Power outage disrupts Parliament’s meeting

Written by  Gladys Nthenda

On Wednesday, members of the National Assembly failed to meet and conduct business due to power blackout from the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM).

07
December


Confirming the development, Assistant Clerk of Parliament for Protocol and Public Relations Leonard Mengezi said they could not switch on to the generator as it had a mojor technical fault.


He described the situation as unfortunate, explaining that they have always had an agreement with the power utility provider not to switch off the premises.


“I understand they do have a national problem currently; a very big technical problem. Now due to that technical problem it has also affected the generator at Parliament,” explained Mengezi.


He admitted the fault developed on Wednesday and was quick to add that in the interim, the Secretariat is looking at replacing the genset altogether.


“Currently, the information I have from the authorities is that they are looking forward to buy a completely new generator because the problem is big. Staff has been sent countrywide to look for providers to help procure a genset,” disclosed the Assistant Clerk.


He stated that if ESCOM power is restored the legislators will reconvene on Thursday.


Mengezi expressed hope that a solution will be identified adding that there is also a possibility of sourcing smaller gensets.


He dismissed any assertions that this could be linked to sabotage.


Commenting on the matter Leader of the House Kondwani Nankhumwa said he was briefed by Minister of Energy and Mining Aggrey Masi of a problem at Nkula which has affected power distribution countrywide.


He assured that authorities are running up and down to ensure that business resumes on Thursday.


He further explained that technical people are hiring generators locally while they continue looking for spare parts.


Nankhumwa maintained that the incident is not related to the Electoral reforms Bill arguing that certain sections are likely to take advantage of the development to push in their political agendas.


Some parliamentarians were seen loitering around the House premises hoping for a solution.


Inside the chamber it was pitch dark, with some members who attempted to get in to appreciate the problem, using their phones to light up the room.

 

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