ESCOM GENERATORS DEAL: Government comes under fire


Members of Parliament (MPs) Thursday pressed government to explain why Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) is in the process of hiring generators to produce power when its mandate is to supply generated power.

Minister of Finance, Goodall Gondwe, told the august House that Escom is hiring generators to reduce cases of power outages that have hit the country hard.

“We are looking for gensets that would supply 78 megawatts. We will have those [gensets] between December and January 2018. That [the procurement of gensets] is going to be hiring not outright purchase. And we are expecting this to take place between December 2017 and January 2018. We are hoping that when that [hiring of the gensets] happens, it will mitigate the problem,” he said


Minister of Energy and Mining, Aggrey Massi added that the generators that Escom is hiring would be used for two years only.

MP for Kasungu Central, Amon Nkhata, brought the matter into the House, asking the minister to clarify on the procurement of the diesel-powered generators as reports show that the deal is a scheme to siphon taxpayers’ money.

Lawmaker for Nkhata Bay Central, Raphael Mhone, said it is worrisome that Escom has usurped the mandate of Electricity Generation Company by hiring another company without following procedures under the Power Purchasing Agreement.


Dedza East MP, Juliana Lunguzi, said the government should come out clear on how much it would cost an individual to use the gensets that are being procured.

Said Lunguzi: “There is a worry that we might need too much fuel. I am using K20, 000 in a smaller household for five days. The question is, is a person at Mtakataka, Golomoti going to afford the expenses?”

However, Massi asked for more time to consult on the matter and is expected to bring a detailed response today.

Escom’s deal to procure the generators has been mired in controversy, with the corporation said to have entered into a contract with Aggreko Power Solutions despite the company being disqualified by the Office of the Director of Public Procurement (ODPP).

ODPP cancelled Aggreko’s $74 million contract on grounds that the company had an unfair advantage over other bidders

The South African-based firm had won the contract after it took part in a restricted tender early this year. But an investigation by the ODPP found that the process was manipulated to give Aggreko an unfair advantage and the ODPP halted the whole process and subsequently stopped Escom from signing the contract.

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