MALAWI:   NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATIONS BILL, 2000                                                     MALAWI SDNP
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A    B I L L

An act to provide for the rights and obligations of Non-Governmental Organisations in Malawi, to promote the development and values of strong independent civil society, to provide for the establishment, functions and powers of the Non-Governmental Organisations Board of Malawi and the rights of the public to access information with respect to registered organisations and to provide for matters incidental thereto or connected therewith. 

ENACTED by the Parliament of Malawi as follows:- 

Short Title and Commencement 
1. This Act may be cited as a Non-Governmental Organisation Act 2000 
and shall come into operation on such date as the Minister may appoint by notice published in the Gazette. 
2. In this Act, unless the content otherwise requires - "Board" means the  Non-Governmental Organisation of Malawi established under section 6;
"designated NGO Co-ordinating body" means an independent institution representing Non-Governmental Organisations in Malawi established under section 24; 

"exempt organisation" means an NGO exempted from the provisions of this Act under section 5; 

"international NGO" means an institution or organisation for public benefit purposes, established under the laws of a country other than Malawi, or established under a treaty or convention and conduction some or all of its activities in Malawi; 

"NGO" means a Non-Governmental Organisation constituted for a public benefit purpose to which the provisions of this Act are applicable. 

"public benefit purposes" means organisational purposes involving developmental and charitable purposes including but not limited to, educational, health, welfare, advocacy, cultural, civic, social, recreational, scientific, environmental, or other similar objects for the benefit of the general public, a section thereof or members of the organisation but excluding involving the activities of a church or religion, trade union, employers organisation or political party; 

"public fundraising" means the soliciting from the general public in Malawi, for public benefit purposes, of contributions of value, whether in cash or in kind, but for the avoidance of doubt does not include the kind of soliciting directed to member, office bearers or other persons who have a relationship with the organisation concerned; 

"Registration of NGOs" means the Registrar appointed under section 19; 

Objectives of the Act 
3. The objectives of this Act are:- 

a) to provide the development of a strong independent civil society in Malawi and to facilitate the formation and effective function of NGOs for public benefit purposes; 

b) to create a conducive environment for NGO development through Government provision of incentives; 

c) to promote donor and public confidence in the NGO sector, and to encourage the development of an NGO code of conduct, incorporating principles of fiduciary integrity, public accountability, democratic decision-making, developmental synergy, non-discrimination and beneficiary 

d) to facilitate a relationship between NGOs and the Government involving constructive collaboration and partnership in furtherance of the public interest; and 

e) to affirm the human rights and provisions enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi. 

Application of the Act 
4. Save as otherwise provided in this Act, the provisions of this Act 
shall apply to an NGO within Malawi which fulfils the following 
a) it has written constitution or a governing instrument; 

b) it is not established, administered or controlled directly or indirectly by the Government of Malawi, or any other Government; 

c) it applies all its funds and resources for public benefit purposed only; 

d) it does not transfer or distribute, whether directly or indirectly, any benefit to its members, donors, trustees, directors or other officers, or their associates or next of kin, except if such benefits represent:- 

(i) reasonable remuneration for services actually rendered; or 

(ii) benefits conferred, without favour or discrimination, by reason of the beneficiary being part of an eligible group or category entitled to benefit in accordance with the public purpose of the organisation concerned; 

e) it is not for private profit or gain for the persons controlling or managing the affairs of the NGO without prejudice to the rights and privileges of employees; 

f) it is managed or controlled by a committee, Board or Trust; 

g) it serves all eligible people, regardless of age, gender, tribe, race, religion, creed, sex, political affiliation, nationality, disability or being a member of a minority group; 

h) it is not a church or religion organisation of a purely evangelistic or proselytizing nature; 

(i) it is not a political party, trade union or a social club created to pursue the pleasures of its members; 

Exempt Organisation 
5. Subject to the provisions of section 20 (2), this Act shall not apply 
to an organisation which is:- 
a) informal, and does not have a written constitution; 

b) excluded so that it belongs to a category of organisations deemed not to fall within the ambit of this Act; 

c) established, administered or controlled by or on behalf of the Malawi Government or other Government; or 

d) specially exempted, so that the Board has determined in its discretion that such organisation is to be exempted from all or some of the requirements of this Act.

B. No. 19
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