June 22, 2024
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ELECTRICITY

Electricity Offenders Risk 20-Year Jail Term, K100 Million Fine as Malawi Enforces Stricter Penalties

Malawi has imposed stricter penalties for illegal electricity connections and meter tampering with the recent amendment to its Electricity Act 2024. Under the revised law, offenders can face up to 20 years in prison or a fine of K100 million. This marks a significant increase from the previous penalty of 10 years imprisonment or a MK5 million fine.

President Lazarus Chakwera assented to the amended Act, aimed at curbing vandalism and criminal activities related to electricity in Malawi.

According to Sally Mtambo, the Legal Director of the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM), the company has suffered substantial losses due to vandalism. This prompted the decision to amend the law to reflect the seriousness of the offense.

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The new legislation imposes a fine of K100 million and a 20-year prison sentence for illegal connections, meter tampering, or electricity theft. Additionally, individuals assisting in electricity theft, including ESCOM or licensee employees, face a penalty of K150 million and 25 years imprisonment.

According to Energy News Africa, the punishment for denying access to premises for ESCOM or licensee works is now set at K50 million and 10 years imprisonment. Failure to comply with a licensee’s order carries a penalty of K100 million and 20 years imprisonment.

Moreover, individuals found guilty of vandalism or possessing stolen equipment belonging to ESCOM or the licensee can face up to 30 years imprisonment, even in cases where fines are not applicable.

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