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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kwanda mngonyama
Guest

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Me
Guest

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

ndadabwa
Guest

spygate at its best

Chendele
Guest

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

DA
Guest

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

No tribalist lomwe.
Guest

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.

BigMan
Guest

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!

moses
Guest

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.

h2o Bouncer
Guest

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?

wpDiscuz

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