Catherine Gotani Hara, Speaker of the Malawi National Assembly has bemoaned the tendency of using cyberspace to solicit wealth in the pretense of mobilizing resources for survivors of Cyclone Freddy. Hara made the remark during the opening of the first-ever workshop of Parliamentarians from different African countries on Global Action (PGA) focusing on Cyber-crime at the Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe on Monday.
The Speaker cited her own example in which a suspected criminal called her claiming he was a police officer on a rescue mission but was stuck and needed urgent financial assistance.
“I had to follow certain channels to verify if he was honest and I realized that he was a fraudster. The same is happening to many people and some have fallen victims,” she said.
Speaking earlier, PGA Executive Committee Member Millie Odhiambo who is a Member of Parliament in Kenya said Cybercrime is on the rise and continues to pose huge challenges in various sectors of life.
She said the advent of Technology was regarded as a revolution but due to the rise in criminal acts, some people have turned it into a crime space for abusing innocent people.
“Many people are suffering as a result of Cybercrime and this is where we need to pull ourselves together to fight the vice. Let us jointly implement the conventions that we have on Cyber-crime to win,” she said.
The workshop has been organized by the government of the Netherlands. The First Secretary at the Embassy of Netherlands in South Africa Joos Bunk said African parliaments have opened an important forum for fighting Cybercrime.