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Update the nation; CDEDI challenges IT professional body! Malawians have a right to know what went wrong!

By IOMMIE CHIWALO

The mouth piece for the voiceless, Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has penned Information, Communication and Technology Association of Malawi (ICTAM) to update Malawians on the outcome of interface meeting held with authorities regarding passport crisis. 

CDEDI is requesting for an update on the basis that the passport crisis is a human rights issue, since it hinges on the right to free movement, economic activity, education, health and by extension life.

“Therefore, Malawians expected a lot from ICTAM. In view of the above, it is our belief that you will agree with us that in the interest of transparency and accountability, ICTAM ought to update the nation on this matter of national importance,” reads the letter from CDEDI addressed to ICTAM President Clarence Gama. 

CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa in the letter highlights that the follow up on the matter, especially at this hour, is important considering that ICTAM made a public undertaking as a

NAMIWA: Let ICTAM explain to the inquisitive Malawians

professional body to help in the current passport crisis, stemming from the crushing of the Passport Issuance System (PIS) designed by Techno Brain, through the Built Operate and Transfer (BOT) agreement. 

According to Namiwa, now that there are reports that government had contracted a new passport supplier, there is need for an explanation from ICTAM if the state acting on upon its (ICTAM) recommendation to engage a completely new supplier.

Namiwa is also requesting for a timeline as to when should Malawians expect the assessment report of the system and how does the association justify its silence, given that it was engaged on March 8, 2024. 

“Let ICTAM explain to the inquisitive Malawians as to whether we have a parallel structure or ICTAM helped the DICS to recover the old system.

Thus far, you may wish to know Sir, that ICTAM’s decision to zero in on the passport crisis excited millions of Malawians since they trusted the association would give unbiased detailed account and a timely intervention,” says Namiwa. 

Initially ICTAM wrote the Director General for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services (DICS) offering to help.  But due to conflicting interests, the patriotic gesture was shot down.

However, in his televised national address, President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera invoked his executive powers to grant ICTAM its wish through directing that after conducting a thorough analysis of the ‘hacked’ PIS, the association should furnish the President’s office with a report.

Namiwa says Malawians are still looking forward to reading the much awaited report, which will help the citizenry that double as voters and taxpayers, to exercise their right to know, let alone have first hand information on what really went wrong, from a trusted professional body whose expertise and independence cannot be questioned. 

Meanwhile ICTAM Tsar is not picking up our phone calls as we tried to get his side of the story. 

Tecno Brain Limited contract was terminated by the Malawi Government but Malawians were still proud users of an e-passport, two years after the contractor left unceremoniously in 2021.

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