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TNM blocks Cirms implementation again

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Mobile service provider TNM Limited has once again obtained a stay order blocking the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) from rolling out the Consolidated ICT Regulatory Management System (Cirms).

In October this year, the High Court in Zomba ruled in favour of Macra to roll out the system, after TNM had obtained a stay order.

Following the Zomba ruling, Macra was expected to roll out the system by January next year.

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Responding to a questionnaire, Macra communications officer Clara Mulonya said the system will not roll out in January as expected since the issue has gone back to court again.

“The issue is in court again. TNM last month appealed to the Malawi Supreme Court against the High Court ruling that was in our favour to implement Cirms.

“The Supreme Court has so far granted TNM an order staying the decision to implement Cirms pending the hearing and determination of the renewed application for leave to apply for judicial review,” she said.

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Mulonya said the hearing of the appeal will be heard on January 19, 2016 at the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal.

The Cirms was introduced in 2011 and has been facing legal battles, delaying its implementation in the process.

In October, Macra director general Godfrey Itaye said the system will roll out 90 days after Macra obtain samples from the operators.

“We have written all operators including TNM requesting for data to implement the system. The rolling out will depend on how fast we obtain the sample data. The 90 days will depend on when we will have this data in our hands. If we get the data next week, then we will roll out in January,” said Itaye.

He further said operators who will not meet the required set standards will be taken to task by the regulatory body.

Itaye said the Cirms is basically available to measure the quality of services for ICT.

He said consumers are the major winners once the system is put in place.

“Consumers are experiencing poor quality of service from phone service providers at the moment. With the Cirms, Macra will be able to monitor and identify the problems and consequently sanction operators involved.

“Our desire is to see to it that the consumer gets value for the money, they should not continue losing money on a service they have not used and they should be able to get connected without experiencing any network problems,” he said.

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