Ministers confirms $13m software upgrade for ‘spy machine’ in Malawi

Minister of Information Kondwani Nankhumwa has confirmed that US$13, 871.969 will be spent in upgrading the Consolidated ICT regulatory management systems (Cirms) machine otherwise known as the ‘spy machine’.

Minister of Information Kondwani Nakhumwa briefing members of press - pic by Roy Nkosi
Minister of Information Kondwani Nakhumwa briefing members of press – pic by Roy Nkosi

The controversial machine was bought from US firm Agilis International at a whopping price of US$6.9 million four years ago.

Nankhumwa told a news conference in Lilongwe that government has completed all the required processes and invested about US$13.9 million – to be paid to Agilis – in upgrading the system as it required fast speed as well as enough memory for data storage.

“Government is now ready to start using the CIRMS machine,” said Nankhumwa.

There have been growing fears from the public that the equipment is expected to be snooping people’s phone records and emails but the Minister said the system will put to end different forms of telecommunication fraud including revenue under-declaration by operators.

“The purpose of the machine is not to tap people’s information, but rather to monitor the pricing mechanism and also the day to day operations of the telecommunication companies,” explained Nankhumwa.

He added that the machine will monitor traffic, the quality of service being provided and revenue collected by the telecom companies while also reducing complaints from the general public.

Andrew Kumbatira, Director General for Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority (MACRA) said “ all the procurement requirement have been finalised and once we complete drafting agreement with the supplier we will start the operations.”

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kwanda mngonyama
kwanda mngonyama
6 years ago

I thought you lomwe thugs are claiming that you inherited empty coffers from mama jb and that government has no money????? mumanganso ndata 2 zoonadi agalu inu!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Me
Me
6 years ago

It seems government has alot of money; but why are our salary increments very low/ and why do we receive salaries very late?

ndadabwa
6 years ago

spygate at its best

Chendele
Chendele
6 years ago

this machine is good ,but am worried about its cost i think someone must explain to malawians cleary on this

DA
DA
6 years ago

meanwhile, we have a cholera and hunger out break and we have been placed as the poorest country in the world

kapambwe
kapambwe
6 years ago

Please save some forex by talking to M/S: Networking Solutions Consultant,
their Ground #s: (011) 7237727 and (011) 7237610 Website: http://www.introstat.co.za e-mail: [email protected]; the Government will save US$9,000,000.00 which will help do other GVT matters. Otherwise you shall be answerable in in 2019.

No tribalist lomwe.
No tribalist lomwe.
6 years ago

Buying+upgrading=usd18.9m. Eee!sh,sh. Apa ndiye ndinabetsa voti basi. Mayo voti langa ine! Mayo. Anthu akupitiliza pamene anasiyila 2012 m’malo mosintha zinthu.

BigMan
BigMan
6 years ago

This is the price of listening to half cooked NGO’s, journalists and politicians. All that silly noise about Bingu trying to listen in on their ridiculous phone calls has led to this equipment sitting phwii at Macra and now before it can even be used, we’ll have to spend $13 million to upgrade the bloody thing. Shame!

moses
6 years ago

Poor procurement strategy, MACRA was supposed to include upgrading fee for a period of 10years in their sale agreement. I propose that this country should formulate laws to punish politicians and senior officers who made unprofessional decision in their field and thereafter cost govt a lot of money. If we are not serious we will remain poor forever.

h2o Bouncer
h2o Bouncer
6 years ago

Picture this: the machine was bought for $ 6.9 million, stays idle for 4 years and requires an upgrade worth $ 13.9 million even before it is commissioned.

Am missing something here or this is plain stupid?

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