Ministers confirms $13m software upgrade for ‘spy machine’ in Malawi

Minister of Information Kondwani Nankhumwa has confirmed that US$13, 871.969 will be spent in upgrading the Consolidated ICT regulatory management systems (Cirms) machine otherwise known as the ‘spy machine’.

Minister of Information Kondwani Nakhumwa briefing members of press - pic by Roy Nkosi

Minister of Information Kondwani Nakhumwa briefing members of press – pic by Roy Nkosi

The controversial machine was bought from US firm Agilis International at a whopping price of US$6.9 million four years ago.

Nankhumwa told a news conference in Lilongwe that government has completed all the required processes and invested about US$13.9 million – to be paid to Agilis – in upgrading the system as it required fast speed as well as enough memory for data storage.

“Government is now ready to start using the CIRMS machine,” said Nankhumwa.

There have been growing fears from the public that the equipment is expected to be snooping people’s phone records and emails but the Minister said the system will put to end different forms of telecommunication fraud including revenue under-declaration by operators.

“The purpose of the machine is not to tap people’s information, but rather to monitor the pricing mechanism and also the day to day operations of the telecommunication companies,” explained Nankhumwa.

He added that the machine will monitor traffic, the quality of service being provided and revenue collected by the telecom companies while also reducing complaints from the general public.

Andrew Kumbatira, Director General for Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority (MACRA) said “ all the procurement requirement have been finalised and once we complete drafting agreement with the supplier we will start the operations.”

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20 thoughts on “Ministers confirms $13m software upgrade for ‘spy machine’ in Malawi”

  1. kwanda mngonyama says:

    I thought you lomwe thugs are claiming that you inherited empty coffers from mama jb and that government has no money????? mumanganso ndata 2 zoonadi agalu inu!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Me says:

    It seems government has alot of money; but why are our salary increments very low/ and why do we receive salaries very late?

  3. ndadabwa says:

    spygate at its best

  4. Chendele says:

    this machine is good ,but am worried about its cost i think someone must explain to malawians cleary on this

  5. DA says:

    meanwhile, we have a cholera and hunger out break and we have been placed as the poorest country in the world

  6. No tribalist lomwe. says:

    Buying+upgrading=usd18.9m. Eee!sh,sh. Apa ndiye ndinabetsa voti basi. Mayo voti langa ine! Mayo. Anthu akupitiliza pamene anasiyila 2012 m’malo mosintha zinthu.

  7. BigMan says:

    This is the price of listening to half cooked NGO’s, journalists and politicians. All that silly noise about Bingu trying to listen in on their ridiculous phone calls has led to this equipment sitting phwii at Macra and now before it can even be used, we’ll have to spend $13 million to upgrade the bloody thing. Shame!

  8. moses says:

    Poor procurement strategy, MACRA was supposed to include upgrading fee for a period of 10years in their sale agreement. I propose that this country should formulate laws to punish politicians and senior officers who made unprofessional decision in their field and thereafter cost govt a lot of money. If we are not serious we will remain poor forever.

  9. h2o Bouncer says:

    Picture this: the machine was bought for $ 6.9 million, stays idle for 4 years and requires an upgrade worth $ 13.9 million even before it is commissioned.

    Am missing something here or this is plain stupid?


  11. Patriot says:

    Ndalama imene itamangire Ndata 2

  12. dawood says:

    Y they are not giving 13.9 m$ to the farmers and poor ppl

  13. dawood says:

    6.9 m$ matchine ans 13.9 upgrade imagine haaaàaaaàaaaa casagate

  14. Dhilu says:

    Over K5Bn just to spy people? Why can’t you use that money for something productive to develop Malawi? Come on!!

  15. Teachers says:

    Spygate, no wonder we are the best poorest nation in the world and even in heaven. We know how to spend, we will be upgrading spygate for life. No profit.

  16. kasichi says:

    malawi got leaders who are greedy,selfish&thieves,who are there to enrich themselves.malawi will continue to suffer bcz of dis so called leaders

  17. fkr says:

    I think the government should be clear. the machine is there to ensure they get tax revenue from the cellphone operators. that is the bottom line. they don’t givea crap about the quality of the service.

  18. kasichi says:

    ithink de president will be de first thief to be for u all politicians in malawi,yo hands are dirty,u are heartless monsters who alwys lie,manipulate de poor.wht u care is to enrich yaself not to develop de country.malawi is apoor country wth no security bcz of u idiots politicians

  19. aphiri says:

    Buying the machine at 6,9million dollars and upgrade at 13,9million dollars. Kkkk so when buying u didn’t know that it doesn’t hv a software. Those were hidden cost which u fail to look into in the first place. Poor Malawians . Someone has made millions here in dollars. Mukuitha

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