CDEDI calls for ‘passport saga’ inquiry – Capital Radio Malawi
21 April, 2024

CDEDI calls for ‘passport saga’ inquiry

Printing of passports is currently suspended in Malawi

The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) is demanding parliament to conduct a live public inquiry into the passport saga.

According to CDEDI executive director Sylvester Namiwa, the system was not hacked but rather tampered with.

Namiwa claims that some Malawi Congress Party connected ICT gurus, officials from e-Government, Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) and National Registration Bureau (NRB), went against technical advice from internal ICT team at the Immigration Department, bypassed Techno Brain and GIT and tampered with the system in an effort to run away from paying license fees.

In a statement that we have seen, Namiwa alleges that investigations show that the system was tampered with through the Lilongwe saver office at Malawi Postal Corporation Training Centre, along the Paul Kagame Road where the Department of Immigration and Citizen Services headquarters is earmarked to be located.

“When their attempts proved futile, the team engaged Techno Brain to assess the situation, which saw a public notice by the Department of Immigration titled MAINTENACE OF PASSPORT ISSUANCE SYSTEM dated January 28, 2024,” claimed Namiwa.

He alleges that Techno Brain team recommended to the government that they needed eight days to bring back the system and printing could resume.

Namiwa has since challenged the government to immediately engage capable hands hat have full knowledge and skills of the said ‘hacked system’ to resolve the hacked immigration system.

CDEDI implores the relevant committee in parliament to immediately call for a live public inquiry over the matter, where Techno Brain would also be heard.

The watchdog organisation has since given a 21-day ultimatum for the government to furnish Malawians with details of the crisis threatening that he (Namiwa) will mobilise Malawians to conduct peaceful demonstrations should that fail within the specified period.

During his appearance in parliament on Wednesday, President Lazarus Chakwera described the passport situation as a serious national security breach.

He then gave the immigration department three weeks to provide temporary measures so as to resume the issuance of passports and make sure the system is highly secured.

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