Malawi government has said it will only use the controversial Consolidated Information and Communication Technology Regulatory Management System (CIRMS) if it serves Malawiansâ€™ interest.
Minister of Information Moses Kunkuyu said this when he visited the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) offices in Blantyre on Friday.
CIRMS raised concerns from the public and telephone operatorsâ€”MTL, Airtel, TNM and Access Communications â€”arguing the machine would be used to access subscribersâ€™ call records which they said would compromise and violate their obligation to clients.
But Macra argued that the machine is meant to enhance the monitoring, verification and validation of quality of services, revenue assurance, fraud management and spectrum management.
On the other hand, Kunkuyu said government will not support the use of the CIRMS if it is really a spy machine as it is claimed to be.
“I had an interest in that machine. I wanted to know more about it. I should say we will only do what is good for Malawians. I have heard a lot about this machine and I still need to get more information about it.
“What I can promise you is that government will only do what Malawians want. If it is something that is capable of spying on peopleâ€™s conversations, then I personally would not support it,” he said.
He, however, said such machines are used in other countries within the region to guarantee quality services.
“Every caller in Malawi would be happy to see that there is quality assurance or that he is charged what he has exactly used. If it is about quality assurance, fraud management then I will support it.
“If this is about revenue monitoring, then I am also in full support of the machine because we need the revenue for the development of the nation,” he said.
On the issue of licences, Kunkuyu assured that those who applied and meet set criteria will get the licences.