Peter Mutharika blames blackouts on poor leadership
Former President Peter Mutharika has condemned what he calls a lack of leadership behind the current electricity blackouts.
In a statement released Tuesday, Mutharika through his spokesperson Shadric Namalomba blames the Tonse Alliance administration for the endless blackouts that have affected daily life.
Mutharika accuses the Tonse Alliance government of deliberately departing from the truth about the cause of the ‘endless’ electricity blackouts.
He says senior cabinet ministers lied to Malawians when they told journalists recently in Lilongwe that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration was sabotaging electricity generation in the country.
“Malawians should now know that this Tonse Government of His Excellency, the President Lazarus Chakwera is the cause of these non-ending electricity blackouts. President Chakwera cancelled the only lifeline contract with Aggreko which was providing 78 megawatts of power,” Mutharika says in the statement.
He blames the current administration’s timing in cancelling the contract saying the decision was made at a time when the nation had lost 129.6 megawatts at the Kapichira Power plant on January 24 2022 due to the devastating Cyclone Ana.
“As a result of this poor decision, the available capacity was reduced by almost 50 percent putting pressure on the operating machines, resulting in continuous machine and system breakdowns, a decisive leadership could not cancel a contract for 78 megawatts without any replacement,” Mutharika says.
He has since called on the Tonse Alliance Government to exercise leadership by addressing the electricity blackouts immediately calling on President Chakwera to call for a national dialogue involving all key stakeholders to discuss solutions to end the problem.
Minister of Information Gospel Kazako was not immediately available for comment but The Daily Times understands works to restore generation are currently underway at Kapichira power station in Chikwawa.
The works involve the construction of a temporary dam which officials say will ensure the generation of electricity by December this year.
“We can assure Malawians that come December this year, Kapichira should be in full operation,” Energy Generation Company Egenco’s Assistant Public Relations officer Mervin Mchenga recently told journalists.
A special committee of parliament instituted to find out and make recommendations on the current power situation in the country has been engaging players in the sector.
Recently, minister of energy Ibrahim Matola also held talks with officials from Egenco and Escom on the power situation but nothing has so far changed.
Eric Msikiti is a Senior Reporter/News Producer at Times Group. Though relatively young, Eric boasts years of experience in Malawi’s media industry.