The Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) Limited has disconnected three maize mills in Chiradzulo District and Bangwe, Blantyre District belonging to Mr. Joka Kaukaku that were illegally connected to the ESCOM power grid.
According to ESCOM’s Communications Officer, Mervin Mchenga, Kaukau did not apply for electricity connection to ESCOM for his three maize mills, neither was he buying units, nor paying any electricity bills on the power that he was using in all his three maize meals.
“We discovered these three maize meals through an investigation following a tip from a member of the community. We have disconnected all the maize meals and they will no longer be in operation. In order to resume operations, Kau Kau will have to pay K4 million new connection fees, K2 million fees for the loses that ESCOM has incurred and K3 million penalty fees, a total of K9 million for each maize mill. He would, therefore, have to pay K27 million for all his three maize mills to resume operations,” Mchenga said.
According to Blantyre Police Public Relations Officer, Assistant Superintendent Ramsy Mshani, Kau Kau has since been arrested and has been charged with illegal supply of electricity contrary to section 45 of the Electricity Act. If convicted, he will be liable to a maximum fine of K5 million and ten years imprisonment with hard labour.
According to Manyozo, the connection of electricity to Changata Health Centre will further open doors for new medical services such as cancer screening that could not be introduced due to lack of stable power supply.
ESCOM has since warned the public to desist from connecting electricity illegally as it affects supply of electricity to customers, may result in electricity related accidents, damage to property and loss of life.
The Corporation is appealing to customers who know or suspect that they might have been illegally connected to report to their nearest ESCOM offices. ESCOM will enter into discussions with such customers for an amicable settlement. However, where ESCOM discovers such customers through its own investigations, the whole installation will be removed and the law will take its course.
An ESCOM technician disconnecting one of the maize mills in Chiradzulu District