Rise in vandalism cases worries Escom
By Khumbo Kaliwo:
The Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) has expressed worry over increased cases of vandalism of its property in Lilongwe.
According to Escom, the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Njewa in Lilongwe has been the worst as it has recorded four cases in May only.
Speaking in the administrative capital during an interface with local leaders and the Malawi Police Service, Escom Regional Manager for the Centre Macvittie Chiphwanya said the company has lost equipment worth over K70 million in a month, in one area.
According to Chiphwanya, “this is unfortunate” because they will have to replace the vandalised apparatus using resources meant for connecting new areas.
“Vandalism is a very big problem; of late, we have had incidents where people deliberately cut off our poles and start stealing our conductors. This affects many users as they are left without power,” Chiphwanya said.
He said Escom has embarked on a community sensitisation initiative to arrest the problem.
Assistant Superintendent Gift Mzembe from Lilongwe Police Station said investigations into the vandalism are underway.
Mzembe said the security agency will revamp all community policing structures under TA Njewa and that the police, Escom and community security groups will be conducting joint patrols.
“We have agreed on several mechanisms which we are going to use to strengthen the security situation in TA Njewa,” Mzembe said.
In her remarks, TA Njewa admitted that it was shameful that her area is involved in the vandalism of Escom equipment.
The local leader vowed to champion the creation of by-laws to enforce security in the area.
Member of Parliament for Lilongwe Kumachenga, which covers TA Njewa, Marko Ching’onga, said he is facilitating the construction of police units in the area to enhance security.