A scheduled visit by Vice President Khumbo Kachali to Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) offices in Blantyre on (Wednesday) has raised eyebrows as insiders said government wants to implement the controversial ‘spy machine’ project.
Kachali, who also doubles as minister of Health, is expected to visit Macra Offices in Blantyre and the visit has left many speculating as why the Vice President would want to visit Macra offices when they are not directly under his office as Vice President or even the ministry of health which he heads.
But insiders confided in Nyasa Timesthat the trip is an indication that government wants to implement the ICT Consolidated Information Regulatory Management Systems (Cirms) machine which received strong resistance when it was bought by the late Bingu wa Mutharika regime.
When President Joyce Banda took over reigns of power on April 7, 2012 and appointed Moses Kunkuyu as Information minister, there were indications from government that it was going to get to the bottom of the machine to know if it’s a spy machine or not.
Insiders have confided that recently Information minister Kunkuyu went to Turkey with Macra Director General Charles Nsaliwa for a telecommunications meeting but Kunkuyu was left behind where it is believed he met with officials from Agilis International who sold the machine to Macra at a staggering amount of US$6.8 million.
“Nsaliwa came early and Kunkuyu was left behind in Turkey for another four or five days and he met Agilis International executives who flew from the States to convince the minister to implement the spy machine,” said Nyasa Times sources.
“When the minister came back he started asking where we are on the spy machine and was very interested why we are not implementing it. He spoke to the Vice President for his full support on the implementation of the machine before taking the matter to the President and that is why Kachali is visiting Macra tomorrow,” revealed our impeccable source.
The machine is capable of recording people’s conversations and received strong resistance from mobile companies and ordinary people some of whom got an injunction restraining the mobile companies from passing on customers data to Macra for the implementation of the machine.