Bingu summons Kaliati, Macra board over ‘spy’ machine

President Bingu wa Mutharika on Thursday afternoon summoned Minister of Information, Principal Secretary and Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) board to Sanjika Palace in Blantyre.

The minister Patricia Kaliati, the PS James Kalirangwe and Macra board chairperson Ted Nandolo were some of the top officials that appeared before Mutharika.

Kalirangwe and Kaliati had to travel all the way from the Capital City Lilongwe to Blantyre to attend the meeting.

Kaliati: Dust refuses to settle over 'spy' machine

After meeting the President, Kaliati, Kalirangwe and Macra board convened another meeting at THE regulator’s offices in Blantyre.

“I can confirm to you that the minister and the PS and Macra board were summoned to appear before the President today at Sanjika Palace. We are yet to establish what they discussed,” said an official who refused to be named.

Spy machine

Unconfirmed reports are that ambiguity surrounding the Consolidated ICT regulatory management systems (Cirms) machine otherwise known as the ‘spy machine’prompted Mutharika to summon the three parties to give detailed account of the machine.

Nyasa Times reported this week that Macra board is divided over the purchase and implementation of the ‘spy machine’.

MACRA Director General Charles Nsaliwa and chairman of the technical committee of the board Richard Chisala are the ones pushing for the roll out of the machine despite stiff resistance from telecom operators.

Chisala an Nsaliwa as said to have got a “sweetener” from the suppliers of the machine.

According to official documentation from Macra, a south African based form Global Voices Group (GVG) won the tender to supply the Cirms machine but Nsaliwa and Chisala accompanied by four other junior staff visited GVG operations in two African countries before visiting the United States of America where Agilis International, who came number two in the tender, is based.

Soon after their visit, Nsaliwa and Chisala, who by this time was not in the Macra board, recommended that the machine should be bought from Agilis International at a whopping price of US$6.9 million.

The same machine cost Gabon about 1.5 million Euros.

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