There is no vision or direction in our government. Do these people want to be right wing capitalist, or do they want to be left wing socialist? We cannot know, and they don’t know themselves. Look at this:
They are unbundling Escom, in order to be able to privatize the generation part. It is not possible to privatize transmission: privatized capitalist constructions can only work with competition. If there is no competition, then the company holds a monopoly and can charge any money it wants. The consumer has no choice but to pay. And with transmission, clearly it cannot be efficient to build more than one transmission net to cover Malawi. So transmission must be government controlled, which in the current time means a para statal.
But with generation this is different, there you can have different companies generating electricity and selling to Escom Transmission. These companies, in theory, would be in competition and would compete to deliver the best service for the best price. This is neo-liberal logic, which in actual practice often fails to perform. For now there is only one generating company, and it remains to be seen if there will be more coming in. For now the investment climate in Malawi is not good for capitalists, so we have no idea if any company would be interested to invest in such a volatile investment climate. That means that Escom Generation would be the only company in the field, and it would hold a monopoly. It can charge what it wants for its power, and Escom Transmission can only decide to buy. Then Escom Transmission will have to charge us the price Escom Generation is charging plus the overhead of Escom Transmission. Electricity prices will sky rocket. This means a further push on inflation and further damage to the investment climate.
Most political systems hold that public utilities like electricity should not be privatized but be under the control of a democratically elected government. Our government has decided differently, it will follow the extreme neo liberal logic that privatization is always better than public ownership, even though internationally there are a lot of bad experiences with privatizing public utilities. Extremely right wing capitalist policy.
On the other hand the government is building a sugar factory in Dowa. This is manufacturing. Most political systems hold that manufacturingshould be done by the private sector as opposed to public utilities. Only extreme socialists and communists will want manufacturing in government hands. Moderates will want public utilities controlled by government and manufacturing controlled by the private sector because experience shows that in manufacturing, the private sector is indeed more efficient thatn government, and that certainly holds for our extremely inefficient and corrupt government. This has already been shown: government has not by any measure been capable of completing the project in time or within budget. This is an extremely left wing communist policy.
Is our government moderate, then they hold on to public utilities, and leave manufacturing to the private sector. But they do the opposite so we have the worst of both worlds: extreme left wing and extreme right wing. There is no way to figure out which way our government is taking the country, except that it may be that the logic follows personal profits for some powerful people, instead of a clear cut policy.