisiting those laws and regulations.
“Future aid conditions need to be negotiated without reservations to avoid what has happened. Energy development will be affected and milestones set to meet certain power supply targets will be affected.”
Former Escom chief executive officer Kandi Padambo supported the move in a write up, saying the SB unit in Escom needs credible ring-fencing through separation of accounts, business activities and governance of an entity.
He said: “Escom needs to outline the fundamental principles of conduct that the single buyer and the management and employees of single buyer are expected to follow.
“They need to emphasise the duty to maintain independence and avoid conflicts of interests by the single buyer in performing its functions, Promote transparency and market confidence in the operations of the single buyer.”
PML’s formation followed broader government reforms initiated in 2003 and came to fruition in 2015 with support from the compact between government and Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) worth $350 million.
The reforms culminated in the Electricity Amendment Act 2016.
PML was incorporated on June 25 2018 and was granted a single buyer licence by Mera in December 2020.