MALAWI COMMUNICATIONS LAW 1998                                                                      MALAWI SDNP
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of the Malawi 

3.-(1) There is hereby established the Malawi Communications 
Regulatory Authority (in this Act otherwise referred to as the 
"Authority") for the purpose of performing the functions assigned 
under this Act. 


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(2) The Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority shall be a 
body corporate by that name and shall- 
      (a) have perpetual succession and a common seal; 
      (b) be capable of suing and being sued in its corporate name; 
      (c) be capable of acquiring and disposing of any moveable or 
immoveable property and performing such acts and things as 
bodies corporate may by law do or perform; and 
      (d) have power to perform such functions and exercise such 
powers as are conferred by this Act.
(3) In addition to the provisions of this Act, the First Schedule shall apply to the Authority with respect to the matters specified in 
that Schedule. 
4.-(1) The Authority shall have the general duty to ensure that, 
so far as it is practicable, there are provided throughout Malawi 
reliable and affordable communication services sufficient to meet 
the demand for them. 
Of the 
(2) Subject to subsection (1), the Authority shall- 
(a) protect the interests of consumers, purchasers and other 
users of communication services in respect of the prices  
charged for the quality and variety of services provided  
and terminal equipment supplied. 
(b) promote open access to information by means of  
communication services; 
(c) promote efficiency and competition among persons 
engaged in provision of communication services or  
supply of communication equipment; 
(d) encourage the introduction of new communication services; 
(e) promote research in telecommunications, including radio- 
communications; and 
(f) foster the development of communications services and  
technology in accordance with recognized international standards. 
  (3) The Authority shall be independent in the performance of, its 
5.-(1) The Authority shall have the power to regulate telecom- 
munications, broadcasting, the use of radio frequencies, and the 
provision of postal services throughout Malawi. 
    (2) The Authority shall carry out the following functions- 
a. to keep under review the carrying on within and outside  
Malawi of activities connected with communications;
Powers and 
of The Authority  
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        (b) to collect and to publish information with respect to com- 
mercial activities connected with communications carried on in 
       (c) to provide advice to users and providers of communication  
       (d) to sponsor the provision of, and where necessary to provide,  
training in activities related to the provision of communication  
       (e) to give information, advice and assistance to the Minister with  
respect to any matter which concerns the provision of communication services; 
       (f) to investigate any matter which is related to the provision 
of communication services or to the use of radio frequencies and which is the subject of a representation to the Authority; 
      (g) to regulate the provision of telecommunication services through- 
             (i) licensing of service providers; 
            (ii) providing advice to the Minister on regulations or policies; 
           (iii) monitoring the activities of licencees to ensure compliance  
                 with the terms and conditions of their licence and Applicable  
                  regulations and related activities; 
       (h) to draw up numbering plans for public telecommunication  
       (i) to ensure, so far as It is possible, the adoption of international 
standards and, where that is not possible or appropriate, to draw  
up and apply national standards for telecommunication services  
and terminal equipment; 
      (j) to establish a type approval regime for terminal equipment, to grant 
approvals and to ensure that type approval procedures are adhered to; 
     (k) to regulate broadcasting services through- 
         ( i) licensing of providers of broadcasting services; 
         (ii) providing advice to the Minister on regulations or policies; 
        (iii) monitoring the activities of licencees to ensure compliance with  
             the terms and conditions of their licence and applicable regulation  
            and related activities; 
      (l) to plan the use of radio frequencies and make frequency allocations; 
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      (m) to carry out and co-ordinate frequency assignments; 
        (n) to monitor radio emissions and deter interference with 
authorized radio-communications; 
       (o) to establish technical requirements and technical standards 
in relation to- 
          (i) radio apparatus; and 
         (ii) interference-causing equipment, or any class thereof; 
      (p) to regulate the provision of postal services through- 
         (i) licensing of service providers; 
        (ii) providing advice to the Minister on regulations and policies; 
       (iii) monitoring the activities of licencees to ensure compliance  
with the terms and conditions of their licence and applicable 
regulations and related activities; 
      (r) to propose modifications and amendments to licences and regulations 
      (s) as directed by the Minister, to represent the Government at conferences and meetings of international organizations concerned with  
communications; and 
      (t) to do all such things as are necessary or incidental or con- 
ducive to the better carrying out of the functions of the 
Authority specified in this Act. 
   6.-(1) The Authority shall consist of a Chairman and-  
      (a) six other members appointed in accordance with the pro-  
visions of section 7; 
     (b) the following members ex officio- 
         (i) the Secretary to the President and Cabinet; 
(ii) the Secretary for Information.
of the 
  (2)  Members of the Authority shall be persons who- 
       (a) are citizens resident in Malawi; 
       (b) possess qualifications, expertise and experience in any of 
the fields of posts, telecommunications, broadcasting, frequency planning, 
law, economics, business, finance, public administration and public affairs. 

(3) Members of the Authority shall serve part-time. 

(4)  Any person who- 
     (a) is a member of Parliament;

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       (b) is a Minister or Deputy Minister; 
       (c) is a member of a committee of a political party at district, 
regional or national level, shall be disqualified from being  
appointed as a member of the Authority. 
of  members 
7.-(1) The President shall appoint members of the Authority. 
(2) The first -,appointment of members of the Authority as 
provided for in subsection (1) shall be made within  
twenty-eight days of the coming into force of this Act. 
(3) The names of all members of the Authority as first constituted  
and every change of membership shall be published in the Gazette. 
(4) In appointing members of the Authority under subsection (1), the 
President shall have regard to the need for continuity of service 
on the Authority, so that at least half of the members of the 
Authority appointed thereunder shall be re-appointed for the next  
term of office.
Chairman of 
8.--(1) The President shall appoint one of the members of the  
Authority as Chairman. 

(2) In the event of the Chairman being absent for a period of more 
than twenty-eight days, members of the Authority shall elect one 
of their number to exercise the powers and perform the duties of 
the Chairman. 

Director General of 
The Authority 
9.-(1) The Minister shall, on the recommendation of the Authority, appoint 
the Director General of the Authority, who shall be responsible for  
the direction of and supervision over the work and staff of the Authority. 

    (2) There shall be a Deputy Director General of the Authority 
who shall- 
   (a) be appointed by the Authority with the approval of the 
   (b) perform such functions and duties as may be assigned to 
him by the Director General from time to time. 

   (3) The Director General or, in his absence, the Deputy Director  
General, shall attend meetings of the Authority and of any committees 
of the Authority and may address such meetings, but shall not vote  
on any matter: 
  Provided that the person presiding at any meeting may, for good cause, require the Director General or the Deputy Director General to withdraw from such meeting. 

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10.- (1) The Authority shall establish its own administration and  
to that end may appoint such staff, subordinate to the  
Director General, as the Authority deems necessary for 
the discharge of its functions under this Act. 

(2) The Director General shall have power to appoint staff of such 
junior ranks as the Authority may specify. 

(3) The Authority may pay to persons in its employ, or provide them with, such remuneration, pensions and employment benefits as the Authority may, after having obtained such professional advice as it may deem fit, consider as being competitive in the employment market in Malawi. 

Other staff of 
ll.-(1) If any member is present at a meeting of the conflicts of Authority or of any committee of the Authority at which any matter which is the subject of consideration is a matter in which that person or his immediate family member or his professional or business partner is directly or indirectly interested in a private professional capacity, he shall, as soon as is practicable after the commencement of the meeting, disclose such interest and that person shall not take part in any consideration or discussion of, or vote on, any question touching such matter. 

(2) The Director General shall disclose to the Chairman of the 
Authority any interest he or a member of his immediate family has, 
whether in a private or professional capacity, in any matter that is  
under consideration by the Authority and shall not attend any 
meeting of the Authority or of any committee of the Authority  
while any question touching such matter is being discussed. 

3. Any employee of the Authority or any consultant,  
adviser or sub-contractor to the Authority shall disclose to  
the Director General any interest he or a member of his 
immediate family has, whether in a private or professional  
capacity, in any matter that is under consideration by the Authority  
and the Director General shall take such decision as he considers 
appropriate in each case and submit a report thereon to the Authority. 

Disclosure of 
conflicts of  
12.-(I) The operating and financial costs of the Authority shall  
Financing of be financed from- 

(a) fees and other moneys payable to the Authority in respect 
of licences issued by the Authority under this Act;  
(b) fines payable to the Authority in respect of breaches of 
licence terms, conditions and obligations;  
(c) grants or donations received by the Authority; 
(d) such moneys as are from time to time appropriated to the 
Authority by Parliament; and 

Financing of 
the Authority 
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14                                                   Communications 

(e) the proceeds from the sale by the Authority of any assets or  
equipment to which it has title. 

(2).Subject to the Finance and. Audit Act, the Authority may borrow 
such amounts as it may require for the performance of its functions 
under this Act with the prior approval of the Minister of Finance. 

(3). The Authority may charge fees in respect of publications,  
seminars, documents, advisory and other services provided by the Authority. 

(4). The moneys of the Authority which are not immediately required for 
the performance of its functions may be invested on short-term deposit  
with any bank or financial institution in Malawi. 

(5) All moneys of the Authority which, in the opinion of the Minister of  
Finance, are in excess of its budgetary requirements shall be paid into  
the Consolidated Fund, but the Authority shall be entitled to retain such  
sums as it reasonably requires for its operations. 

Account and 
13.-(1) The Authority shall cause to be kept proper books of accounts and other records relating to its accounts. 
 (2) 'Me accounts of the Authority shall- 
  (a) be audited annually by independent auditors appointed by 
the Authority and approved by the Minister; 
  (b) be examined by the Auditor General before being presented  
to the Minister in accordance with section 14. 
 (3) The financial year of the Authority shall end on 31st March. 
 (4) The Minister may, by order published in the Gazette, pre- 
scribe a, different date for the ending of the financial year of 
the Authority. 
14.-(1) As soon as practicable, but not later than six months after the expiry of each financial year, the Authority shall submit to the Minister a report concerning its activities during that financial year. 

(2) The report referred to in subsection (1) shall be in such form 
and contain such information as the Minister shall require. 
(3) There shall be appended to the report referred to in subsection (2)- 
           (a) an audited balance sheet; 
          (b) an audited statement of income and expenditure; and 
          (c) such other information as the Authority may consider 
appropriate or as the Minister may direct. 

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