Malawi’s poor leadership affecting business growth, UTM is the hope – Kambala

Malawi’s business growth is failing to grow and blossom because of the country’s poor leadership that is affecting  small and medium enterprises (SMEs), former Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) president Newton Kambala....

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Malawi ex-first lady Shanil, Omar, Lucius on board UTM: Gondwe tells Chilima ‘be our Magufuli’

Malawi’s former first lady Patricia Shanil Dzimbiri has joined the United Transformation Movement (UTM) and made the political statement on Saturday when she attended the political grouping’s official launch at Masintha Ground in Lilongwe. Shanil, who is...

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Security breach at Zimbabwe Electoral Commission; Database hacked

By  Blessed Mhlanga-newsday
Under-fire Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba has sensationally claimed that suspected hackers recently broke into the electoral management body’s database and stole crucial information on the biometric voters’ roll, escalating fears of electoral manipulation ahead of the polls.
The development comes in the wake of publication of a report by an independent data management team exposing irregularities, errors and omissions on the voters’ roll, which threatens the credibility of the polls, which are just a few days away.
Chigumba told local radio station StarFM on Monday that the hackers cloned the commission’s domain, which hosted the voters’ roll complete with phone numbers and splashed the data on the internet.
“That was a serious cyber security breach. They actually cloned our site and we are in the process of doing something about it and we should have that site taken down in the course of the week,” she said.
“The host is UK-based, so it’s not actually in Zimbabwe. So we can’t use any of our local laws to bring it down, but we are trying our best.”
The development raises further concerns over the credibility of the voters’ roll and security of the ballot considering that the biometric voters’ data captured by Zec during the voter registration included personal details such as fingerprints, pictures, addresses, cellphone numbers, national identity numbers and physical addresses.
The alleged security breach came after Zec was warned by biometric voter registration kits suppler Laxton Group Limited that such security breaches were possible.
“Allowing this data to go through multiple systems and companies will create obvious issues and open up holes for data breach,” Laxton Group warned in a security report dated June 6, 2017.
Chigumba made the disclosure after she was accused of leaking voters’ personal phone number to the ruling Zanu PF party.
Initially, Zec accused telecommunications service providers and retail shops of supplying the numbers to the ruling party.
Chigumba said they had now roped in ICT minister Supa Mandiwanzira to assist with the investigations.
“It’s not in our interest to give out our database to anybody because it exposes the commission to lawsuits. In fact, to be honest with you, my name is on that voters’ roll, the names of my children are on that voters’ roll,” she said.
Mandiwanzira last week said: “This cyber security breach is unacceptable. The ministry is aware that Zec issued a protected copy of the roll while the one that has been published on the internet is unprotected. Such data cannot and should not be made public without permission of the voters themselves.”
But political analyst Ibbo Mandaza rubbished claims that Zec could have been hacked, saying Zec was trying to cover up and clear its soiled image.
“It shows that Zec is not in control or ready for the elections. The military is in charge like it has always been in the past 18 years. So people are right in being suspicious over the leak. It’s not by accident, it’s a process,” he said.
Meanwhile, Team Pachedu, which recently conducted its own external audit of the voters’ roll, this week gave Zec an adverse report of its findings.
Zec director of public relations Justin Manyau confirmed receipt of the report and said it had been forwarded to the body’s technical team.

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Speaker Msowoya joins UTM ‘to propel Malawi towards economic liberation’

Speaker Richard Msowoya who recently  resigned from main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has now announced his decision  to join the newly established United Transformation Movement (UTM), a political grouping pushing for the presidential candidacy...

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8 Reasons Why Chakwera Will Fall Again In 2019-Adriss Ali Nassar Writes

Now, what could work against MCP President Lazarus Chakwera next year:

Chakwera: Tipped to flop again

1. DIVIDED MCP: It is Chakwera’s fault that the very public fallout with his deputy, Richard Msowoya, former Secretary General, Gustav Kaliwo, former spokesperson, Jessie Kabwila and others was allowed to simmer for a long period without clear resolution. Going into next year, MCP is fractured, when it should project a strong, united force.

2. POOR LEADER: The opposition has significant numbers in parliament but came to naught. Chakwera functioned as a leader of a faction of MCP, not leader of the whole opposition. He failed to rally the opposition or even to win over some government MPs to oppose a number of contentious bills.

3. HERE TODAY, THERE TOMORROW: Question is, what does Chakwera stand for on principle? One day he supports the motion to allocate K4bn to be shared among MPs, the next day he joins demonstrations against the disbursement of the K4bn. In the morning he is for the Salima-Lilongwe Water Project, by lunch he is not sure. In being opportunistic, he comes across as indesicive and weak.

4. THE CENTRE WILL NOT HOLD: To win, MCP needs strong outreach beyond the central region strongholds. Yet Chakwera has been unwilling, or unable, to lead a sustained onslaught outside of the comfort zone. But votes of the central region, likely to be eaten into by UTM and others, won’t be enough to propel him into power.

5. CSOs FIRST: Chakwera has failed to capitalize on several blunders by the DPP and Peter Mutharika. When things happen, he waits to be led. Instead of seizing the moment, he seems to take his cue from CSO leaders, then he follows.

6. SAME OLD: Chakwera should have been the smart new way of doing politics but he is comfortable doing the same old, same old. Beyond holding the occasional rally, does anyone know what is Chakwera’s clear strategy to position himself and win the election?

7. CHILIMA’s THUNDER: With vice president Saulosi Chilima now contesting, Chakwera isn’t the fresh new face of politics anymore. That title is gone and, with it, potential votes.

8. JOYCE BANDA FACTOR: JB’s return will also potentially undercut some of Chakwera’s votes, particularly in the northern region. If the two don’t forge an alliance, Chakwera might be the biggest loser.

DPP VP Nankhumwa says party to ‘stand out’ in 2019 Malawi polls: Gives post-convention interview

In the forthcoming 2019 tripartite elections, governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will “stand out from the crowd and win fair and square” despite a systematic demonization propaganda campaign by its detractors, newly elected party’s vice...

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