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Cama in legal battle against Mera on electricity tariff hike

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Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) has vowed to continue its legal battle against the electricity tariff hikes which were recently implemented by the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) following approval from Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera).

Hearing of the case is set to take place towards the end of this month and both Cama executive director John Kapito and judiciary spokesperson Mlenga Mvula confirmed in separate interviews that the case will he heard on 22 February in Lilongwe.

Mer a on Sunday approved a 7.5 percent increase on electricity tariffs from the current K53.69 to K57.02 per kilowatt-hour.

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The development came slightly over a month after the regulator also approved another 13.7 percent increase in tariffs which means that cumulatively, the electricity tariffs have gone up by about 34.9 percent in less than five months.

And Kapito says as a defender of consumer rights, Cama will go ahead to seek the court’s intervention on the matter.

Towards the end of 2015, Cama, though its lawyers filed a lawsuit against Mera and Escom challenging their decision to effect electricity tariff increases despite Escom’s poor performance.

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Cama is disputing the rationale for the hike at a time when it says Escom is failing to meet its key performance indicators.

But, when approving the tariff hikes, Mera said the move is necessary to enable the power utility company to raise funds for some projects aimed at improving general electricity supply in the country.

Mera also says the changes are necessary on account of high inflation and the depreciating kwacha. Electricity tariffs in Malawi are determined by the automatic pricing mechanism and base tariffs.

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