Letter from Mdyaka to Escom, Mera

Once in a while, we receive requests, sorry, we receive bottom up orders and directives from anthu wamba, abaturage, wananchi, les peuples ordinaries, pessoas comuns or the pingmin.

As card carrying members of the Bottom Up Party  (BUP), we are always ready to take up what the people at the bottom of the social, economic,  and political ladder (the exploited),  have in their throats (zakukhosi) to the people at the top of the economic and political ladder directly or through their representatives (the exploiters, AKA the civil or public servants).

Last night, we received a letter from the people of Mdyaka in the area of Group Village Headperson Thuli, Chief Fuka Malaza, Republic of Tongaland, formerly known as West Nyasa Province, and lately Nkhata Bay. It is addressed to the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) and Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera).

We reproduce it here but in translation from the language of the Tonga Nation to the official language of the Federal Republic of Malawi, our bounteous Malawi.

Dear Escom and Mera,

What crime did we, the people of this area, commit that we should always be the last to be considered and the first to be ignored?

Some years ago, during Ka(Ngwazi) Bingu wa Mutharika’s time, we recall,  we got a clean power generation station comprising four modern windmills and over 20 solar panels and lots of solar batteries. The station provided electricity to our area.  And we were happy at long last that we had been remembered and considered.  Two or three years later, the power generation plant developed a fault or faults.

Since nobody in our area was trained how to repair the power plant, we went to Escom to report the faults, not once, not even 10 times. We reported countless times.  Because Escom did not care to answer us, we left the power generation alone. As we speak, not a single battery or solar panel can be traced. Two of the four windmills still stand but with some blades broken and hanging like some dead banana leaves still clinging to their mother stems.

The question we, parents and children here and in the diaspora, such as Lilongwe, Blantyre, Mzuzu, Sasafilika and Marambo, have been asking is why government abandoned a project that would have been a case study in clean energy production and provision. Solar plus wind power are the natural resources we have in abundance here.  Why was the clean energy generation plant left to collapse? 

Was it really given to us in good faith? Or it was just meant to demonstrate to us how nice life is when there is electricity? We charged phones and called each other when we wanted from Eyatelu to Eyatelu to Tiyinemu. We watched TV, MBC TV. We danced to music every evening to pass time. And drank some cold … water.

Then, suddenly we were back to Roy Welensky, John Brooke, and John MacInnon. Back to darkness and misery. Back to boredom and long nights, even in June when the nights elsewhere in the Federal Republic of Malawi are short.

We asked ourselves, Tikunanganji chikulu viyo chambula  kuzomera nkhama (Neighbour ask your neighbour: Please neighbor, can you translate this for me?).

Thanks to Allah in the Heavens, president Joyce Banda directed that the area, our area should have mains electricity and indeed we got connected again.  We thanked her. Thanked the federal government. Thanked Escom. Thanked Mera. And we now regret and blame ourselves for making that mistake. We thanked them, the duty bearers, the service providers, the public servants, a bit too much.  Our thanks boomeranged.

As a result, since our step down transformer developed faults last year, we have engaged Escom at the district headquarters in Nkhata Bay and Mera in Mzuzu. No answer. It is now over four months.  Over 100 complaints lodged with Escom and Mera and zero response or action.

If thanking people is not a crime, what crime did we really commit to deserve such spite? Tikunanganji to ignore us thus?


Mutikhumbengi & Kwajakamanavi

For the Mdyaka Development Community (MDC)

The post Letter from Mdyaka to Escom, Mera first appeared on The Nation Online.

The post Letter from Mdyaka to Escom, Mera appeared first on The Nation Online.