MALAWI COMMUNICATIONS LAW 1998                                                                      MALAWI SDNP
Contents Search  Law Policy Providers  Home



33.(1) It shall be the duty of the Authority to regulate access to, and use of, radio frequencies in Malawi so as to ensure the most efficient use of the radio frequency spectrum and to protect users of radio frequencies from interference in accordance with- 
(a) the National Communications Policy;  
(b) the recommendations of the International Telecommuni- 
cations Union; and  
(c) other international agreements entered into by the Republic 
of Malawi. 
(2) The Authority shall comply with any general directions given to it in writing by the Minister as to the manner in which it is to carry out its duties under this Part. 

Duty of the 
Authority in 
respect of use 
of radio 
34.-(1) The Authority shall be responsible for the management of the radio frequency spectrum and for this purpose may from time to time prepare and adopt in relation to any part of the radio spectrum a plan which defines how the radio spectrum shall be used. 

(2) Before adopting any radio spectrum plan, the Authority shall give notice in the Gazette of its intention, publish its proposals and invite interested parties to make representations either in writing or in person to it. 
(3) Any radio spectrum plan adopted by the Authority shall- 
   (a) minimize congestion in the use of frequencies; 

Planning and 
of the radio 


B. No. 17
24                                                   Communications 

(b) provide opportunities for the introduction of the widest range of telecommunication services and for the widest take up of such services as is practically feasible; 
(c) encourage the introduction of new radio technologies; 
(d) take into account existing uses of the radio spectrum and 
the cost of requiring any changes by existing users; and 
(e) be published by the Authority. 
(4) The Authority shall maintain and make available to the public- 
 (a) a table of national frequency allocations; and 
 (b) a register of frequency assignments made and remaining in 
35.-(1) Subject to subsection (2), no person may operate a radio station in Malawi or between any place in Malawi and any other place -except in accordance with a radio licence issued by the Authority. 
(2) The Minister, on the advice of the Authority, may make regulations to exempt from licensing a particular class of radio station or the use of a radio station for a particular purpose. 
(3) A radio licence shall be required in addition to any telecommunication licence where the operation of a telecommunication network or provision of a telecommunication service entails the use of radio. 
of licence for 
operation of 
a radio station 
Kinds of 
radio licence 
36.-(I) The Authority shall publish a schedule describing each kind of radio licence that may be issued under this section and the fees payable for each such licence. 
(2) A radio licence issued to any person by the Authority shall be in writing and shall specify- 
(a) the purpose for which the radio station may be used; 
(b) the place at which it may be located; 
(c) the radio frequencies that may be used; 
(d)conditions as to the nature of any transmissions that are made; 
(e)        the period for which the radio licence is valid; 
(f)        the fees payable by the licencee when the radio licence is first issued and annually while it remains in force; and 
(g) other requirements that the Authority considers to be relevant in the light of its duties under this Act.
for radio 
37.-(I) The Authority shall publish the procedures by which each kind of radio licence may be applied for. 
                                       Communications                                        25 

(2) Licensing procedures shall be objective, transparent and nondiscriminatory and shall specify the criteria by which a licence will be issued. 
(3) The Authority may grant or refuse an application for a radio licence taking into consideration- 
(a) the proficiency of the applicant to operate and maintain the radio station for which he seeks a licence;  
(b) the published criteria by which the licence will be issued; 
(c) the extent to which issuing such a licence would be consis- 
tent with the principles stated in section 4; and 
(d) whether or not the issue of such a licence is in the public interest. 


38.-(I) Where necessary to ensure efficient use of the radio frequency spectrum, and with the prior written approval of the Minister, the Authority may prepare and issue a public tender for a radio licence that grants exclusive rights to the use of particular radio frequencies or to their use for a particular purpose. 
(2) A tender issued under this section shall specify- 
(a) the terms and conditions of the radio licence that it is proposed to issue as a result of the tender; 
(b) the qualifications that bidders must demonstrate to be eligible to enter the tender;  
(c) the timetable for the tender and for subsequent radio licence award;  
(d) the criteria by which the result of the tender will be determined; and  
(e) any fees that may be payable at any stage by bidders participating in the tender. 
(3) The Minister shall ensure that a tender held under this section is conducted in accordance with the procedure specified in the tender. 
process for radio licences 
39.---(1) The Authority may modify any term or condition of a radio licence if it considers it necessary in order to implement a frequency plan adopted by the Authority in accordance with this Part. 
(2) Before modifying any term or condition of a radio licence, the Authority shall notify the holder of the licence and consider any representation made to it by that person regarding the proposed modification. 
(3) In respect of any radio licence issued to a person authorized to provide telecommunication services or broadcasting services, no modification shall be made until that person has had a reasonable
of radio 
B. No. 17
26                                                    Communications 

opportunity to take steps necessary to ensure continuity in the provision of the relevant services.
and enforce- 
nient of radio 
40.--(I) The Authority shall monitor the use of radio frequencies in Malawi in order to ensure that the terms and conditions of licences and regulations are being complied with. 
 (2) The Authority may make an order requiring any person to 
comply with regulations in respect of- 
(a) the operation of a radio station under the terms of a radio 
licence issued to him;  
(b) the emission of electromagnet radiation from equipment of 
any description. 
(3) The Authority may order a person to cease using apparatus or equipment of any description which, in its opinion, is causing harmful interference with radio communictions otherwise than in accor-, dance with the terms and conditions of the radio licence issued or a regulation made under this Part. 

(4) Any person affected by an order made by the Authority under 
this section may apply to the High Court for judicial review. 

Control of 
radio stations 
41.-(I) The Authority may require a person whom it has reasonable cause to believe is a person required to hold a radio licence or other authority under this Part to produce his licence or authority. 
(2) If authorized by a warrant issued by a magistrate and accompanied by a police officer, the Director General may at all reasonable times enter premises which are owned or occupied by a person whom he has reasonable cause to believe is- 
(a) operating a radio station in contravention of this Act; or 
(a) causing harmful interference with radio communications. 

(3) The Authority may authorize in writing any other person to carry out on its behalf the functions set out in subsections (1) 40 (2) of this section: 
Provided that the conditions stipulated in subsections (1) and (2) 
are complied with. 
(3) A police officer having specific written authority from the Authority may seize a radio station which he has reasonable cause 'to believe is being operated in contravention of this Act. 
(5) Nothing in this section shall give any person a right of entry into a private dwelling house for the purpose of inspecting apparatus or equipment not designed or adapted for emission of radio frequencies. 

                                           Communications                                                       27 

42.-(I) The Authority may revoke the radio licence of any per son -  
(a) has made a declaration or statement which he knew to be false for the purpose of obtaining a radio licence or authority under this Act; 
(b) has failed to furnish information, or has furnished false information, when requested or required by the Authority in accordance with the conditions of a radio licence issued to him or a regulation made under this Part;  
(c) has failed to comply with the conditions of a radio licence issued to him after having been notified of the fact by the Authority and having had not less than twenty-eight days to comply;  
(d) has, after a reasonable period, failed to make use of the radio licence for the intended purpose; or  
(e) has failed to comply with an order made by the Authority under this Part, having had not less than twenty-eight days to comply. 
Revocation of radio licences 
 43.-(I) The President may, on the occurrence of a public emergency and after consulting with the Authority make an order directing the Authority to- 
(a) require the operator of any radio station to transmit a message relating to the emergency or in the interests of public safety or tranquillity; and 
(b) take over a radio station specified in the order and any associated equipment and premises necessary for the proper working and maintenance of the radio station and to make the same available to an officer or authority of the Government. 
 (2) Any property taken over pursuant to subsection (1) shall be returned to its owner when the President declares that the public emergency is at an end. 
(3) Reasonable compensation shall be paid from moneys provided for the purpose by Parliament to any person who suffers loss or damage through the exercise of the powers conferred by this section in such amount as may be agreed between that person and the Authority. 
Powers in 
with radio  
(4) If a dispute arises as to entitlement to, or the amount of, compensation payable under of subsection (3), the dispute shall be determined in accordance with the law relating to arbitration in force in Malawi and for that purpose the parties shall be treated as parties to a submission under the Arbitration Act.


Cap. 6:03 

B. No. 17
28                                                   Communications 

44.-(1) The Minister, on the advice of the Authority, may make  
regulations with respect to radiocommunications other than the 
reception of broadcasting services. 
(2) The Minister, on the advice of the Authority, may make regulations in respect of the emission of electromagnetic radiation fromapparatus or equipment of any description in order to ensure that such apparatus or equipment does not cause harmful interference with radiocommunications. 


B. No. 17
Contents Search  Law Policy Providers  Home