CHAPTER 22:01
LOCAL GOVERNMENT

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

   SECTION

PART I
PRELIMINARY

   1.   Short Title

   2.   Interpretation

PART II
LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Division 1—Objectives and Areas

   3.   Objectives of Local Government

   4.   Local Government areas

Division 2—Constitution and Functions

   5.   Composition of the Council

   6.   Functions of the Council

   7.   Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Council

   8.   Procedure at meetings of the Council

   9.   Mayor and Deputy Mayor

   10.   Elected members

   11.   Designation of Head of the Council

PART III
PROCEEDINGS OF THE COUNCIL

   12.   Disclosure of Interest

   13.   Procedure

PART IV
DISCHARGE OF FUNCTIONS

   14.   Service committees

   15.   Delegation to committees, etc.

   16.   Appointment of committees

   17.   Expenses of joint committees

   18.   Disability from voting on account of pecuniary interests

   19.   Standing Orders

   20.   Monitoring of Council decisions

   21.   Prohibition orders

   22.   Evidence of resolution

   23.   Admission to meetings

PART V
POWERS OF THE COUNCIL

   24.   General powers

   25.   Staff regulations

   26.   Remuneration of officers

   27.   Secondment of public officers

   28.   Secondment and exchange of staff

   29.   Security in relation to officers

   30.   Appointments to be on merit

   31.   Members not to be employees

   32.   Disclosure of interest by employees, etc.

   33.   Oath of secrecy

   34.   Acquisition of land by agreement

   35.   Disposal of land

   36.   General provisions on land transactions

   37.   Supply of goods and services

   38.   Contracts

   39.   Contributions to concurrent expenditure

   40.   Powers in respect of emergencies or disasters

   41.   Acceptance of gifts of property

   42.   Provision of information

   43.   Subscription to associations

PART VI
FINANCIAL PROVISIONS

   44.   Sources of revenue

   45.   Secretariat of the Local Government Finance Committee

   46.   General fund and special funds

   47.   Council to open bank account

   48.   Overdrafts

   49.   Power to borrow

   50.   Investment of funds

   51.   Annual and supplementary estimates

   52.   Reallocation of approved estimates

   53.   Accounts

   54.   Audit of accounts

   55.   Local Government Finance Committee may disallow or surcharge

   56.   Power of Minister to give financial instructions

   57.   External assistance

   58.   Assistance from Non-Governmental Organizations

   59.   Financial year

   60.   Superannuation and retirement provisions

PART VII
VALUATION AND RATING

   61.   Application

   62.   Definitions

   63.   Assessable property

   64.   Levy of fixed sums

   65.   Preparation of valuation rolls

   66.   Supplementary valuation

   67.   Valuer

   68.   Method of valuation

   69.   Supplementary valuation roll to be part of main roll

   70.   Alteration of valuation roll

   71.   Correction of entry

   72.   Effective date of supplementary valuation roll

   73.   Powers of entry

   74.   Provision of information to valuer

   75.   Deposit of valuation roll

   76.   Objection to valuation roll

   77.   Valuation rolls to be conclusive evidence

   78.   Payment of rates pending the hearing of an objection or an appeal

   79.   Duty to levy rates

   80.   Period of rates

   81.   Date on which rate is payable

   82.   Notice of rate

   83.   Remission of rate

   84.   Exempted properties

   85.   Government to pay rates

   86.   Payment of rates

   87.   Liability for rates

   88.   Rates records

   89.   Evidence of rates

   90.   Rate to be a charge upon the property

   91.   Seizure of property in default

PART VIII
GENERAL PROVISIONS RELATING TO THE COUNCIL

   92.   Legal proceedings

   93.   Documents and notices, etc.

   94.   Inspection of documents

   95.   Copies of documents

   96.   Reports and returns

   97.   Service of notices on the Council

   98.   Public notices

   99.   Service of notices by the Council

   100.   Authentication of documents

   101.   Powers of entry

   102.   Obstruction of officers on duty

   103.   By-laws

   104.   Procedure for by-laws

   105.   Offences against by-laws

   106.   Evidence of by-laws

   107.   Computation of time

PART IX
MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

   108.   Status

   109.   Honorary appointments

   110.   Inquiries

   111.   Transfer of staff

   112.   Penalties

   113.   Expenses

   114.   Repeal and savings

   Schedules

       First Schedule
Local Government Areas

       Second Schedule
Additional Functions of the Council

       Third Schedule
Sources of Revenue for th Council

42 of 1998
5 of 2001
17 of 2010
G.N. 8/1999
59/2000

An Act to amend and consolidate the law relating to local government and to provide for the matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

[8TH MARCH, 1999]

PART I
PRELIMINARY

1.   Short title

   This Act may be cited as the Local Government Act.

2.   Interpretation

   In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

   “Council” means a Council specified in the second column of the First Schedule;

   “Immediate family member”, in relation to any person, means that person’s spouse, child, parent, brother or sister;

   “Local Authority” means a District Council, Town Council, Municipal Council or City Council constituted under this Act;

   “Local government area” means an area under the jurisdiction of a District Council, Municipal Council or City Council.

PART II
LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS

Division 1—Objectives and Areas

3.   Objectives of local government

    The objectives of local government shall be to further the constitutional order based on democratic principles, accountability, transparency and participation of the people in decision-making and development processes.

4.   Local government areas

   (1) For the administration of local government, there shall be local government areas which shall comprise the areas respectively described in the first column of the First Schedule.

   (2) The Minister may, from time to time, by order published in the Gazette declare any local government area to be a township or a municipality.

   (3) The President may, by order published in the Gazette, confer the title and dignity of "City” on any Municipality.

   (4) The President may, by notice published in the Gazette, amend the First Schedule.

Division 2—Constitution and Functions

5.   Composition of the Council

   (1) For every local government area, there shall be a Council consisting of—

   (a)   one member elected from each ward within the local government area;

   (b)   Members of Parliament from the constituencies that fall within the local government area, as voting members, ex officio;

   (c)   Traditional Authorities from the local government area, as non-voting members, ex officio; and

   (d)   five persons, as non-voting members, to be appointed by the elected members to cater for the interests of such special interest groups as the Council may determine.

   (2) Each Council shall be a body corporate by the name “The District Council of. . .” or “The Town Council of. . .” or “The City Council of. . .” or “The Municipal Council of. . .” as the case may be, with the addition of the name of the particular district, town, municipality or city.

6.   Functions of the Council

   (1) The Council shall perform the following functions—

   (a)   to make policy and decisions on local governance and development for the local government area;

   (b)   to consolidate and promote local democratic institutions and democratic participation;

   (c)   to promote infrastructural and economic development through the formulation, approval and execution of district development plans within its jurisdiction;

   (d)   to mobilize resources within the local government area for governance and development;

   (e)   to maintain peace and security in the local government area in conjunction with the Malawi Police Service.

   (f)   to make by-laws for the good governance of the local government area;

   (g)   to appoint, develop, promote and discipline its staff;

   (h)   to cooperate with other Councils in order to learn from their experiences and exchange ideas; and

   (i)   to perform other functions including the registration of births and deaths and participate in the delivery of essential local services.

   (2) In addition to the functions specified in subsection (1), the Council shall also perform the functions stated in the Second Schedule.

   (3) The Minister may, on the written request of an Council, exempt the Council from any of the functions specified in the Second Schedule.

   (4) The Minister may, by notice published in the Gazette, amend the Second Schedule.

7.   Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Council

   (1) Members of the Council shall, at their first meeting elect, from amongst their number other than members ex officio, a Chairman and a Vice-Chairman.

   (2) The Chairman shall be the head of the Council and shall serve for a period of five years unless sooner replaced.

   (3) The Chairman shall be responsible for the observance of the provisions of this Act and shall provide leadership in the Council.

   (4) The Chairman and Vice Chairman shall each serve in their respective capacities for a period of one year, unless sooner replaced, and shall be eligible to be re-elected for one additional term; but so, however, that in the case of a City Council or a Municipal Council, the Chairman and Vice Chairman shall serve for a period of two and half years, unless sooner replaced and shall be eligible to be re-elected for one additional term.

   (5) The Council shall pay the Chairman, the Vice-Chairman and other members of the Council such allowances as the Minister may, on the recommendation of the Local Government Finance Committee, determine.

8.   Procedure at meetings of the Council

   (1) The procedure to be followed at meetings of the Council shall be as laid down in Standing Orders made by the Council under section 19.

   (2) At a meeting of the Council, one-third of the elected members shall form a quorum.

9.   Mayor and Deputy Mayor

   The Chairman and Vice-Chairman of a City Council or Municipal Council may have the title of Mayor and Deputy Mayor, respectively and any reference in this Act to the Chairman or Vice-Chairman of the Council may be construed as including a reference to the Mayor and Deputy Mayor.

10.   Elected members

   A member of the Council referred to in section 5 (1) (a) shall be elected in accordance with the Local Government Elections Act.

11.   Designation of head of the Council

   (1) There shall be in the Council an officer designated as Chief Executive Officer, in the case of a City, Municipal or Town Council, and as District Commissioner, in the case of a District Council, who shall be the head of the Secretariat of the Council.

   (2) The Chief Executive Officer or the District Commissioner shall be appointed by the Minister.

   (3) Any person holding a post of Director grade in the Council shall be appointed by the Local Government Service Commission.

   (4) The Minister shall have power, on the recommendation of the Local Government Service Commission, to transfer from one Council to another any person holding the post of Chief Executive, District Commissioner or Director in a Council.

   (5) The Chief Executive Officer or District Commissioner of the Council, as the case may be, shall, subject to the general or special direction of the Council, be responsible for—

   (a)   implementing the resolutions of the Council;

   (b)   the day to day performance of the executive and administrative functions of the Council;

   (c)   the supervision of the departments of the Council; and

   (d)   the proper management and discipline of the staff of the Council.

PART III
PROCEEDINGS OF THE COUNCIL

12.   Disclosure of interest

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

   (2) The Chairman may request a member who has declared an interest under subsection (1) to leave the meeting during the time the Council is considering the matter in respect of which the interest was declared.

   (3) A disclosure of interest shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting at which it is made.

13.   Procedure

   Subject to the other provisions of this Act, the Council may regulate its own procedure.

PART IV
DISCHARGE OF FUNCTIONS

14.   Service committees

   (1) The Council shall establish the following committees—

   (a)   the Finance Committee;

   (b)   the Development Committee;

   (c)   the Education Committee;

   (d)   the Works Committee;

   (e)   The Health and Environmental Committee; and

   (f)   The Appointments and Disciplinary Committee.

   (2) The Council may establish other committees at local government area level.

   (3) The Council may establish such other committees at ward, area or village level as it may determine.

   (4) The composition of service committees and the committees established under subsections (2) and (3) shall be determined by the Council.

   (5) A service committee or other committee established under subsections (2) and (3) may in its discretion at any time and for any period invite any person to attend any meeting of such committee and take part in the deliberations at the meeting, but such person shall not be entitled to vote at the meeting.

15.   Delegation to committees, etc.

   (1) Subject to any express provisions of this Act, the Council may arrange for the discharge of any of its functions by a committee, a sub-committee or an officer of the Council:

   Provided that the Council shall not delegate its powers to—

   (a)   borrow money; or

   (b)   make by-laws and Standing Orders; and

   (c)   levy a rate.

   (2) Where under this section any functions of the Council may be discharged by a committee of the Council, then, unless the Council otherwise directs, the Committee may arrange for the discharge of any of those functions by a sub-committee or an officer of the Council and where any functions of the Council may be discharged by a sub-committee of the Council, then unless the Council or the sub-committee otherwise directs, the sub-committee may arrange for the discharge of any of those functions by an officer of the Council.

   (3) Any arrangement made by the Council or a committee for the discharge of any functions by a committee, sub-committee, officer of the council shall not prevent the Council by whom the arrangements are made from exercising those functions.

   (4) Two or more Councils may discharge any of their functions jointly and, where arrangements are in force for them to do so, the Councils may also arrange for the discharge of those functions by a joint committee of theirs or by an officer of one of them and subsection (2) shall apply in relation to those functions as it applies in relation to the functions of the individual Councils.

16.   Appointment of committees

   (1) For the purpose of discharging any functions in the pursuance of arrangements made under section 15

   (a)   the Council may appoint a committee of the Council; or

   (b)   two or more Councils may appoint a joint committee of the Councils; or

   (c)   any such committee may appoint one or more sub-committees.

   (2) The number of members of a committee appointed under subsection (1), their term of office, and the area within which the committees may exercise their authority shall be fixed by the appointing Councils or, in the case of sub-committees, by the appointing committee.

   (3) Every member of a committee appointed under this section who at the time of his appointment was a member of the appointing Council or one of the appointing Councils shall upon ceasing to be a member of that Council also cease to be a member of the committee.

   (4) The Council may invite any person to attend a meeting of a committee:

   Provided that such person shall not be entitled to vote.

17.   Expenses of joint committees

   The expenses incurred by a joint committee of two or more Councils shall be defrayed by those Councils in such proportions as the Councils may agree.

18.   Disability from voting on account of pecuniary interests

   Sections 12 and 15 shall apply in respect of members of a committee of the Council or of a joint committee of two or more Councils, including in either case a sub-committee, as they apply in respect of members of the Council subject to references to meetings of any such committee being substituted for references to meetings of the Council.

19.   Standing Orders

   The Council shall make Standing Orders for the regulation of such matters as may be necessary for the purposes of this Act.

20.   Monitoring of Council decisions

   (1) It shall be the duty of the Chief Executive Officer of the Council if at any time it appears that any proposal, decision or omission by the Council or by any committee, sub-committee or officer of the Council has given rise to or is likely to give rise to—

   (a)   a contravention of this Act or any other written law, Standing Order, by-law or regulation; or

   (b)   any maladministration or injustice, to prepare a report to the Council with respect to that proposal, decision or omission.

   (2) It shall be the duty of the Council to consider such report at a meeting held not more than fourteen days after copies of the report are first sent to the Council.

   (3) The implementation of a proposal or decision to which a report under this section relates shall be suspended in consequence of the report until the end of the first business day on which consideration of that report has been concluded.

21.   Prohibition orders

   (1) Where the Council—

   (a)   is about to make or has made a decision which involves or would involve the Council incurring expenditure which is unlawful; or

   (b)   is about to take or has taken a course of action which if pursued to its conclusion would be unlawful or likely to cause a loss or deficiency; or

   (c)   is about to take or has taken a course of action which if pursued to its conclusion would be unlawful or contrary to national policies, the Minister may issue an order requiring the Council to desist from making or implementing the decision or taking or continuing to take the course of action.

   (2) Where the Council wilfully or negligently fails to comply with the order made by the Minister under subsection (1), the Minister may—

   (a)   surcharge the Council for the amount incurred as a result of the decision made; and

   (b)   surcharge the Council for the amount of loss or deficiency arising out of the course of action taken.

   (3) Where the Council contravenes the provisions of section 21 (1) (c), the Minister may suspend the Council.

   (4) Where the Council has been suspended under subsection (3), the Minister shall appoint a Commission which shall have the full powers to run the affairs of the Council until a decision of the High Court on whether the Council has acted unlawfully or contrary to national policies, or elections for a new Council are held, as the case may be.

   (5) Where the Minister suspends the Council under subsection (3), the High Court shall, on the motion of the Minister or a member of the Council, determine whether the Council acted unlawfully or contrary to national policies.

   (6) Where the High Court determines that a Council has acted unlawfully or contrary to national policies, the President shall dissolve the Council and elections for a new Council shall be held within ninety days from the date of dissolution.

22.   Evidence of resolutions

   A document which—

   (a)   purports to be a copy of the resolution, order or report of the Council or the minutes of a meeting of the Council; or

   (b)   bears a signature purporting to be signed by the Chief Executive Officer or District Commissioner of the Council or a person authorized in that behalf by him or the Council, shall be prima facie evidence in any proceedings of the matters stated in the document.

23.   Admission to meetings

   (1) The meetings of the Council including meetings of any committee, sub-committee or joint committee shall be open to the public and the press.

   (2) The Council may by resolution exclude the public and the press whether during the whole or part of the proceedings whenever publicity would be prejudicial to the public interest by reason of the confidential nature of the business to be transacted or for other special reasons stated in the resolution and arising from the nature of that business or the proceedings and where such a motion is passed the meeting shall not be open to the public or the press during proceedings to which the resolution applies.

   (3) Where a meeting of the Council is required to be open to the public and the press the following provisions shall apply—

   (a)   a notice of the time and the place of the meeting shall be given by posting it at the offices of the Council three clear days before the meeting; and.

   (b)   while the meeting is open to the public and the press, the Council shall not have power to exclude from the meeting members of the public, and duly accredited representatives of the press attending for the afforded reasonable facilities for making their report, including the provision of the agenda and reports to be considered at such meeting.

PART V
POWERS OF THE COUNCIL

24.   General powers

   (1) A Council shall have power to—

   (a)   subject to section 49, borrow or lend money; and

   (b)   acquire or dispose of any property or rights which is calculated to facilitate, or is conducive or incidental to, the discharge of any of the functions of the Council.

   (2) The Council shall not by virtue of this section raise money, whether by means of rates or borrowing, or lend money except in accordance with the Finance and Audit Act.

   (3) The Council shall have power to appoint and employ such persons holding a post grade below that of Director as are necessary for the proper discharge by the Council of its functions.

   (4) The Council shall have further powers and functions as contained in the Second Schedule to this Act.

25.   Staff regulations

   The Council shall make regulations determining the conditions of service of the officers of the Council.

26.   Remuneration of officers

   The Council shall, subject to approval by the Minister, determine the salaries and allowances payable to its employees.

27.   Secondment of public officers

   Upon the request of the Council, a public officer may be seconded to the Council for such periods and upon such terms and conditions as may be agreed between the Council and the organization from which that officer is seconded.

28.   Secondment and exchange of staff

   The Council may enter into an agreement with another Council whether in Malawi or elsewhere for the secondment of any officer or exchange of officers for the purposes of their functions or for training on such terms as may be provided in the agreement.

29.   Security in relation to officers

   The Council shall, in case of an officer entrusted with the custody or control of money or property, take such security, as the Council may consider necessary.

30.   Appointment to be on merit

   Every appointment of staff to a paid office of the Council shall be on merit.

31.   Members not to be employees

   A member of the Council shall neither be an employee of the Council nor serve on full time basis.

32.   Disclosure of interest by employees, etc.

   (1) An employee of the Council or a consultant in the service of the Council who, or whose immediate family member is directly interested in a private or professional or official capacity in any matter being considered by the Council, shall disclose such interest.

   (2) A disclosure of interest made under this section shall be made to the chief Executive Officer or District Commissioner of the Council who shall take such decision as he considers appropriate in each case and submit a report thereon to the Council.

33.   Oath of secrecy

   Every—

   (a)   member of the Council;

   (b)   member of a committee of the Council;

   (c)   employee of the Council; and

   (d)   consultant in the service of the Council,

shall, upon assumption of his office, take such oath of secrecy as may be approved by the Council or as may otherwise be prescribed under this Act.

34.   Acquisition of land by agreement

   (1) For the purpose of—

   (a)   any of its functions under this Act or any other written law; or

   (b)   the benefit, improvement or development of its area, the Council may acquire whether by way of purchase, lease, exchange or gift, any land, whether situated inside or outside its area.

   (2) The Council may acquire any land for any purpose for which the Council is authorized by this Act to acquire land, notwithstanding that the land is not immediately required for that purpose; and, until it is required for the purpose for which it was acquired under this subsection the land may be used for the purpose of any of the Council’s functions.

35.   Disposal of land

   (1) The Council may dispose of land held by it in any manner it wishes.

   (2) Except with the consent of the Minister responsible for land matters, a Council shall not dispose of land under this section, otherwise than by way of a short tenancy or for a consideration not less than the market value.

   (3) For the purpose of this section, a disposal of land is a disposal by way of a short tenancy if it consists—

   (a)   of the grant of a term not exceeding three years; or

   (b)   of the assignment of a term which at the date of the assignment has not more than three years to run.

36.   General provisions on land transactions

   (1) In any case where the consent of the Minister responsible for land matters is required to a dealing in land by the Council, that consent may be given—

   (a)   in relation to the Council in a particular class of transactions; and

   (b)   in relation to Councils generally or Councils of a particular class;

   (c)   either unconditionally or subject to such conditions as the Minister responsible for land matters may specify either generally or in relation to any particular transactions, or class of transactions.

   (2) Where the Council purports to acquire, appropriate or dispose of land or buildings then—

   (a)   in favour of any person claiming under the Council, the acquisition, appropriation or disposal so purporting to be made shall not be invalid by reason that any consent of the Minister responsible for land matters which is required thereto has not been given or that any requirement as to advertisement or consideration of objections has been complied with; and

   (b)   a person dealing with the Council or a person claiming under the Council shall not be concerned to see or inquire whether any such consent has been given or whether any such requirement has been complied with.

   (3) The Council may carry out any works of improvement or for the provision of services on any land owned or acquired by it and may develop or dispose of any land for development.

37.   Supply of goods and services

   The Council may enter into an agreement with another person for all or any of the following—

   (a)   the supply by or to the Council of any goods and materials;

   (b)   the provision by or to the Council of any administrative, professional, or technical services;

   (c)   the use of any vehicle, plant, or apparatus and the services of persons employed to operate such vehicle, plant or apparatus; and

   (d)   the maintenance of any land or building.

38.   Contracts

   (1) The Council may enter into contracts with any person for the provision or management of any service by that person which the Council is empowered by this Act to provide or manage.

   (2) The procedure for the making of contracts by the Council shall be laid down in Standing Orders made under section 19.

39.   Contributions to concurrent expenditure

   Two or more Councils may make arrangements for defraying any expenditure incurred by one of them in exercising any functions exercisable by both or all Councils.

40.   Power in respect of emergencies or disasters

   (1) Where an emergency or disaster involving destruction of or danger to life or property occurs or is imminent or there is reasonable ground for apprehending such an emergency or disaster, and the Council is of the opinion that it is likely to affect the whole or part of its area or all or some of its inhabitants, the Council may—

   (a)   incur such expenditure as the Council considers necessary in taking action either alone or jointly with any other person or body which is calculated to avert, alleviate or eradicate in its area or among its inhabitants the effects or potential effects of the event; and

   (b)   make grants or loans to other persons or bodies on conditions determined by the Council in respect of any such action taken by those persons or bodies.

   (2) The Council shall be responsible for making disaster-preparedness plans in accordance or conformity with any written law relating to or likely to affect their area of jurisdiction.

41.   Acceptance of gifts of property

   Subject to the provisions of this section the Council may accept, hold and administer—

   (a)   for the purpose of discharging any of its functions, gifts of property, whether real or personal, made for that purpose; or

   (b)   for the benefit of the inhabitants of its area or of some part of its area gifts made for that purpose, and may execute any work including works of maintenance or improvement incidental to or consequential upon the exercise of the powers conferred by this section.

42.   Provision of information

   (1) The Council shall arrange for the publications within its area, of information related to local government, and shall make or assist in making arrangements whereby the public may readily obtain, either at premises specially maintained for the purpose or otherwise, information concerning the services available within the area of the Council.

   (2) The Council shall publish not later than six months after the end of each financial year an annual report of its work and of the local government affairs of its area for the preceding financial year, and a copy of such report shall be—

   (a)   delivered to the Minister;

   (b)   deposited at every public office of the Council and be made available for inspection free of charge by any interested person during normal hours of business; and

   (c)   supplied to any person or to the press or other news media upon application on payment of such fee, if any, as the Council may prescribe.

43.   Subscriptions to associations

    The Council may pay reasonable subscriptions to associations as it shall determine.

PART VI
FINANCIAL PROVISIONS

44.   Sources of revenue

   (1) The sources of revenue for the Council to finance its operations shall be those stated in the Third Schedule.

   (2) The Minister may, in consultation with the Minister responsible for finance, amend the Third Schedule.

   (3) The Minister may, subject to such terms and conditions as may be agreed upon with an appropriate public body, authorize that body to collect on behalf of the Council any revenue from the sources listed in the Third Schedule.

   (4) The distribution of Government grants to the Council shall be done by the Government upon the recommendation of the Local Government Finance Committee in accordance with a formula approved by the National Assembly.

45.   Secretariat of the Local Government Finance Committee

   The Local Government Finance Committee shall have a permanent Secretariat which shall be headed by a Fund Administrator.

46.   General fund and special funds

   (1) The Council shall establish and maintain a general fund and all monies received by the Council by way of revenue and grants shall be paid into such fund, and all expenses incurred by the Council in the execution of the powers and duties conferred upon the Council by or under this Act shall be defrayed out of such fund.

   (2) The Council shall have power to create such special funds as it may deem necessary.

   (3) The Council may, from time to time, issue instructions with regard to the general management, supervision and control of the funds established under subsections (1) and (2).

47.   Council to open bank account

   The Council shall open and maintain a bank account for all revenues and other monies raised or received by it under this Act or any other written law.

48.   Overdrafts

   The Council may, subject to the Finance and Audit Act, obtain an advance from a bank by overdraft:

   Provided that the prior approval of the Council shall be obtained in any case where—

   (a)   the amount of the overdraft required will exceed one sixth of the previous years’ recurrent revenue of the Council; and

   (b)   the overdraft is required for longer than six months.

49.   Power to borrow

   The Council may, subject to the Finance and Audit Act, raise loans within Malawi of such amounts, from such sources, in such manner, for such purposes and upon such conditions as the Minister, in consultation with the Minister responsible for finance, may approve.

50.   Investment of funds

   The Council may invest any portion of its monies in Government Treasury Bills or in other investments as may be approved by the Council.

51.   Annual and supplementary estimates

   (1) The Council shall, not later than ninety days before the commencement of the financial year next ensuing, prepare detailed estimates of its revenue and expenditure for such financial year, and shall submit such estimates to the Local Government Finance Committee which may either approve the estimates as submitted or disallow such estimates in whole or in part or refer such estimates back to the Council for further consideration.

   (2) The Council may in any year prepare and approve supplementary estimates of revenue and expenditure and such estimates shall be submitted for approval to the Local Government Finance Committee which may approve or disallow the estimates either wholly or in part.

52.   Reallocation of approved estimates

   The Council shall not, except with the approval of the Local Government Finance Committee, incur any expenditure which has not been included in the approved estimates of the Council, but may, with the approval of the Local Government Finance Committee, make reallocations of any sum contained in such approved estimates.

53.   Accounts

   (1) The Council shall keep proper books of accounts and other records in relation thereto and shall balance its accounts for that year and produce statements of final accounts within six months from the end of each financial year.

   (2) The Council shall submit the final accounts to the Local Government Finance Committee which shall forward a copy to the Auditor General.

54.   Audit of accounts

   (1) The accounts of the Council shall be audited by the Auditor General or an auditor appointed by him.

   (2) The Auditor General may carry out surprise audit, investigations or any other audit considered necessary.

   (3) The Auditor General shall give his report of the audited accounts to—

   (a)   the Minister;

   (b)   the Local Government Finance Committee; and

   (c)   the Council.

   (4) The Council shall have an Internal Audit Department.

55.   Local Government Finance Committee may disallow or surcharge

   (1) After considering the report of the Auditor General, the Local Government Finance Committee shall have power to disallow any item of expenditure which is contrary to this Act and to surchage—

   (a)   the amount of any expenditure disallowed on the person responsible for incurring or authorizing that expenditure;

   (b)   any sum which has not been duly brought into account by the person by whom the sum ought to have been brought into account; or

   (c)   the amount of any loss or deficiency upon any person by whose negligence or misconduct the loss or deficiency has been incurred.

   (2) Any person aggrieved by a disallowance or surcharge made by the Local Government Finance Committee may appeal to the Minister.

   (3) Any person aggrieved by a decision of the Minister may apply to the High Court for judicial review.

   (4) Any sum surcharged on any person shall be payable to the Council within one month of written notification of the surcharge to such person or, in the case of an appeal under subsection (2) or an application under subsection (3), within one month of the decision of the Minister or the High Court if such decision confirms the surcharge, and shall be recoverable as a debt to the Council.

56.   Power of Minister to give financial instructions

   The Minister may, after consultation with the Minister responsible for finance, issue written instructions, not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, for the better control and efficient management of the finances of the Council.

57.   External assistance

   All external assistance to the Council shall, except assistance from a sister city, be routed through the Ministry of Finance.

58.   Assistance from Non-Governmental Organizations

   Any assistance to the Council from a Non-Governmental Organization shall be approved by the Minister in consultation with the Council.

59.   Financial year

   The financial year of the Council shall be the period beginning from the 1st day of July and ending on the 30th day of June in the following year.

60.   Superannuation and retirement provisions

   (1) The Council may establish a superannuation fund for the benefit of officers on their retirement from service of the Council and the dependants of deceased officers.

   (2) The Council may establish a provident fund for the payment of gratuities to officers on their retirement from the service of the Council and to the dependants of deceased officers.

   (3) No pension, provident fund payment, gratuity or other allowance or benefit payable under this section shall be assignable or transferable or liable to be attached or levied upon, for or in respect of any debt or claim except a debt due to or a claim made by the Council.

PART VII
VALUATION AND RATING

61.   Application

    This Part shall apply to areas or parts thereof which the Minister shall designate by notice published in the Gazette as rateable areas.

62.   Definitions

   For the purpose of this Part—

   "improvements” includes any building structure or works ancillary thereto of a permanent or semi-permanent nature and shall include any plant or machinery installed in any building structure or ancillary work for the purpose of heating, ventilation, safety, drainage, lighting, supplying water, protection from fire or movement of passengers or goods but shall exclude any machinery or plant which is installed mainly for the purpose of manufacturing operations or trade processes;

   "owner” means the person, other than a mortgagor not in possession, entitled with or without the consent of any other person to dispose of an interest in the property;

   "time of valuation” means the date of the passing of a resolution of the Council and shall be the date at which all valuations shall be deemed to have been made for the purpose of any valuation roll or supplementary valuation roll prepared during the continuance in force of such valuation roll.

63.   Assessable property

   All land within a local government area, together with all improvements of every description situated thereon shall be assessable property save the following—

   (a)   all streets;

   (b)   sewers and sewage disposal works;

   (c)   land and improvements used directly and exclusively as a cemetery, crematorium or burial ground;

   (d)   land and improvements used as a public open space; and

   (e)   railway lines used for transit.

64.   Levy of fixed sums

   In respect of any area which has not been designated by the Minister as a rateable area under this Act or which for any reason has not been assessed or is not assessable, the Council may levy—

   (a)   a fixed sum upon the owners of buildings which sum may be different in respect of buildings used for different purposes; and

   (b)   a fixed sum per unit of area of land or a fixed sum per unit of superficial area or both such fixed sums.

65.   Preparation of valuation rolls

   (1) The Council shall continuously or from time to time and in any event not less than once in every five years, cause to be made and entered into a valuation roll for the local government area a valuation of all assessable property within such area.

   (2) Such valuation roll shall take effect on the date of the commencement of the next rate period following the date of such roll:

   Provided that, where the interval between such dates would be less than three months, if the Council so decides within the said interval, such valuation roll shall take effect on the date of the commencement of the next but one rate period following the date of the said valuation roll.

   (3) A valuation roll shall cease to be current on the date on which a new valuation roll completed in pursuance of subsection (1) shall take effect.

66.   Supplementary valuation

   (1) The Council shall either continuously in any case not less than once in twelve months cause a valuation to be made—

   (a)   of any assessable property or part thereof discovered to have been omitted from the last preceding valuation;

   (b)   of any new building or structure or any improvements or part thereof erected, made or completed since the completion of the last preceding valuation roll;

   (c)   of any assessable property which, from any cause particular to such property arising since the time of valuation has materially increased or decreased in value;

   (d)   of any assessable property, the identity of which has, since the completion of the last preceding valuation roll been changed by subdivision, consolidation or alteration of boundaries by re-survey; and

   (e)   of any assessable property brought, subsequent to the completion of the last preceding valuation roll within the local government area by reason of an alteration in the boundaries of the local government areas and such valuation shall be entered in a supplementary valuation roll.

   (2) When any property included in any existing valuation roll has been excluded from the local government area, particulars of such property shall be included in a supplementary valuation roll and the valuation ascribed therein to such property shall be nil.

   (3) Pending the inclusion of any supplementary valuation roll of any property referred to in subsection (1) (b) the Council on issuing a certificate of substantial completion or a certificate of occupation under any written law, or which is otherwise satisfied that the improvements are occupied or used or is capable of occupation or use, or upon any date upon which the improvements are deemed or stipulated to have been completed pursuant to any condition in any consent granted under the Town and Country Planning Act or a by-law or in terms of a condition in a building agreement, may estimate the value of the property as if it had been completed or occupied and may levy a rate calculated on such estimated value which shall become due and payable on the next date on which the general rate becomes due and payable.

67.   Valuer

   Every valuation and the preparation of valuation rolls and supplementary valuation rolls shall be undertaken by a valuer registered under the Land Economy Surveyors, Valuers, Estate Agents and Auctioneers Act.

68.   Method of valuation

   (1) Every valuation roll and supplementary valuation roll shall in respect of every assessable property included therein show separately—

   (a)   the total valuation of the assessable property;

   (b)   the value of the assessable land; and

   (c)   the value of the assessable improvements situated thereon,

and shall also show what are, to the best of the knowledge and belief of the valuer, the name and address of the owner and the situation and area of the land and shall contain a description of the property in such a way as to provide adequate identification of the property and every supplementary valuation roll shall in addition show the valuation, if any, appearing in the valuation roll to which any entry in the supplementary valuation roll refers:

   Provided that where in the opinion of the valuer the total value of any assessable property is less than a sum as may from time to time be prescribed by the Minister by notice published in the Gazette, the words "Minimum value” shall be inserted in the valuation roll or supplementary valuation roll as the case may be.

   (2) The total valuation of an assessable property shall represent the fair price or sum which the property would have been likely to realize if it were in existence and in a reasonable state of repair having regard to the type of property and the area in which it is situated and sold at the time of valuation by a willing vendor to a willing purchaser upon the usual terms and conditions and on the assumption that such property was freehold and that there were no leases or mortgages in existence in respect thereof and disregarding any circumstances of a temporary nature.

   (3) The valuation of the land shall be made on the assumption that it was without improvements other than the clearing of the land of trees, undergrowth or rock or the levelling or draining of the land or works of a similar nature at the time of valuation:

   Provided that account shall be taken—

   (a)   of the nature of any improvement on neighbouring land;

   (b)   of any public services available to the land; and

   (c)   of any provisions of or derived from any law relating to town planning as it affects the land or neighbouring land.

   (4) The value of improvements shall be the difference between the total value of the assessable property and the value of the land.

69.   Supplementary valuation roll to be part of main roll

   Every supplementary valuation roll shall be deemed to be part of, and to be included in, the valuation roll last compiled in accordance with section 65 and where any entry relating to any assessable property appears in a valuation roll the former entry shall be deemed to have been deleted and superseded by the latter entry as from the effective date of the supplementary valuation roll:

   Provided that where the entry is made in a supplementary valuation roll, the entries in relation to such property shall be deemed to be deleted from the valuation roll.

70.   Alteration of valuation roll

   The Council may, as often as it considers, cause a valuation roll or a supplementary valuation roll for the time being in force to be altered for any of the following purposes—

   (a)   to correct any clerical error not affecting any valuation;

   (b)   to correct any error as to, or to record any change in, the name or address of owner;

   (c)   to correct any error in the description of any assessable property provided that there is no alteration in value; and

   (d)   to correct the description of the situation of any assessable property in consequence of the naming or renaming of a street or through any other similar causes.

71.   Correction of errors

    The valuer may include in any supplementary roll an entry correcting any error in the valuation roll then in force and the effective date of the correction shall be that of the original entry.

72.   Effective date of supplementary valuation roll

   (1) Any assessable property included in a supplementary valuation roll shall be liable to assessment upon the valuation shown therein from the date when the last proceeding valuation roll became effective.

   (2) Any improvements or part thereof included in a supplementary valuation roll shall be liable to assessment upon the new valuation shown therein from the date that a certificate of occupation or completion was issued.

   (3) Any improvements or part thereof included in a supplementary valuation roll shall be liable to assessment upon the new valuation shown therein from the date upon which the cause of the increase or decrease in value was effective.

   (4) Any assessable property included in a supplementary valuation roll shall be liable for assessment upon the valuation shown therein from the date of the Deed of Conveyance or Registration of Title which affects the change of identity.

   (5) Any assessable property included in a supplementary valuation roll shall be liable for assessment upon the valuation shown therein from the effective date of the alteration of boundaries under which the property was included in the local government area.

   (6) Any property included in a supplementary valuation roll shall cease to be liable for assessment for rating from the date of alteration of the boundaries under which the property was excluded from the local government area.

73.   Powers of entry

   (1) A valuer, duly authorized for the purpose of making a valuation, shall have power to enter at all reasonable times property within the local government area without being liable to any action or other proceeding on account thereof:

   Provided that admission to any dwelling house shall not be demanded as a right unless forty eight hours notice of the intended entry has been given to the occupant.

   (2) Any person who wilfully obstructs a valuer from exercising the powers conferred upon him by this section shall be liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding K5,000 or to imprisonment for a term of six months or both such fine and imprisonment and where the offence continues, to a fine of K1,000 for each day that the offence continues.

74.   Provision of information to valuer

   (1) A valuer, may at any time serve a notice on any person in apparent occupant or charge of, or upon the owner of, any assessable property requiring such persons or owner to supply such information as may reasonably be required by the valuer to enable him correctly to value such property.

   (2) Every person upon whom a notice has been served under subsection (1) shall, within twenty-eight days after the date of such service, supply such information in such form and in such manner as is required by such notice and for the purposes of this subsection a notice served by post shall be deemed to have been served within seven days of posting unless the contrary is proved.

   (3) If any person on whom notice has been served fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with the notice, or wilfully refuses to answer questions to the best of his knowledge and belief, or unknowingly makes or gives any false statement he shall be liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding K5,000 both such fine and imprisonment for a term of six months or both such fine and imprisonment and, where the offence continues, to a fine of K1,000 for each day that the offence continues.

75.   Deposit of valuation roll

   (1) Upon the completion of a supplementary valuation roll the valuer shall—

   (a)   deliver to the Chief Executive Officer or District Commissioner of the Council the said valuation roll signed and dated by him;

   (b)   certify therein that the said valuation roll has been completed by him in accordance with this Act; and

   (c)   specify therein the time of valuation.

   (2) As soon as possible after any valuation roll or supplementary valuation roll has been delivered to him in accordance with subsection (1) the Chief Executive or District Commissioner of the Council shall publish in the Gazette and at least one newspaper circulating in the local government area a notice and may cause an announcement to be made on broadcasting service that the Council, and such valuation roll shall be so open to inspection.

   (3) Any interested person may, without payment, at any time during which the offices of the Council are open for business, inspect such valuation roll and copy information therefrom.

76.   Objection to valuation roll

   (1) Any person who is aggrieved—

   (a)   by the inclusion of any property in, or by the omission of any property from, any valuation roll; or

   (b)   by any rule ascribed in any valuation roll or supplementary valuation roll to any assessable property, or by any other entry made or omitted to be made in the same with respect to any assessable property, may object to the valuer at any time before the expiration of twenty-eight days from the first day on which the rate is payable.

   (2) Any objection given under subsection (1) shall be in writing and shall specify the grounds of the objection.

   (3) Upon receipt of an objection under subsection (1) the valuer—

   (a)   in the case of an objection to the inclusion or omission from the valuation roll of any property may if he thinks fit alter the valuation roll accordingly.

   (b)   In the case of an objection to a valuation shall cause the property in question to be reassessed and may alter the valuation downwards or upwards or confirm the original valuation and shall set out in writing to the person objecting the reasons for such decision.

77.   Valuation rolls to be conclusive evidence

    The valuation on assessable property shown in an uncontested valuation roll or supplementary valuation roll or those valuations in respect of which the decision of a valuation court has been given shall, for the purposes of this Act, be conclusive evidence of the value of properties included in such valuation roll or supplementary valuation roll of properties.

78.   Payment of rate pending the hearing of an objection or an appeal

   The rates levied upon a property in respect of which an objection or appeal has been lodged shall be payable according to the valuation appearing in the valuation roll or supplementary roll pending the determination of the objection or appeal.

79.   Duty to levy rates

   (1) In every financial year a rate shall be made and levied by the Council to meet all liabilities falling to be discharged out of the general fund for which provision is not otherwise made.

   (2) Every rate shall be made and levied upon the assessments appearing in the valuation roll.

   (3) Any rate may be made and levied separately upon the valuation of land and upon the valuation of improvements and such rate may, as regards such separate valuations, differ in the amounts made and levied thereon.

   (4) Notwithstanding subsection (2), the Council may differentiate between areas and between classes of property within the local government area as regards the amount of such rate.

   (5) A minimum charge in such sum as may be prescribed by the Minister for any financial year in respect of any rateable property in respect of any rate made and levied under this section shall be levied in respect of every property to which a minimum value has been ascribed.

80.   Period of rate

   Every rate shall be made in respect of a period commencing immediately after the expiration of the preceding period in respect of which a rate was made and terminating on such date as may be fixed by the Council and, in the case of the last rate to be made in any financial year, the date so fixed shall be the last day of such year.

81.   Date on which rate is payable

   Every rate shall become due on the first day of the rate period and shall become payable on the date in the financial year to which it relates as shall be fixed by the Council:

   Provided that the Council may authorize the payment of any rate in arrears by instalments on such dates during the rate period as it may specify.

82.   Notice of rate

   Notice of the making of every rate shall be given by the Council not less than twenty-one days before the date on which it becomes payable in the Gazette and in a newspaper circulating in the local government area and in such other manner, if any, as the Council may direct and such notice shall specify the instalment dates, if any, upon which such rates may be paid, and the date of termination of the rate period in respect of which it is made.

83.   Remission of rate

   (1) The Council shall remit in full the payment of rates on—

   (a)   vacant and unalienated public land;

   (b)   land and improvements used exclusively for public religious worship;

   (c)   land and improvements used directly and exclusively as a public library or public museum;

   (d)   land and improvements owned by a hospital or other institution for the treatment of the sick;

   (e)   land and improvements owned by an educational institution; and

   (f)   land and improvements owned by a club, society or other institution for the purposes of the sport other than improvements used primarily for activities and directly connected with sport.

   (2) This section shall not apply to any separate buildings used as residences for staff or the use of any premises or part thereof for profit or such other premises as the Minister may, by notice in the Gazette, specify.

84.   Exempted properties

   No rate shall be made or levied in respect of assessable property owned by diplomatic mission as may be approved by the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

85.   Government to pay rates

   The Government shall pay to the Council fifty per centum of the amount of rates on its assessable property.

86.   Payment of rates

   (1) Where the Council has given notice under section 82 of the day on which a rate levied or instalment thereof will become payable, it shall be the duty of every person liable to pay such rate, or instalment thereof, to pay the amount of such rate or instalment thereof to the Council as per the statement issued by the Council.

   (2) The Council shall make a surcharge on any rate remaining unpaid sixty days after the date on which such rate becomes payable, such surcharge shall be payable from the date on which the rate first payable and may be recovered in the like manner.

   (3) The surcharge made under subsection (2) shall be calculated at the rate of four per centum per month or part thereof.

87.   Liability for rates

   (1) The person who at the date the rate becomes due is the owner of any assessable property and shall be liable for the payment of the rate:

   Provided that joint owners of assessable property shall be jointly and severally liable for the payment of the rate.

   (2) In the absence of any agreements to the contrary, the owner shall be entitled to recover from the former rateable owner any rate paid by or recovered from him in respect of ownership of the property by such former owner.

88.   Rates records

   All rates made and levied upon the value of assessable property shall be entered in a form of permanent record to be prepared and maintained by the Council and in addition to any other matters which may be entered therein, shall show in respect of each assessable property—

   (a)   the plot or street number and situation or other identification;

   (b)   the name and address of the owner;

   (c)   the valuation shown in the valuation roll in force on the land and of improvements; and

   (d)   the amount of rates made and levied.

89.   Evidence of rate

   In any proceedings to levy or recover rates or consequent on levying or recovering of any rates, the valuation rolls and rates records and all entries made therein and extracts or certified copies thereof signed by the Chief Executive Officer or District Commissioner of the Council and all copies of any notice required under this Part, shall upon production thereof, be evidence of the levying of such rate and the contents of such extracts, certified copies or notices.

90.   Rate to be a charge upon the property

   (1) Notwithstanding anything to be contrary contained in section 87 and in every case in which a rate has been made and levied upon any property, such rate shall without registration under any law relating to the registration of charges upon land, be a charge upon such property, and the whole amount thereof shall be recoverable from the person who was the owner of such property at the time such rate was made and levied, or from any subsequent owner of such property:

   Provided that a subsequent owner shall become liable for rates due for any period prior to the date of issue of a rate certificate only for the amount stated in the certificate or the amount due whichever is less.

   (2) The Chief Executive Officer or District Commissioner of the Council shall on request by the owner and on payment of a fee to be fixed by the Council give a statement setting out in respect of any property the amount of the rates outstanding on the property at the date of issue and such statement shall be known as rates certificate.

91.   Seizure of property in default

   (1) In addition to any remedy provided under Part VI relating to recovery of debt, if any sum due for any rate levied on any assessable property remains unpaid for a period of three years after the date upon which such sum became payable the Council shall publish a notice in the Gazette and a newspaper circulating in the local government area showing the name and address of the owner, the description of the property, the amount of rates outstanding, requiring the owner to pay the arrears within thirty days of the date of publication of the notice.

   (2) If the arrears are not paid within the stated period in subsection (1) after notice to any mortgagee, the property shall be seized by the Council through a court of law and thereafter sold by public auction in satisfaction of the rate due.

   (3) The Council shall give notice of the sale by advertisement in the Gazette and a newspaper circulating within the local government area.

   (4) The owner may recover possession of the property by paying in full all arrears and expenses incurred by the Council at any time before the sale.

   (5) In the event of sale the Council shall retain out of the proceeds the amount of arrears and surcharge and the costs of sale which shall have priority over any other registered or unregistered interest in the property and shall be charged as trustee to those who may be entitled to the balance, if any, of the proceeds of the sale.

   (6) A sale of a property under the provisions of this section shall pass a good and sufficient title.

   (7) Nothing in this section shall prevent the Council from taking proceedings for recovery by ordinary action in the court.

   (8) No liability for error or irregularity shall attach to the Council or to any employee of the Council arising from the exercise by the Council of powers granted under this section.

PART VIII
GENERAL PROVISIONS RELATING TO THE COUNCIL

92.   Legal proceedings

    Where the Council considers it expedient for the promotion or protection of the interests of the inhabitants of the area, the Council—

   (a)   may prosecute or defend or appear for the proceedings and may institute legal proceedings in its own name; and

   (b)   may, in its own name, make representations in the interests of the inhabitants at any public inquiry under written law.

93.   Documents and notices, etc.

    The Council shall make proper arrangements with respect to keeping any documents and notices which belong to or are in the custody of the Council or any of its officers.

94.   Inspection of documents

   (1) The minutes of proceedings of a meeting of the Council shall be open to the inspection of any person and any such person may make a copy of or extract from the minutes.

   (2) Any person may inspect and make a copy of or an extract from an order for the payment of money made by the Council.

   (3) The accounts or abstracts of accounts of the Council shall be open to the inspection of any member of the Council or any other person and any such member or other person may make a copy of the extract from the accounts or abstracts of accounts therefrom, and copies thereof shall be delivered to any such person on payment of a reasonable sum of each copy.

   (4) A document directed by this section to be open to inspection shall be so open upon payment of a reasonable sum during the Council’s normal hours of business.

   (5) Any person having the custody of any such document who—

   (a)   obstructs any person entitled to inspect the document or to make a copy thereof or extracts therefrom in inspecting the document or making a copy or extract;

   (b)   refuses to give copies or extracts to any person entitled to obtain copies or extracts,

commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding K1,000.

95.   Copies of documents

   Any requirement imposed by any written law that the Council shall keep a document of any description shall be satisfied by the Council keeping a copy of the document.

96.   Reports and returns

   The Council shall send to the Minister such reports and returns and give him such information with respect to their functions as he may require.

97.   Service of notices on the Council

   Any notice, order or other document required to be given to or served on the Council shall be given or served by addressing it to the Council.

98.   Public notices

   A public notice to be given by the Council may be given—

   (a)   by posting the notice in some conspicuous place or places within the area of the Council; and

   (b)   in such other manner, if any, as appears to the Council to be desirable for giving publicity to the notice.

99.   Service of notices by the Council

   (1) Subsections (2), (3) and (4) shall have effect in relation to any notice, order or other document required or authorized by or under any written law to be given to or served on any person by or on behalf of the Council or by an officer of the Council.

   (2) Any such document may be given to or served on the person in question either by delivering it to him, or by leaving it at his proper address, or by sending it by post to him at that address.

   (3) Any such document may—

   (a)   in the case of a body corporate, be given to or served on the secretary of that body; and

   (b)   in the case of a partnership, be given to or served on a partner or a person having the control or management of the partnership business.

   (4) For the purposes of this section the proper address of any person to or on whom a document is to be given or served shall be his last known address, except that—

   (a)   in case of a body corporate or their secretary, it shall be the address of the registered or principal office of that body corporate; and

   (b)   in the case of a partnership or a person having the control or management of the partnership business, it shall be that of the principal office of the partnership,

and for the purposes of this subsection the principal office of a company registered outside Malawi or for a partnership carrying on business outside Malawi shall be their principal office within Malawi.

   (5) For the purpose of enabling any document to be given to or served on the owner or lessee of any premises, the Council may by notice in writing require the occupier of the premises to state the name and address of the owner or lessee, and if the occupier refuses or wilfully neglects to do so, or wilfully mistakes the name and address of the owner or lessee, he shall, unless in the case of a refusal he shows cause to the satisfaction of the court of his refusal, be liable on conviction in respect of each offence to a fine not exceeding K1,000.

   (6) Where the name and address of the owner, lessee or occupier of land to or on whom any document mentioned in subsection (1) above is to be given or served cannot after reasonable inquiry be ascertained, the document may be given or served either by leaving it in the hands of a person who is or appears to be resident or employed on the land or by leaving it conspicuously affixed to some building or object on the land.

   (7) The foregoing provisions of this section shall apply to a document, which is to be given or served in any proceedings in the land.

100.   Authentication of documents

   (1) Any notice, order or other document which the Council is authorized or required to give, make or issue may be signed on behalf of the Council by the Chief Executive Officer or District Commissioner of the Council.

   (2) Any documents purporting to bear the signature of the Chief Executive Officer or District Commissioner of the Council shall be deemed, until the contrary is proved, to have been duly given, made or issued by the authority of the Council.

101.   Powers of entry

   Subject to the Constitution, any person duly authorized in writing for the purpose by the Council may at all reasonable times enter any premises within the local government area for the purpose of the performance of the functions of the Council specified in such authorization:

   Provided that admission to any dwelling house shall not be demanded as of right unless forty-eight hours’ notice of the intended entry has been given to the occupant.

102.   Obstruction of officers on duty

   Any person who—

   (a)   willfully obstructs any officer of the Council in the execution of his duty as such; or

   (b)   being the occupier of premises, prevents the owner of such premises from complying with any lawful requirement of the Council; or

   (c)   being the occupier of premises, on demand refuses or willfully mistakes the name of the owner of such premises or of the person receiving or authorized to receive the rents of such premises,

shall be guilty of an offence and be liable on summary conviction to a fine of K1,000 or to imprisonment for a term of three months or to both such fine and imprisonment.

103.   By-laws

   The Council may make by-laws for the good rule and government of the whole or any part of the local government area or, as the case may be for the prevention and suppression of nuisances therein and for any other purpose.

104.   Procedure for by-laws

   (1) The by-laws shall be made under the common seal of the Council and shall not have effect until they are approved by the Minister.

   (2) At least fourteen days before application for approval of the by-laws is made, notice of the intention to apply for approval shall be published in the Gazette and in one or more local newspapers circulating in the area to which the by-laws are to apply and such notice shall include representations in writing from any person wishing to make any observation upon or an objection to such proposed by-law. A copy of every such representation or objection shall be forwarded by the Council to the Minister.

   (3) For at least fourteen days before application for approval is made, a copy of the by-laws are made, and shall be deposited at the offices of the Council by whom the by-laws are made, and shall be open to public inspection without payment of any fee during the Council’s normal hours of business.

   (4) The Council by whom the by-laws are made shall, on application, furnish to any person a copy of the by-laws, or of any part thereof, on payment of such sum as the Council may determine.

   (5) The Minister may approve or refuse to approve any by-laws, and may fix the date on which the by-laws are to come into operation and if no date is so fixed the by-law shall come into operation at the expiration of fourteen days from the date of its approval.

   (6) A copy of the by-laws, when approved, shall be published in the Gazette and shall be printed and deposited at the offices of the Council by whom the by-laws are made, and shall at all reasonable hours be open to public inspection without payment, and a copy thereof shall, on application, be furnished to any person on payment of such sum, for every copy, as the Council may determine.

105.   Offences against by-laws

   By-laws may provide that persons contravening the by-laws shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding the sum of K2,000, and in the case of a continuing offence a further fine not exceeding K200 for each day during which the offence continues after conviction thereof or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months or to both such fine and imprisonment.

106.   Evidence of by-laws

   The production of a printed copy of the by-law to be made by the Council upon which is endorsed a certificate purporting to be signed by the Chief Executive Officer or District Commissioner of the Council starting—

   (a)   that the by-law was made by the Council;

   (b)   that the copy is true copy of the by-law;

   (c)   that on a specified date the by-law was approved by the Minister; and

   (d)   the date, if any, fixed by the confirming authority for the coming into operation of the by-law,

shall be prima facie evidence of the facts stated in the certificate, and without proof of the handwriting or official position of any person purporting to sign the certificate.

107.   Computation of time

   Where the day or the last day on which any thing is required or permitted to be done by or virtue of any provision to which this section applies is a Saturday or Sunday, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Good Friday, Martyrs’ Day or a public holiday or a day appointed for public mourning the requirement or permission shall be deemed to relate to the first day thereafter which is not one of the days specified in this section.

PART IX
MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

108.   Status

   (1) If, on a petition presented to the President by the Council praying for the grant of another status he may by the charter confer on that municipality the status, dignity and title of a city and thereupon the Council of the municipality shall bear the name of the Council of the city.

   (2) A petition for a charter under subsection (1) shall not be presented except on a resolution passed by not less than two-thirds of the members voting thereon at a meeting of the Council specially convened for that purpose.

109.   Honorary appointments

   (1) The Council may confer such status, freedom, award or honour as the Council considers appropriate on any person, not being a member of the Council, who, or on any organization which, renders or has rendered eminent service to the Council or its local government area.

   (2) A receipt of the status, freedom, award or honour shall have the right to attend and take part in any civil ceremony or event of the Council but shall not have a right to attend meetings of the Council or any committee of the Council or to receive any allowance or other remuneration.

   (3) The Council shall not confer any status, freedom, award or honour under this section except by resolution of the Council passed by two-thirds of the members of the Council voting thereon at the meeting of the Council convened specially for that purpose.

   (4) The Chief Executive Officer or District Commissioner of the Council shall keep a register of every receipt of the status, freedom, award or honour conferred under this section.

   (5) The Council may spend from its revenue such reasonable sums as it considers fit to meet the cost of conferring any status, freedom, award or honour under this section.

110.   Inquiries

   (1) Where the Minister is authorized to hold an inquiry under this Act relating to the functions of the Council, he may cause a local inquiry to be held.

   (2) For the purpose of any such local inquiry, the person appointed to hold the inquiry may by summons require any person to attend, at a time and place stated in the summons, to give evidence or to produce any documents in his custody or under his control which relate to any matter in question at the inquiry, and may take evidence on oath, and for that purpose administer oaths, or may, instead of administering an oath, require the person examined to make a solemn affirmation:

   Provided that—

   (a)   no person shall be required, in obedience to such summons, to attend to give evidence or to produce any such documents, unless the necessary expenses of his attendance are paid or tendered to him; and

   (b)   nothing in this section shall empower the person holding the inquiry to require the production of the title or any instrument relating to the title of any land not being the property of the Council.

   (3) Every person who refuses or deliberately fails to attend in obedience to summons issued under this section, or to give evidence to summons issued under this section, or to give evidence, or who deliberately alters, suppresses, conceals, destroys, or refuses to produce any book or other document which he is required or is liable to be required to produce for the purpose of this section, shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding K2,000 or to imprisonment for a term of three months or to both such fine and imprisonment.

   (4) Where the Minister caused an inquiry to be held under this section, the costs incurred by him in relation to the inquiry including such reasonable sum as he may determine for the services of any officer engaged in the inquiry shall be defrayed under section 113 of this Act.

   (5) The Minister causing an inquiry to be held under this section may make orders as to the costs of the parties at the inquiry.

111.   Transfer of staff

   (1) The Minister may by order make provision for the transfer to the employment of a successor Council of any person who is the holder of any office or employment under the Council amalgamated with another Council for the protection of the interests of such persons.

   (2) Any such order shall include such provision with respect to any person who is transferred under the order to a successor Council so as to secure that so long as he continues in the employment of the successor Council he enjoys terms and conditions not less favourable than those which he enjoyed immediately before the date of transfer.

   (3) For the purpose of this section service with a successor Council shall be deemed to run from the date on which the officer was first employed by the Council and broken service shall be aggregated.

112.   Penalties

   Where no other penalty is specified for an offence under this Act the penalty shall be a fine not exceeding K2,000 and in the case of a continuing offence a further fine not exceeding K200 for each day that the offence continues after conviction or a term of imprisonment not exceeding two years or to both such fine and imprisonment.

113.   Expenses

   There shall be defrayed out of monies provided by Parliament—

   (a)   any expenses incurred by the Minister with respect to provision of this Act;

   (b)   any increase attributable to the provisions of this Act in the sum payable out of moneys so provided under any other written law.

114.   Repeal and Savings

   (1) The following Acts are repealed—

   (a)   the Local Government (Urban Areas) Act; and

   (b)   the Local Government (District Councils) Act.

   (2) Any subsidiary legislation made under the Acts repealed by subsection (1), in force immediately before the commencement of this Act—

   (a)   shall remain in force unless in conflict with this Act, and shall be deemed to be subsidiary legislation made under this Act; and

   (b)   may be replaced, amended or repealed by subsidiary legislation made under this Act.

   (3) Any agreement or similar arrangement made pursuant to the provisions of the Acts repealed by subsection (1) shall continue in force until terminated in accordance with the terms and conditions thereof.

FIRST SCHEDULE

LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS

Local Government Area

Council

Blantyre City

Blantyre City Council

Lilongwe City

Lilongwe City Assembly

Mzuzu City

Mzuzu City Council

Zomba City

Zomba City Council

Kasungu Municipality

Kasungu Municipal Council

Luchenza Municipality

Luchenza Municipal Council

Balaka District

Balaka District Council

Blantyre District

This section of the article is only available for our subscribers. Please click here to subscribe to a subscription plan to view this part of the article.