Spy machine judicial review rejected: Malawi High Court turns down TNM bid

The High Court in Zomba has dismissed an application by Telkom Networks Malawi (TNM) for a judicial review on matters surrounding the implementation of the Consolidated ICT Regulatory Management System(CIRMS ) project – also known as the spy machine.

James Kaphale:will proceed to implement the CIRMS project,

James Kaphale:will proceed to implement the CIRMS project,

Though the Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority (MACRA), won all cases both at High court and Supreme Court where some interested parties tried to block the regulatory body from installing the machine, TNM wanted a judicial review on the matter.

But in his 14 paged reasoned order on march 29, 2015, Judge Redson Kapindu said the decision by MACRA to proceed with implementation of CIRMS project was already expressly settled by the Supreme Court and that it effectively settled the matter.

Justice Kapindu said CIRMS matters could not and should not be re-opened, stating that adjudicative issues brought before the court for the purpose of re-establishing whether MACRA could legally proceed to implement the CIRMS project or whether a legal framework for such implementations exists, would be moot and at worst an abuse of the court process in view of the Supreme Court decision.

“MACRA is therefore at liberty to proceed with implementation of the CIRMS project and in fact I find it astounding that this question has presented before me for decision after the highest court of the land already made an unequivocal pronouncement thereon.”

“Reading the judgments of the same matter that happened in the past, one is left with no unmistakable impression that the Supreme Court concluded that the Communication Act is actually the necessary legal framework within which the CIRMS is to operate,” stated Kapindu.

Added the Judge: “The Supreme Court judgment is binding and we do not have to start splitting hairs on what the court said or did not say with mathematical precision. There is no doubt in our minds that we have established that there is in place a legal framework within which MACRA operates.”

Judge Kapindu further said where there is already a binding final Supreme Court decision, the high court may not be called upon to reverse under differently coloured or constituted court proceedings.

The Judge told TNM to address all their concerns to MACRA that have put before the court saying the mobile company rushed to court for leave to apply for judicial review adding the judicial review procedure generally requires that parties must first exhaust all available avenues to ventilate their concerns and possibly get an effective remedy outside the judicial review process before advert to using the judicial process.

MACRA’s Director of Legal Services James Kaphale said the verdict meant that the regulatory authority will proceed to implement the CIRMS project, now that efforts to block it by TNM through judicial review proceedings have failed.

However, Judge Kapindu has since appealed to MACRA to follow the court order that the machine should not be used to access voice or audio content or contents of short messages or intercept internet of service users.

Kapindu then ordered that the court order should be scrupulously observed and that the machine shall only be connected to the mediation port of the telecommunications service providers.–Mana

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20 thoughts on “Spy machine judicial review rejected: Malawi High Court turns down TNM bid”

  1. MAMINA says:

    Wana atsikana ambirimbiti akungokhala mmanyumbsmu kusowa chochita

    Inuyo ndalama kutseweretsa pa spy machine

    Ndalamayo pangani zoti zithandize wana atsikana akungopatsidwa zimimba mmakombonimu kusowa chochita





  2. chefourpence says:

    agalu inu! Mmesa mumkati its a Spy machine? Mbuli! Lero bwa? Kufulumira kutsutsa.

  3. MA says:

    Proceed with the machine please.

  4. kwachambo says:

    Abale machine agwile tchito tatopa ndikubeledwa ndi manetwork awiriwa nanji airtel palibenso mbava zenizeni.shitii

  5. jaka says:

    go on angotiberanso apa,network yake yovuta. no phone call and loging

  6. big up MACRA thats agood development,sources show that MACRA you are awell organised body setting agood example to other communications regulators in Africa.go on protect us

  7. MANYESA BOY says:


  8. mbunyariya says:

    Comment Lamulo Ligwire Ntchito Apa. Wakuba Amadana Ndi Lock Wamphamvu.Ngati Supreme Ct Yavomera Musachedwe Ndi Mbavazi Machine Agwire Ntchito Changu.

  9. wawaruh says:

    malawi wamveka fungo la chikopa cha mbuzi chowamba

  10. mangulenje says:

    what are the operators afraid of? what are they hiding?

  11. ulendowu ndi watonse says:

    what a waste,i think it is not true that we are poor

  12. chilombo says:

    TNM akuopa kuonekela ng’amba after angokweza kumene ma tariff kuti atibelenso mwakathithi,zikuvutani

  13. yankho says:

    End result is that the customer will pay dearly, less discounted calls,

  14. Ezekiel Peter Ching'oma says:

    as MCP we will ensure to exercise oversight diligently. MACRA will not be allowed to spy on citizans using the machine

    1. pwt says:

      bambo za kampeni zidatha, pano its action and action. za campaign wait till we reach there. ena adawina let them rule akadzamaliza its when we will talk of compaign. the deserving party is ruling wait your time will come if at it will.

  15. Joogerman says:

    akuopa chani?

  16. Isaac chagwa mzuzu says:

    Was there much research to see the impact on Malawians?If it shows more advantages to Malawians then a go ahead is not mistaken.I believe there will be no political interfierances

  17. alex says:

    James, please tell the people all the truth. The case is coming up for final decision in the High Court In Zomba next week, 15 April 2015. The comments from the Attorney General’s brother are incorrect until the High Court judgement next week.

  18. honourable says:

    But the problem with me is that this machine is 7,9 m dollars and software upgrading is $13.9 m .is there any logic here or the cadets hv some millions shares here

    1. Nyirongo Batwell says:

      The machine was bought in 2009 at US$7.9 million. 8 years down the line it needs an upgrade worth US$6 million making a total of US$13.9 million. All is becoz telecomm operators wanted to torpedo it becoz they under-declare revenue. This is exactly what Amwenye did whdn MRA introduced elrctronic fiscal devices (EFDs) becoz they were doind some malpractices. Chimidzimodzi TNM. Ikufuna ipitilire kutibera.

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