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‘Probe Marep transformers’

ESSENTIAL—Rural electrification drive

Richard Chimwendo Banda

Members of Parliament (MPs) on Friday asked the Ministry of Energy to probe what they described as poor quality transformers supplied to various constituencies under Malawi Rural Electrification Project (Marep 8).

The lawmakers argued that most of the transformers under the project have been blown off.

The MPs observed during question time when Standing-in Minister of Energy, Richard Chimwendo Banda, indicated that government would roll out Marep 9 soon.

The lawmakers wondered as to how the government could move on with Marep 9 when most of the transformers provided under Marep 8 were problematic and blew off, leaving communities in the dark.

Chimwendo Banda said the Ministry of Energy would investigate the allegations of substandard transformers in Marep 8.

He told reporters that there are some reasons why a transformer can be blown off, including being substandard as well as theft of transformer oil.

“We will find people to investigate this because it would be difficult for us to conclude whether the transformers were durable or not. As you know, when people steal oil from the transformers, they also blow off.

“But we need to investigate this issue because it appears to be a huge problem for transformers provided under Marep 8. We will make sure that the investigations are conducted quickly so that, when purchasing transformers for Marep Phase 9, we are properly guided,” Chimwendo Banda said.

He further said the government would make sure that Malawians did not take long once they have paid for electricity connection.

This was after lawmakers complained that Malawians were taking over six months to get connected with electricity by Escom, despite making all the necessary payments.

Chimwendo Banda also appeared to the Natural Resources Committee of Parliament to work closely with Escom to ensure that Malawians are connected on time.

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