Malawi loses passport data

FAM holds women’s leagues awards

Malawi does not know who has a passport, nor how many people have been issued passports, including foreigners issued visas.

According to published reports, all the data for passport holders has been lost and the passport issuance system used by the Immigration Department has been completely destroyed.

“So this issue of data is so worrying. The issue has been discussed and the resolution at the moment is that those wanting passport renewal will bring their expired passports and they will undergo that whole new passport processing and not a renewal as it was the case before the ordeal,” reported Malawi News today, quoting source.

The revelations are contrary to recent claims by Minister of Homeland Security Ken Zikhale who said that 90 percent of the system has been recovered.

The passport issuance system has been down since January this year with the government through President Lazarus Chakwera claiming that hackers have hacked the system

Reports indicate that the hackers have taken control of the system and have told the Immigration Department to pay them in bitcoins.

However, the Centre for Development and Economic Initiatives (CDEDI) claimed recently that the system went down after the Immigration Department attempted to print passports after licence for the system had expired.

According to CDEDI, information technology professionals belonging to the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) were involved in bypassing the system. The MCP has yet to comment on the allegations.

Meanwhile, Malawi News has reported that government has engaged a company called E-Tech to try and recover the passport issuance system so that passport printing can resume.

On Thursday, President Lazarus Chakwera said he has directed Immigration Department to work with the ICT Association of Malawi (ICTAM) which offered to contribute to efforts to recover the system and the data

Chakwera warned that Government officials would be fired if they fail to provide results.

Amid the ongoing efforts, Government is said to be ignoring suggestions provided by Techno Brain, the company which was involved in installation and management of the system before it was handed over to the Immigration Department.

Reports indicate that Techno Brain wants to be paid $1.6 million (about K3 billion) to undertake the task.

In a statement on 27 February, Techno Brain said it had conducted an assessment of the situation and submitted practical suggestions to the Malawi government on the way forward.

“We have not heard back from Malawi government on these suggestions to date,” reads a statement from Techno Brain whose contract with government was terminated in 2022.


One Comment

  1. A TECHNO BRAINS ndi amene akudziwa zonse nde ngati boma likukana kugwila nawo ntchito, palibe chomwe chingayende unless boma la malawi lilolere kuti apangeso contract . Tisaiwale kuti system yonse yopangila ma Passport inapangidwa ndi a TECHNO BRAINS. Nde ngati boma la Malawi likukana kupanga ubale ndi company imeneyi, palibe chomwe chingazasinthe. M’malo mwake, ofuna passport azipita ku Southafrica konko.

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