MALAWI COMMUNICATIONS LAW 1998                                                                      MALAWI SDNP
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45.-(1) The Authority shall regulate the provision of broadcasting in Malawi in the manner which it considers is best suited- 
(a) to meet demand for broadcasting services; 
 (b) to ensure the provision of regular news services and pro- 
grammes on matters of public interest in Malawi; 
 (c) to provide for the broadcast of programmes in support of the democratic process through civic education; 
 (d) to promote the provision of a diverse range of broadcasting services on a national and local level; 
 (e) to promote the integrity and viability of public broadcasting services; and 
 (f) to ensure equitable treatment of political parties and election 
 candidates by all broadcasting licencees during any election period. 

(2) The Authority may, where necessary and subject to subsection (1), seek the general direction of the Minister as to the manner in which it is to carry out its duties under this Part of the Act. 
(3) Any direction given by the Ministry under subsection (2) shall 
be in writing. 

of licences for 
provision of 
46. No person may provide a broadcasting service in Malawi 
except in accordance with a broadcasting licence issued to that person by the Authority under this Part. 
Kinds of 
47.--(l) The Authority may issue broadcasting licences for radio 
and television broadcasting services of the following kinds-  
(a) public broadcasting services; 
(b) private broadcasting services; and 
(a) community broadcasting services. 
(2) It shall be permissible for the holder of a broadcasting licence 
to broadcast text by radio in the course of his broadcasting service. 
Application for 
48.--(I) The Authority shall issue broadcasting licences in sufficient numbers to meet the public demand for broadcasting services.
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(2) When it intends to issue a broadcasting licence, the Authority shall publish a notice in the Gazette and in at least two issues of a newspaper in general circulation stating- 
(a) the kind of broadcasting service that may be offered under the proposed licence;  
(b) the coverage area of the broadcasting service;  
(c) the radio frequencies that will be made available and other 
relevant technical parameters; and  
(d) the procedure by which an application can be made, including in particular-  
(i) the information which applicants must provide; 
(ii) the criteria by which applicants will be assessed; and 
(iii) the date by which applications must be received by the 

(2) Within twenty-eight days of the date specified for the receipt of applications under subsection (1), the Authority shall publish III the Gazette- a notice summarizing any applications received and inviting persons to make representations regarding the Authority's proposals and such applications. 

(4) The Authority shall maintain a record of each application for a broadcasting  licence received by it, whether in response to a notice published under  subsection (1) or otherwise, and shall make such records available to the public at its premises during normal working  hours, 

(5) Before the Authority makes a determination on any application for a broadcasting licence, the Authority shall- 
(a) notify each applicant of the representations that it has 
received regarding his application; and 
 (b) accord each applicant a reasonable opportunity to respond 
in writing or in person to such representations. 

(6) Where the number of suitable application  exceeds  the number  of licences that the Authority intends to issue, the Authority shall select the successful applicant or applicants according to the criteria notified under subsection (2) (d) (ii). 
(7) No broadcasting licence shall be issued to any association, party, movement, organization, body or alliance which is of a party-political nature. 

49.-(1) Before publishing a notice under section 48 which Public  
invites applications for a licence to provide a public broadcasting broadcasting service, the Authority  shall undertake and Publish the results of a study of- 
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30                                                 Communications 

(a) the demand for the proposed public broadcasting service 
within the proposed coverage area;  
(b) the likely effect on the existing broadcasting services in the 
coverage area; and  
(c) the technical quality of the public broadcasting service, taking into. account advances in broadcasting technology, and shall obtain the approval of the Minister. 
(2) The Authority may invite any person holding a licence to provide public broadcasting services to its delegation to any international organization concerned with broadcasting. 
Control of 
private broad- 
50.-(1) No person shall directly or indirectly exercise control over more than one licence for a national private broadcasting service or be a director of a company or other body which directly or in concert with one or more other companies or bodies exercises such control. 
(2) No person shall directly or indirectly exercise control over more than two licences for local private broadcasting services or be a director of a company or other body which directly or in concert with one or more other companies or bodies exercise such control. 
Terms and 
conditions to 
be contained in 


51.--(1) A broadcasting licence issued by the Authority- 
(a) shall be issued on payment by the applicant of the appro- 
priate licence fee; 
(b) shall state the radio frequencies that may be used and the 
technical parameters of the transmissions that may be made; 
(c) shall specify the broadcasting services that may be provid- 
ed and the coverage area; and 
(d) shall be valid for a period of seven years from the date 
when it is published in the Gazette. 
(2) A broadcasting licence may only be issued on such terms and subject to such conditions as are consistent with the principles stated in section 4. 
(3) A broadcasting licence other than for a community broadcasting service may include all or any of the following, conditions- 
(a) the balance and equitable reporting during any election period; 
 (b) the provision of party political broadcasts during any election period;  
(c) the broadcasting of news services and factual programmes; 
(d) the broadcasting of programmes in support of the democra- 
tic process; 
(e) the preservation of broadcast material; 
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(/) the provision of financial information relating to the broadcasting services provided; 
(g) the limitation on the proportion of broadcasting time that 
may be allocated to advertisements; 
(h) the limitation on the financial or voting interest in the 
licence held by one or more foreign persons to forty per cent: 
Provided that the Authority may include conditions (/), (g), and (h) in a licence for a private broadcasting service only if similar such conditions are included in all such licences. 
52.-(I) All broadcasting licencees shall adhere to the code of conduct for broadcasting services set out in Third Schedule. 
Code of con- 
duct for 
(2) All persons licenced under Part III to operate cable television networks shall ensure that programmes distributed by them adhere to the code of conduct for broadcasting services set out in the Third Schedule. 


53.-(1) The Authority may amend a broadcasting licence only- 
(a) to the extent necessary in the interest of efficient management of the radio spectrum and provided that the amendment will not cause substantial prejudice to the licencee; 
(b) to the extent necessary to comply with any international agreement to which Malawi is party; or 
 (c) with the agreement of the licencee. 
(2) Whenever the Authority considers amending a broadcasting licence, it shall publish the proposed amendment in the Gazette and allow not less than twenty-eight days from the date of publication for any person to make representations; 
(3) Any amendment of a broadcasting licence made by the Authority shall not come into effect until it is published in the Gazette. 
of broad- 
54.-(I) The Authority shall monitor compliance with the terms and conditions of broadcasting licences, with the code of conduct for broadcasting services and with other material provisions of this Act relevant to broadcasting licences. 

(2) The Authority may hold public hearings on any matter relating to the monitoring and enforcement of broadcasting licences. 

(3) Where the Authority determines that a broadcasting licencee has failed to comply with the terms and conditions of the licence, the code of conduct or the provisions of this Act, it shall notify the licencee in writing.

of broad- 
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32                                                              Communications 

(4) If, after hearing any representations made by a broadcasting licencee who has been notified in accordance with subsection (3), the Authority confirms the non-compliance, it shall publish its findings and the reasons for them. 

(5) Having taken into account the nature, gravity and consequences of the non-compliance, and after hearing-any representations made by the licencee or any other interested persons in response to the publication of its findings, the Authority shall make any one or more of the following orders which it considers appropriate- 
(a) requiring the licence to broadcast- 
(i) a correction; 
(ii) an alternative version; 
(iii) a balancing opinion. 
whichever is applicable; 
(b) directing the licencee to desist from non-compliance;  
(c) imposing a fine proportional to the effects of the non-com- 
 (d) directing the licencee to take appropriate remedial steps. 
 (6) If the broadcasting licencee does not comply with an order under subsection (5), the Authority may prohibit the licencee from providing a broadcasting service for any period which, in the first instance, may not exceed thirty days. 

55.--(I) The Authority shall publish the form and procedure as regards the adjudication of complaints concerning television or sound broadcasts. 
(2) Any person who has reason to believe that a broadcasting licencee has failed to comply with the terms and conditions of the licence or the code of conduct may lodge a complaint with the Authority within thirty days of the occurrence of the alleged noncompliance. 
(3) A complaint referred to in subsection (2) shall be in writing 
and, on receipt by the Authority, shall be notified to any licencee 

(4) After having considered a complaint and any representation 
in regard thereto, the Authority shall publish its findings. 

(5) The Authority shall keep a record of all complaints regarding broadcasting received by it and shall publish each year an analysis of them. 

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56.-(I) The Authority may require all persons who have in their possession a television set capable of receiving broadcast television programmes to obtain each year a licence to operate the set. 
(2) Before commencing to issue the television licence contemplated in subsection (1) the Authority shall commission an independent study of the options for the finance of television broadcasting and publish the results. 

(3) A television licence shall be available without any condition to any person who pays the prescribed fee. 
(4) The net proceeds from the issuing of television licences shall be used exclusively for the purpose of financing public television broadcasting services by MBC. 

(5) Malawi Posts shall enter into an agreement with the Authority and with MBC to issue television licences, to collect the fees, and to account for the proceeds. 

Power to 
reception of 


57. The Minister, on the advice of the Authority, may from time to time make regulations governing the provision of broadcasting services. 
58. The Authority shall regulate postal services so as to ensure that there are provided throughout Malawi good and sufficient postal services at rates consistent with efficient and continuous service, the financial viability of Malawi Posts and in accordance with the recommendations of the Universal Postal Union and other international agreements entered into by the Republic of Malawi. 


Duty of the 
Authority in 
respect of 

59.-(I) The Minister may, after consultation with the Authority, give directions of a general or special nature to the Authority in relation to the performance of its functions and exercise of its powers under this Part. 
(2) Any direction given by the Minister under subsection (1) shall be in writing. 
directions by 
the Minister 
60.-(I) Subject to the provisions of this Part, Malawi Posts shall have, throughout Malawi the exclusive right of conveying letters weighing not more than 350 grams from one place to another and of performing all the incidental services of receiving, collecting and delivering such letters. 

(2) The exclusive right conferred on Malawi Posts by subsection 
(1) is not infringed by the conveyance and delivery of- 
(a) a letter personally by a sender or by a member of the 
sender's family; 
(b) a letter by a messenger sent for the purpose; 

right of 
Malawi Posts 
to convey 
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