Director of Legal Affairs calls for timely reporting of accidents

By Peter Kanjere, ESCOM PRO

The Director of Legal Affairs and Company Secretary (DLACS) for ESCOM Limited, counsel Sally Mtambo, has urged controlling officers for the power utility company to ensure compliance with section 37 of the Electricity Act by reporting cases of accidents in a timely manner.

The section reads: “A licensee shall send to the Authority notice of any accident of such a kind as to have caused, or are likely to have caused, loss of life or serious personal injury which has occurred in any part of such licensee’s work or equipment together with notice of any loss of life or serious personal injury occasioned by any such incident.”

In an interview on December 7 2023, Mrs. Mtambo said the need to report accidents involving ESCOM Limited has become even more urgent considering that such occurrences tend to increase during the rainy season.

She said it was an obligation for ESCOM Limited as a licensee to report such cases to the energy sector regulator, Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA).

“Section 37 of the Electricity Act has placed upon us an obligation to immediately report any incidents relating to personal injury or the ones that have the potential to cause loss of lives,” she said.

Mtambo warned that delays and failure to report such accidents to MERA could lead to serious consequences, including victims suing ESCOM Limited thereby costing the company money in compensation.

“As we are now in the rainy season, we should always remember that we have an obligation upon us to report such incidences to MERA, so this requires that as an institution, we have to be vigilant in terms of producing reports and we also timely resolve such issues before the victims escalate such cases to courts,” Mrs. Mtambo added.

DLACS said the controlling officers are doing their best to report accidents,

but “we can do much better because we have seen that in most cases, we take a lot of time to compile a report even when a victim has complained and has lodged a claim with us.”

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