Escom staff to sign confidentiality forms


The Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) has introduced Confidentiality Agreement forms to be filled by staff in an attempt to stop the leakage of “sensitive” information that has lately laid bare the power utility’s inefficiencies and the scandal over the procurement of standby emergency generators.
In the last three months, confidential correspondence has found its way to social media platforms and has been a source of some investigative stories that traditional news media have been fed on.
For instance, confidential memos and letters between Escom and Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) last month exposed how the power utility company was pushing Mera to sign a Power Purchase Agreement, allowing it to enter into a deal with Aggreko Power Solutions, a company which is supposed to supply emergency generators.
A leaked letter from Escom Chief Executive Officer, Alexon Chiwaya, to Mera last month informed the regulatory authority that Aggreko was supposed to commission a 20 megawatts (MW) generator on December 24 and another 35MW generator on December 31 2017.
This letter exposed another lie by Escom management because no generator was planted and commissioned on December 24 and it does not seem like the deadline for the generator scheduled for commissioning on December 31 2017 will be met.
The confidentially agreement reads: “ I, being an employee of the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi Limited, do hereby solemnly and sincerely swear and promise that I shall always conceal and never reveal any matters, activities and dealings of the Corporation and any of its subsidiaries which matters or any activities and dealings that shall come to my knowledge by virtue of my employment with the said Corporation or any of its subsidiaries to anyone unless I have been myself duly authorised to communicate any information, matter, activity or dealings.” reads part of the agreement.
A copy of oath of the agreement spells out summary dismissal for any employee who violates the agreement.
“I hereby further agree that in the event of my violating this Oath of Secrecy I shall be liable to summary dismissal. So, help me God,” the oath reads.
Escom Public Relations Manager, George Mituka, was yet to respond to the questionnaire that we sent him on Saturday and could not respond to our phone calls on Tuesday as we went to press.

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