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‘Mera should whip Escom, fuel firms’

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Minister of Energy, Bintony Kutsaira, has asked the Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) to whip the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi and fuel firms to ensure that they operate efficiently.

Kutsaira was speaking in Lilongwe on Tuesday after visiting Mera head offices to appreciate the energy regulator’s operations.

His visit to Mera follows his recent visits to Escom and selected gas stations where he expressed concern with their operations.

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Among other things, Kutsaira said during his visit to Escom he noted that there was a huge backlog of people waiting to be connected to power.

Kutsaira said, as an energy regulator, Mera should not compromise its operations, saying it needs to be tough on operators to ensure that they are efficient.

“Malawians deserve the best services. So make sure they get the best services.

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“Where there is laxity among players, it is your duty as a regulator to come in and ensure that sanity prevails,” Kutsaira told Mera board and management after the visit.

Among others, Escom committed in its licence with Mera to connect 360,000 customers a year, but is struggling to do that due to unavailability of power.

Mera Chief Executive Officer, Collins Magalasi, said his firm appreciated the support it gets from the government.

Magalasi said his firm was committed to ensuring that energy players provide top quality services to Malawians.

He said his firm was working with Escom to address the problem of shortage of power in the country by, among other things, licencing more independent power producers.

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