During the inspection in Lilongwe’s Chinsapo township, it was discovered that residents would connect up to five houses or shops to a meter meant for one house.
There were also cases of customers using free electricity through bypassing of meters.
One of the culprits, Ken Nkhoma, who connected five shops from one line, said he extended the supply because he was not aware that it was illegal.
“I have been charged K526, 000 for jamming the meter and extending supply. The illegal connections were done by an electrician I hired to do electricity wiring for my houses. At first, I was using extension cables to supply the other shops where I am also running a welding business,” Nkhoma said.
Escom Public Relations Manager, Innocent Chitosi, said most of the culprits have been illegally connected to the grid for more than two years.
He said this negatively affects supply operations as they [culprits] increase the load.
“Our investigations team went around the township and established that the malpractices were rampant, hence, the inspections that we have been conducting for two weeks now.
“As Escom, we are trying to sensitise the general public that tampering with electricity meters is very dangerous because they can be electrocuted or cause fire. What is worrisome is that the people doing this are electricians that may not be qualified for their job,” Chitosi said.