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Meeting ignites fears of job losses at Escom

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The Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) says its employees are still assured of keeping their jobs as there are no new plans to reduce the work force as the unbundling process is underway.

Government is unbundling Escom with technical and financial support from a $350 million Millenium Challenge Account (MCA) Malawi power compact which will see the power utility company split into two companies, one responsible for power generation and the other distribution.

A secret meeting which was convened at the Power House in Blantyre recently reignited fears among employees of the parastal with most telling us that they suspect that some people will lose their jobs before the end of the year.

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But when contacted Escom Chief Executive Officer, John Kandulu, said nothing has changed following the assurance government gave to the employees last year that there are no intentions to trim the work force as part of the restructuring process.

Kandulu said the fears are misplaced as every employee was given a written assurance of the security of their employment with Escom.

“We brief them regularly about the process. In fact we had a meeting with the employee union two months ago and we expect to have another meeting soon,” he said.

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But the people we spoke to at the Power House accused Escom management of breaching their promises regularly claiming that is the reason why no-one felt sure of keeping their employment with the company.

The unbundling of Escom is being done under the Power Market Restructuring Process which will see the establishment of a single buyer, systems and market operators, redesigning of regulatory processes, changes in the Electricity Act of 2004 as well as the establishment of an Independent Public Procurement (IPP) Process.

When complete, it is expected that cases of power outages will lessen as the process is expected to improve Malawi’s generation capacity.

Malawi’s national power supply currently stands at 351 megawatts against a forecast maximum demand of 360 megawatts.

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