Monuments Act 9th August, 1965
Arrangement of sections
Monuments Advisory Council
Establishment and constitution of Monuments Advisory Council
Functions of the Council
Attendance at meetings
Declaration and Preservation of Protected Monuments and Relics
Declaration of protected monuments and relics
Acquisition of rights in or trusteeship over protected monuments and relics
Preservation of protected monuments or relics by agreement
Owners under disability
Enforcement of agreement
Compulsory acquisition of protected monuments or relics
Custody of protected monuments or relics
Maintenance of protected monuments or relics
Discovery, Excavation and removal of Monuments and relics
Notification of discovery of monument or relic
No excavation or exploration without the consent of the Minister
Right of access
Erection of tablets
Relinquishment of control
Protection of public officers, etc
An Act to make provision for the preservation and protection of places of distinctive natural beauty and of sites, buildings and objects of archeological, historical or other interest and to establish an Advisory Council to advise the Minister on the matters aforesaid and to provide for the declaration of protected monuments and relics and acquisition thereof by the Government and the acquisition by the Government of rights and trusteeship over monuments and relics and for the preservation thereof by agreement with the owner. And to provide for the procedure to be followed upon the discovery, excavation and removal of monuments and relics and for matters connected therewith and incidental thereto.
[9th August, 1965]
1. This Act may be cited as the Monuments Act.
2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—
«council» means the Monuments Advisory Council established by section 3;
«maintenance» includes the fencing, covering in, repairing, restoring, and cleansing of any monument or relic and the surroundings thereof, and the doing of any act which may be necessary for the purpose of maintaining a monument or relic or of securing convenient access thereto;
«monument» means any area of land which has distinctive or beautiful scenery or which contains rare or distinctive or beautiful vegetation or any area of land, structure, building, erection, ruin, stone circle, monolith, altar, pillar, statue, memorial, grave, tumulus, cairn, place of interment, pit dwelling, trench, fortification, excavation, working, kiln, rock, rock shelter, midden, mound, cave, grotto, rock sculpture, rock painting, wall painting or inscription or any other site or article of a similar kind or associated therewith which is of archaeological, geological, anthropological, ethnological, prehistorical, historical, artistic or scientific value or interest or any remains thereof and includes—
the site on which any monument or group of monuments was discovered or exists; and
such portion of land adjoining such site as may be required for the maintenance of or otherwise for the preservation of such monument or group of monuments;
«protected monument» means a monument which is protected under section 7;
«protected relic» means a relic which is protected under section 7;
«relic» means any fossil of any kind and any implement, ornament or article (not being a monument) which is of archaeological, geological, anthropological, ethnological, prehistorical, historical, artistic or scientific value or interest.
Monuments Advisory Council
3. (1) There is hereby established a Monuments Advisory Council which shall consist of a Chairman and not less than five other members, all of whom shall be appointed by the Minister.
(2) The members of the Council, other than the Chairman, shall be—
a representative of the Ministry of Local Government;
a representative of the Ministry of Education;
a representative of the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources;
a representative of the Ministry of Information and Tourism;
a representative of The Museums Trustees of Malawi established under the Museums Act;
such other persons as the Minister may determine.
(3) The Chairman, the Members of the Council, appointed in a representative capacity under subsection (2) (a), (b), (c) and, (d) should hold office during the Minister’s pleasure and any other members of the Council shall hold office for a period of three years, and any such other member shall be eligible to be reappointed as a member of the Council.
(4) The Minister shall appoint a public officer of the Ministry of Local Government to be Secretary to the Council.
4. The duty of the Council shall be to advise the Minister on matters affecting the preservation or protection of monuments or relics.
5. The Council may, at the discretion of the Chairman, invite any person or persons to attend any meeting of the Council and such person or persons may take part in the proceedings of that meeting but shall not be entitled to vote thereat.
6. The Chairman of the Council shall report to the Council at each meeting thereof the action taken by the Minister in respect of any matter on which the Council has advised the Minister.
Declaration and Preservation of Protected Monuments and Relics
7. The Minister may from time to time, on the recommendation of the Council, by notice published in the Gazette, declare any monument or group of monuments or any relic or collection or relics to be a protected monument or a protected relic, as the case may be, for the purposes of this Act:
Provided that before making any such declaration the Minister shall—
cause to be published in the Gazette a notice declaring his intention so to do and stating that representations in writing with respect to such proposal may be submitted by any person who considers that he has an interest in the monument, group of monuments relic or collection of relics concerned to the Secretary for Local Government within one month of the publication of the notice;
consider any representations with respect to such proposals which may have been received by the Secretary for Local Government within that period.
8. The Minister may, on behalf of the Government—
purchase, lease or otherwise acquire any protected monument or protected relic;
accept, as trustee, any protected monument or protected relic, or any estate or interest therein, which the owner desires to give, or has bequeathed, to the Government;
accept by way of gift, loan or bequest any protected monument or protected relic;
lend any protected relic to any museum or public institution;
undertake the excavation of any monument or relic ;
receive voluntary contributions towards the cost of maintaining any protected monument or protected relic.
9. (1) The Minister may enter into a written agreement with the owner of any protected monument or protected relic for the protection or preservation of such monument or relic.
(2) An agreement under this section may provide for all or any of the following matters—
the maintenance of such monument or relic;
the custody of such monument or relic and the duties of any person who may be employed in connexion therewith;
the restriction of the owner's right to develop, alter, use, destroy, remove or deface any such monument or relic or to build on or near the site of such monument or relic;
the facilities of access to be permitted to the public or to any portion of the public and to persons deputed by the owner, the Minister or a local authority to inspect or maintain such monument or relic;
the notice to be given to the Minister in case the land on which such monument or relic is situated is offered for sale by the owner, and the right to be reserved to the Government to purchase such land or any specified portion of such land at its market value;
the payment of any expenses incurred by the owner or by the Government or by a local authority in connexion with the protection and preservation of such monument or relic;
the procedure relating to the settlement of any dispute arising out of the agreement;
any matter connected with the preservation of such monument or relic which is the proper subject of agreement between the owner and the Minister;
the removal, subject to this Act, of such monument or relic to a place of safe custody.
(3) The terms of an agreement under this section may be altered from time to time with the consent of the owner.
(4) The Minister or the owner may terminate an agreement under this section by giving six months' notice in writing to the other of them of his intention so to do.
(5) Any agreement under this section shall be binding on any persons claiming to be the owner of any monument or relic to which it relates through or under a party by whom or on whose behalf the agreement was executed.
(6) Any rights acquired by the Minister in respect of expenses incurred in protecting or preserving such monument or relic shall not be affected by the termination of an agreement under this section.
10. If the owner is unable, by reason of infancy or other disability, to act for himself, the person legally competent to act on his behalf may exercise the powers conferred upon an owner by section 9.
11. (1) If the Minister apprehends that the owner or occupier of a protected monument or protected relic intends to act or to permit any other person to act in breach of any restriction imposed in terms of an agreement made under section 9 for the protection or preservation of a protected monument or of a protected relic, the Minister may make an order prohibiting any such action.
(2) If an owner or other person who is bound by an agreement for the protection, preservation or maintenance of a protected monument or of a protected relic under section 9 refuses to do any act which is, in the opinion of the Minister, necessary to such protection, preservation or maintenance, or neglects to do any such act within such time as may be fixed by the Minister, or fails to comply with the requirements of an order make under subsection (1), the Minister may authorize any person to do any such act and the expense of doing any such act, or such portion as the owner may be liable to pay under the agreement, may be recovered from the owner.
12. (1) If the Minister apprehends that a protected monument is in danger of being destroyed, injured or allowed to fall into decay, or that the natural beauty of a protected monument is threatened by any proposed charge of use or development, he may make a report in that behalf to the Minister responsible for Land and it shall be lawful for that second named Minister to acquire any protected monument, in respect of which a report may have been made, under the Lands acquisition Act or the Land Act, as if the preservation of such monument were a public purpose within the meaning of that Act.
(2) If the Minister apprehends that a protected relic is in danger of being destroyed, injured, or allowed to fall into decay he may compulsorily purchase such relic from the owner thereof, if such owner can reasonably be ascertained, and shall pay to such owner such amount, if any, as the Minister shall deem fit having regard to the state of preservation of such relic; if the owner of such relic cannot reasonably be ascertained the Minister may acquire such relic and upon such acquisition shall have a good title thereto against the whole world including the owner thereof.
(3) The powers of compulsory acquisition and purchase conferred upon the Minister responsible for Land and upon the Minister, respectively, under subsections (1) and (2) shall not be exercised in respect of any protected monument or protected relic which is the subject of a subsisting agreement entered into under section 9.
(4) The powers of compulsory acquisition or purchase conferred upon the Minister responsible for Land and upon the Minister, respectively, under subsections (1) and (2), shall not be exercised unless the owner or other person competent to enter into an agreement under section 9 has failed within such period as the Minister may fix in that behalf to enter into an agreement under the said section or has terminated or given notice of his intention to terminate such an agreement.
13. The Minister may remove or cause to be removed to a place of safe custody any protected monument or protected relic acquired or purchased under section 12, which is not the subject of a subsisting agreement entered into under section 9.
14. Every protected monument or protected relic in respect of which the Minister has acquired any of the rights mentioned in section 8, or which has been compulsorily acquired or purchased protected under section 12, shall be maintained by the local authority within whose area of jurisdiction such protected monument or protected relic, as the case may be, is situated, unless the Minister shall otherwise direct:
Provided that where any such protected monument or protected relic has been removed to a place of safe custody under section 13 the person in whose custody such protected monument or protected relic, as the case may be, is, for the time being, shall be responsible for its maintenance.
Discovery Excavation and Removal of Monuments and Relics
15. The discoverer of any monument or relic shall, without delay, send to the Secretary of the Council a notice in writing, setting forth the fact of the discovery of such monument or relic together with the precise site of such monument or the place in which such relic shall have been found, together with the circumstances of the discovery and such other details of such monument or relic as may be prescribed.
16. (1) No person shall knowingly and without the written consent of the Minister—
make any alteration to, or destroy or damage any monument or relic or part thereof; or
move from its original site or export from Malawi any monument or relic or part thereof; or
carry out any cultivation or mining project or other work so as to cause, or so as to be likely to cause, injury or disturbance to any protected monument or protected relic or any part thereof.
(2) Any person who desires to remove from its original site, or to export from Malawi, any monument or relic or any part thereof shall, when applying to the Minister for his consent, supply to the Minister a drawing or photograph of the monument or relic or part thereof in question and shall state the exact locality in which it is situated and the place to which and the purpose for which he desires to remove or export it.
(3) The grant or refusal of his consent by the Minister under this section shall be in the absolute discretion of the Minister and no appeal shall lie from the refusal of the Minister to give his written consent under this section. The Minister may at any time, without assigning any reason therefor, cancel any written consent given under this section and no appeal shall lie from such cancellation.
(4) Any person who contravenes this section shall be guilty of an offence.
17. Subject to any rules made by the Minister under section 23, members of the public shall have a right of access to any protected monument or any protected relic which is kept in a place of safe custody under section 13.
18. The Minister may take such steps as he may consider necessary for the erection in suitable places of tablets relating to protected monuments or protected relics or giving information about historical events which have occurred at or near such monuments or relics.
19. (1) The Minister may, where rights have been acquired in respect of any protected monument or protected relic under section 8, relinquish the rights so acquired to the person who would for the time being be the owner of any such monument or relic if such rights had not been acquired.
(2) The Minister may by notice published in the Gazette declare that any monument or relic declared to be a protected monument or protected relic under section 7 shall cease to be a protected monument or protected relic.
20. Save as is provided in this Act. any person who—
knowingly destroys, removes, injures, alters, defaces or imperils any monument or relic;
defaces, damages or destroys any tablet erected under the powers conferred by section 18;
fails to comply with section 15;
contravenes an order made under section 11;
contravenes or fails to comply with any of the terms or conditions of a permit or written consent granted or given under this Act;
knowingly in any application to the Minister for a permit or written consent under this Act makes any statement which is false in any material respect,
shall be guilty of an offence.
21. (1) Any person who commits an offence under this Act shall be liable to a fine of ¤_0.
(2) If any person is convicted of an offence under this Act, which offence has resulted in damage to, or the destruction or removal of, any monument or relic, or of any part thereof, or of any tablet erected under section 18, the court may, in addition to any other penalty which it may impose, order such person to pay such sum as the court may determine for repairing such damage or, in respect of the value of any article or thing destroyed or removed or may, in the case of any article or thing which has been removed and which is still in the custody of any person, order such person to restore such article or thing to the owner thereof or to any other person in whose custody such article or thing was placed under an agreement made under section 9.
22. No suit for compensation and no criminal proceedings shall lie against any public officer or local authority or officer of a local authority in respect of any act done in good faith, or intended so to be done, in the exercise of any power conferred under this Act.
23. The Minister may make rules for carrying this Act into effect, and in particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may provide for—
anything which is required to be prescribed under this Act;
regulating the access of members of the public to any protected monument or protected relic and prescribing access fees if any, which may be charged for such access;
safeguarding protected monuments and protected relics from disfigurement, alteration or destruction;
regulating the excavation of monuments and the digging on search for relics.