By Steven Godfrey Mkweteza

The Malawi regulatory authority {MACRA} has conceded that the country is doing poorly on tracking down cyber-crime despite various interventions to cub the vice.

The authority’s deputy director for legal responsible for consumer affairs Thokozani Chimbe told the media today in Blantyre on the sidelines of the country’s commemoration of international safer internet.

‘The country has applied various measures to ensure that it track down the increased cases of cyber-crime but lack of awareness still remains the challenge most especially on the part of the children , parents and guardians,’ says Chimbe.

However, Chimbe expressed hope that the situation will be reversed following the e-transaction bill which was passed by parliament in 2016.

‘The bill empowers us to start intensive sensitization to the youth, parents and guardians. It also gives powers to the law enforcement agencies to enforce the laws on the child bully cases. Currently, we have started training experts on how best to track down the vice,’ said Chimbe.

Chimbe added that the country s among others, looking at engaging face book and google owners on the best way to cub the malpractices and bring the perpetrators to book.

On the other hand, Chimbe said the authority has no powers to shut down internet as the case which happened in other countries such as Zimbabwe, saying’ we don’t believe shutting down the internet is the best solution.’

Chimbe also heighted the need for the country to enter into bilateral treaties to ensure that people from other countries do not abuse the local internet users.

In an interview, the ICT and helpline services manager for youth net and counseling {YONECO} Panji Harawa said his organization has partnered with Macra in ensuring that children are sensitized on the pros and cons of using internet or social media.

‘We initiated the children protection program called helpline portal that ensures that children report every crime or abuses they face. But still the programme is yet to bear fruits as the children, parents and guardians are yet to be fully aware on the importance of this programme, said Malawi.

Recently, the country witnessed the police arresting a musician who composed a song that deemed to bring religious conflicts and posted on the internet.

Malawi joins 130 countries in commerating the world safer internet day with the theme’ Together for a better internet-a shared responsibility for all’.

The day falls on February 5 every year with an aim of raising awareness safer internet or online environment for countries.

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