Malawi ‘spy machine’ not yet operational – Macra

The Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority (MACRA) says it has not yet started using Consolidated ICT Regulatory Management System (Cirms) machine- also known in the local media as spy machine –  four months after the authority got a nod from Supreme Court of Appeal to start using the machine due to contractual matters.

Macra boss Kumbatira: Machine not yet operational

Macra boss Kumbatira: Machine not yet operational

Macra bought the Cirms, which was later popularised as ‘the Spy Machine’ – from a US-based company, Agilis International, at a cost of USD6.8 million and ever since its acquisition in 2010, operators have been protesting its installation claiming it would infringe on the public’s right to privacy.

But on September 15,  2014 , the Supreme Court of Appeal in Blantyre ruled in favour of MACRA in the case of the state versus MACRA ex parte Hophmally Makande and Erick Sabwera in which the two were against the use of Cirms.

In an interview with Malawi News Agency (MANA) on Friday, MACRA’s Communications Officer Clara Mulonya confirmed that the Cirms machine had not started functioning.

“We are sorting out contractual issues with US-based Company Agilis International, the supplier of the machine. As you know there has been a lapse of time since we bought the machine.

“One issue that stands out is the revised contract price. The lapse of time has necessitated changes in both hardware and software.

“Macra expects to finalise all these by end of January before we resume installations,” said Mulonya adding that the regulatory body will soon finalise some issues like the link connections to all operators and upgrade the software since it has been idle from installation,” said Mulonya.

Earlier, Macra’s Director General Andrew Kumbatira trashed claims that the system was a spy machine, arguing it would boost the country’s economy as no operator would cheat levy.

First to endorse the machine were Members of Parliament who described the Consolidated ICT Regulatory Management System (CIRMS) machine as important as it has the capacity to reduce call drops and trace stolen phones

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10 thoughts on “Malawi ‘spy machine’ not yet operational – Macra”

  1. king'a says:

    Machine amenewa amfunika 50Mega Watts zimene ESCOM singakwanise ku Malawi kuno, ndiye chonde ingosiyilanitu ndi Magetsi owoooola aku Malawi kuno tizuzikapo apa

  2. APM says:

    The Constitution is not only a living document, however, it is apparently one that can regrow severed limbs because after sixty years of neglect, the Supreme Court finally rediscovered federalism in 1995. United States v. Lopez arose over the Gun Free School Zones Act of 1990, which criminalized the possession of firearms in school zones. Lopez, a Texas high school student, was convicted of carrying a gun into school. A federal district convicted Lopez but the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed arguing that the act exceeded the power of Congress to regulate interstate commerce. Of course the Fifth Circuit was correct, the only embarrassment is that it took a divided Supreme Court 5:4 to affirm this decision. Carrying a gun to school has nothing to do with trade, i.e., commerce, let alone with inter-state trade. There are simply no grounds for Federal involvement here. Indeed, crime in general has been federalized to a far greater extent than necessary or proper.

    The Lopez decision brought howls of protest because the modern mind is baffled by the idea that the federal government can be prohibited from passing a good law. To many commentators the Lopez decision looked like a trick, a technicality, that the Supreme Court adopted because it wanted guns on school grounds. Of course, nothing of the sort is true. Federalism is no more a technicality than the Bill of Rights; Federalism and the Bill of Rights are in fact twin guarantors of liberty. For real Federalism to have a future, it is this understanding of Federalism as a check and balance alongside the Bill of Rights that must be recaptured.

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  3. che Zumba says:

    Bwana Kumbatira: chenjerani nayo nkhani iyi. Amzanu a Nsaliwa anadya nayo Agilis. ..kenako inawatsamwa. Inunsotu apa mwayambapo. Licence issues? what issues. Mufuna musololepo basi. New board watch out!

  4. wafika says:

    Who bears the los. contractually and idle time etc?

  5. makito says:

    Kumbatira. Without any personal grudge, I believe those who put him there knew that he did not deserve the post. He is just a post. Someone else is in charge.

  6. Thats good for the Malawi court, to rule in favour of the spy machine, becouse, its automatic
    that, the price for air time, will be reduced. Becouse, its obvious that, the said machine, will be able to detecte, or regulate, or control the airtime price. But, to my surprice, the Regulatory Authority, is actually taking alongtime to have it functional. This actually gives
    suspicious to Malawians. Hence, Malawians, are waiting in anxious,
    to see, have, grab, or, and, test the fruits of the machine inquestion.

  7. Ezekiel says:

    Nanga mose muja bwanji nanuso mwina Pali wena akukhomerera kumeneko?

  8. A MPINGO says:

    WOKUMBA MBUNA ASAMARE POTI KUNO NDI KUNJA KUYANJA LICHERO MBUNA YOMWEYO UZAGWERAMO WEKHA

  9. Wopondaponda says:

    Chiyambe kugwira ntchito chimenecho tikuchidikira airtel & tnm aleke kutumbwa, ameleka ingapange chinthu chofoira? ikanakhala kuti inapanga ndi china zinali zomveka kuchikana.

  10. opportunist says:

    Chitipweteka chimenechi

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