The opposition claims that government forced telecommunications companies to provide Virtual Private Networks (VPN) at State House with the intent to intercept data transmission going into Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) system for the fresh presidential elections “should not be treated lightly” is the verdict of the editorial comment in Malawi’s flagship daily newspaper on Monday.
The Daily Times says all stakeholders should come together and present their sides on the claims that government through Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) has forced mobile network operators to engage and provide VPN at State House to intercept data transmission going into MEC as well as citizens phones affecting privacy – so that Malawians are clear about the matter.
“These are serious allegations that cannot be parried away with careless abandon,” the paper said.
The leader’s comment asked the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and State vice-president Saulos Chilima, who are making the claims, to approach necessary entities and lodge their complaints.
“Since they claim to have the evidence, let them produce it so that the matter is put to rest,” the paper said.
While the publication said it is not endorsing the MCP and UTM’s allegations, they believe they are providing an opportunity to clear anything suspicious so that the integrity of the forthcoming fresh presidential elections should not be compromised like those of May 2019 which were nullified by the Constitutional Court.
In its front-page story, MCP secretary general Eisenhower Mkaka is quoted saying: “We have credible intelligence information about State House agents calling Airtel and TNM top officials forcing them to supply VPN connection to State House so that they can access both voice and data for their own crooked ways.”
He further said the two mobile operators asked both State House and Macra to put their request in writing as it was against regulations to effect any VPN connectivity without proper procedures.
But presidential press secretary Mgeme Kalilani has described the allegations as baseless.
“This is news to me and I am not aware, I want to urge Malawians to exercise caution and learn to verify stories particularly with social media reports at this time when people are in fresh election mood,” Kalilani said as quoted by the paper.
He further said some people are politically charged and there is huge irresponsible use of social media.
Macra director general Godfrey Itaye challenged the opposition to bring their evidence.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :