Minister of Information, Civic Education and Communications Technology Mark Botomani, who is also government spokesperson, has hit back against 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.
MCP information technology expert Daud Suleman, who was MCP key witness in the presidential election case, said at a news conference in Lilongwe on Tuesday 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 networks especially results coming from districts tally centres into the national tally centre.
Sulemani alleged that government has hired foreign nationals from Israel who expertise is on espionage and counter intelligence to help rig the elections by hacking encrypted communications and devising infrastructure that would tap into MEC servers during elections.
But government spokesperson, Botomani described the allegations as “unfounded and junk talk.”
“I advise Mr Daudi Sulemani to stop child childish antics. There is no such thing and this is just junk talk from MCP,” Botomani said.
Botomani said government will come up with a comprehensive response to a litany of allegations by MCP.
“In nutshell, the allegations have no any grain of truth whatsoever,” said the government spokesperson.
Meanwhile, President Mutharika’s spokesperson, Mgeme Kalilani has also described the allegations as baseless.
“This is not the first time these parties have chosen this path. It’s almost a pattern similar to last year’s allegations. We know that this kind of baseless allegations are being peddled because they are afraid of the coming elections. If they have evidence let them come and prove what they are saying,” he said
Commentators have warned that any plans to subvert the will of the electorate in the fresh election constitute a very dangerous game bearing in mind the polls will consume K34 billion in addition to K44 billion spent on last year’s tripartite elections.