Techno Brain refutes DPP propaganda that it was responsible for the Passport system shutdown

By Durrell Namasani

Techno Brain,the company whose contract for passport issuance was terminated by the Malawi government has refuted the unfounded reports that it was behind the  passport shutdown over licence issues. Social media was awash with reports by the opposition DPP faithfuls claiming that the company had shut down the system as immigration officials were accessing it without their knowledge.

In a Press Statement released on Tuesday,
Techno Brain categorically refutes recent press articles which have falsely linked  the company to the current shutdown of the passport issuance system in the country.

“Techno Brain has no connection to the cyberattack on the system and, on the contrary, swiftly responded to an urgent request for assistance from the Government of Malawi to resolve the issue in January 2024. We have deep empathy for the citizens of Malawi and, in this spirit, we conducted an assessment of the situation and submitted practical suggestions to the Government of Malawi on the way forward.”

The statement  went on to say;

“We have not heard back from the
Government of Malawi on these suggestions to-date.
Techno Brain transferred and completely handed over the operations and administration
of the Malawi ePassport system to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship
Services (DICS) in June 2023. This was done in accordance with a settlement reached by
Techno Brain and the Government of Malawi following the premature termination of
Techno Brain’s ePassport contract in October 2022. The handover was extensive and in
full accordance with the agreement with the Government of Malawi, including training of
the DICS officers, handover of all credentials and security protocols, and all customized
source code. The parties’ intention was that DICS would manage the Malawi ePassport
system on their own. Since this handover, the Malawi ePassport system has been
maintained and administered exclusively by the DICS”

The statement went further to say;
“Since June 2023, the DICS has reached out to Techno Brain to request technical
assistance with the ePassport system. Each time, Techno Brain has recommended that
the DICS engage and work with the Original Equipment Manufacturer. However, in the
spirit of cooperation, Techno Brain has agreed on three occasions, at the request of the
Government of Malawi and pursuant to discrete arrangements separate from the
terminated ePassport contract, to provide its technical services to the DICS.”

The Minister of Homeland Security Ken Zikhale Ng’oma held  a press conference on Tuesday where he assured Malawians that his Ministry is working on restoring the system which should be back on in three weeks time