MACRA exposed on how in flouted rules in ‘spy machine’

Exposed! Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) flouted rules and regulations when they made an initial payment of $2.028 million for  ‘spy machine’ (the Consolidated ICT Regulatory Management System -Cirms) despite the supplier, United States based Agilis International, not providing a bank guarantee as stipulated in the contract.

According to the National Gazette (www.nationalgazette.net), the contract entered between Macra and Agilis International, under the payment schedule,  the supplier  were supposed to provide a bank guarantee of $500,000 before any initial payment was made for the purchase of the machine.

However, the bank guarantee never came and Macra paid them $2.028 million flouting the rules, the report quoted inside source.

Nsaliwa: Fraudlent

The machine, which has a capability of listening in to people’s private telephone conversations, was bought at a staggering $6.9 million from Agilis but Macra has paid only $2.028 million of the total amount.

Macra is facing stiff resistance from the mobile operators over the implementation of the machine with the operators warning their subscribers that they will no longer guarantee their privacy if the machine is implemented as Macra will have their call detail records (CDRs).

And in the bid offer to Macra,  the supplier  made an undertaking that they are going to pay an equivalent of $380,000 (approx K64 million) to a local representative, Skywaves, as commission or remuneration for helping with local logistics.

The report says Skywaves, whose Managing Director is Dean Ng’oma and is based in Aquarius House at City Centre in Lilongwe, managed to ‘win’ a contract to supply equipment to monitor radio broadcasting services to Macra and was sourced from Agilis International.

The contract was worth $412,305.36(Approx K69 million) according to a document ‘procurement no Macra/broad/2010/05 with the subject of ‘Procurement- design, supply, instalment and commission of Radio/TV monitoring system.

Quoting the minutes of contract negotiations between Macra and Skywaves which took place at Macra Boardroom on November 23, 2010 from 10.30am to 12.55pm,  the report says they discussed among other things, a visit to Kenya, delivery details and payment terms.

The minutes were confirmed by Kelton Masangano, Deputy Director of Broadcasting at Macra who was also chairing the meeting and Joseph Ngalawa who was secretary at the meeting.

Others who attended the meeting include Ng’oma and Andrew Kasambara from Skywaves and Emily Khamula from Macra.

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