We the people of Malawi living in the United Kingdom and currently gathered here in Derby on this day, Saturday, 01st of August 2015, honouring and respecting the vision of our brothers and sisters who met on 29th September 1992 in London where they adopted the original MAUK Constitution, recognising the significance of promoting and sharing cultural values, realising the essence of togetherness, common cohesion and providing a common platform where members can interact, share and debate on issues of national importance and general welfare, acknowledging that united we stand and divided we fall, and observing that the Malawi Diaspora population has grown in the UK in recent times and noting the need to move and align with changing times, do hereby unreservedly resolve and subscribe to form ourselves into an Association whose Objectives, Functions, Mandates and Practices shall be as enshrined in this document hereinafter referred to as "The Constitution."
1.0 Name and Establishment
As stipulated above in the Preamble, there is hereby established an association known as the Malawi Association UK (MAUK) hereinafter referred to as “The Association”). The Association shall have power to sue or be sued in its own name in order to enforce any rights, duties and obligations under this Constitution.
Malawi Association UK (MAUK) shall be a non – political organisation in order to ensure, sustain and safeguard its neutrality in the carrying out of its activities.
Notwithstanding paragraph two above, it shall be within the remit of the Association to make any objective non partisan commentary on any national issues that affect its members or has any bearing on the emancipation of the objectives enshrined in this Constitution
2.0 Repeal of Old Constitution
By Resolution of MAUK Executive Committee and as approved by MAUK General meeting on 1st day of August 2015 the old MAUK Constitution established in London on 29th September 1992 is hereby repealed in its entirety and henceforth replaced by this Constitution
In this constitution, unless the context otherwise provides;
Association: Shall mean the Malawi Association UK and all its affiliate Regional Associations
Regional Associations: These are Malawian Associations affiliated to MAUK and based in various parts of the United Kingdom.
AGM: Shall mean the Annual General Meeting or Annual General Assembly of the Association
Committee: Shall mean the Executive Committee of the Association
Commission: Shall mean the Charities Commission of the United Kingdom which body regulates the activities and operations of charity organisations in the UK.
EGM: Means Extra-Ordinary General Meeting of the Association
Industry: In this constitution, Industry refers to the charities industry ie, current trends and practices being followed by other Charity organisations in the UK.
Special Resolution: Means a unanimous Resolution passed by all the members of the Association.
Welfare: Means the general well-being, happiness, health and prosperity of a person or community as a whole. With reference to this Constitution, welfare shall mean the Association’s mandate to help members with regard to, but not necessarily limited to:
Training: Securing and organising training for members either by itself or in conjunction with Partner organisations;
Employment: Facilitating access to information and or providing guidance and support to members in their efforts to secure employment such as CV preparation or provision of Reference;
Health: Visiting members either at home or in hospital during ill–health;
Bereavement: Offering help and support during a member’s bereavement;
Incarceration or Deportation: Offering help and support to members during incarceration or deportation. This may involve the Association getting in touch or liaising with relevant authorities to ensure that the concerned member is accorded due process of the law
- To promote and enhance the welfare of Malawians living in the United Kingdom with particular focus on, but not limited to, facilitating access or offering information on personal development opportunities for Malawian Community on issues such as training, employment, health or bereavement matters
- To promote and enhance cohesion and cooperation among Malawians through building up of partnerships and networks and organising exchange programmes with other associations, agencies, and /or organisations who share or carry out similar objectives and values.
- To solicit funding and any other resources for and on behalf of the Association.
- To organise, facilitate and promote recreational events or otherwise with a view to promoting the interests or positive image of Malawian culture
- To initiate, identify and or carry out projects that target to benefit members of the Malawian Community whether in UK or Malawi.
- Membership of the Association shall be voluntary and open to all individuals who are Malawian nationals as well as non Malawian nationals, provided they subscribe to the objectives of the Association and any rules made under this Constitution
- Members registered with Regional Associations in the United Kingdom shall automatically be recognised as members of the Malawi Association UK
- Notwithstanding the above paragraphs, membership shall also be open to any body corporate or legal entities that may be interested in taking part in the activities of the Association
- The Committee shall have the mandate to periodically consider whether or not to introduce membership fee, and if so, by how much, having taken all relevant circumstances into consideration such as the Association’s state of finance or members ability to pay. Where membership fee has been introduced, the Committee shall stipulate the benefits that shall be enjoyed by being a fully paid up member.
- Any member shall have the right to voluntarily withdraw from membership of the Association.
- The Executive Committee of MAUK shall have the power to cancel or revoke any person’s membership of the Association.
6.0 Executive Committee
- There shall be an elected Executive Committee of the Association which shall have all Executive and Administrative powers in order to manage the day to day affairs of the Association.
- Whenever a vacancy arises among the Executive during its term of office, the Executive Committee shall, within two months from when the vacancy arose, convene an Executive Meeting in order to fill up the vacancy from among the Executive members to perform the role until the next General election.
- The Executive Committee shall meet as and when necessary, but not less than TWO times a year.
- The Secretary General shall keep a record of each and every meeting proceedings and shall ensure that
- Agenda of the Executive Committee meeting and any other Association meeting is circulated to members with no less than two weeks advance notice.
- Decisions of the Executive Committee meetings shall be reached by means of a simple majority vote.
- With regard to quorum, Five (5) of Executive Committee members present including at least TWO (2) Regional Association Representatives shall constitute quorum for carrying out meetings of the Executive Committee
- Members of the Executive Committee shall be non partisan in the discharge of their duties to ensure compliance with neutrality of the Association as stipulated in this Constitution. Where a member of the Executive Committee decides or becomes affiliated to a Political Party or any organisation related to Politics and such member actually becomes or takes part in active politics then the position of such member in the Executive Committee shall become untenable due to perceived conflict of interest and such member shall automatically be deemed to have resigned their position.
7.0 Composition of the Executive Committee
The Committee shall consist of the following members:
- Secretary General
- Four (4) Committee Members one of whom shall be Representative of the Youth
- Chairpersons (or their representative) of Regional Associations who are affiliated to Malawi Association UK
8.0 Duties of Office Bearers
A) The Chairperson shall:
- Preside over all meetings of the Executive Committee and the General Assembly.
- Provide leadership both within the Committee and the Association at large.
- Assign or delegate responsibilities and tasks to any member of the Executive as deemed necessary
- Ensure that the activities and practices of the Executive Committee and the Association as a whole uphold the constitution.
- Be an authorised signatory to all accounts held by the Association.
- Be the principal spokesman on all matters pertaining to or affecting the Association, provided that he may delegate this responsibility to the Vice Chairman or the Secretary General or any other member of the Executive Committee as deemed appropriate.
- Prepare and present the Annual Activities Report of the Association to the General Assembly
- Facilitate, attend and act as Secretary to the Board of Trustees meetings.
B) The Vice-Chairperson shall:
Assist the Chairman in the carrying out of his duties described above.
- Perform or undertake any such tasks as may from time to time be delegated to him by the chairman.
- Represent the Chairman at Board of Trustees meetings in the absence of the Chairman or if delegated by the Chairman.
C) The Secretary General shall:
- Be responsible for keeping all records of the meetings of Executive Committee and the General Assembly.
- Be responsible for informing or notifying members and convening of all meetings of the Association.
- Be an authorised signatory to the Accounts of the Association.
- Be responsible for communicating relevant information to the membership of the Association.
- Represent the Chairman or Vice Chairman at Board of Trustees meetings if delegated to by the Chairman or Vice Chairman.
D) The Treasurer shall:
- Be the principal officer responsible for managing all financial transactions of the Association and also for maintaining record(s) of all the assets of the Association
- Be responsible for preparing and presenting the Association's statements of accounts to the General Assembly and the Executive Committee whenever required and or requested to do so
- Be responsible for financial planning and production of an annual budget in addition to monitoring of the same throughout the year.
- Be an authorised signatory to the accounts of the Association.
- Be the main overseer ensuring that all financial rules are adhered to including that Association’s cheque payments are always approved by two authorised signatories.
E) Other Committee Members:
The other Committee Members shall perform or undertake any other functions and / or duties as may be assigned or delegated to them by the Chairperson or Executive Committee.
9.0 Term of Office of Executive Committee
- Office bearers shall hold office for a period of Two (2) years after which time fresh elections shall be held to elect new office bearers. Office bearers shall be eligible for re-election at the expiration of their term of office.
- All office bearers shall be eligible to hold office for no more than three consecutive terms of office.
- The Association's calendar year shall run from August to July of the following year.
10.0 Board of Trustees
- There shall be a Board of Trustees whose composition shall comprise of up to seven members (Trustees) who shall be appointed by the Executive Committee and approved by the members at a General Meeting.
- The Trustees shall hold office for a period of Three (3) years from the date that their appointment was approved by the General Meeting. Members of the Board of Trustees shall be eligible for re-appointment after their term of office has expired.
- Members of the Board of Trustees shall be appointed on the basis of their personal knowledge, experience and or expertise in any area of life endeavour that the Executive Committee thinks will benefit the overall operations or activities of the Association.
- Once appointed, the Trustees shall strive to become informed ambassadors and advocates in order to increase external recognition of the Association and to forge new connections that help sustain and increase both public and private support for the overall activities of the Association
- The role of members of the Board of Trustees shall be advisory ensuring that through regular conversations and interaction with the Executive Committee the Trustees are providing active fiduciary oversight of the Association’s programmes including long term range of plan(s) of activities to ensure the abiding vitality and prosperity of the Association.
- The Board of Trustees shall meet at least twice a year and one of such meetings shall be a joint meeting with the MAUK Executive Committee in order to share the common vision and future strategy of MAUK programme of activities.
- The Board of Trustees meetings shall be arranged, facilitated or organised by MAUK Executive Committee in consultation with the Board of Trustees.
- The MAUK Executive Committee and the Board of Trustees shall keep in constant touch and maintain an open dialogue and exchange of views on all pertinent issues affecting the Association.
- The Board of Trustees shall, during its very first meeting, elect its own Chairperson who shall preside over the Board’s meetings for the duration of the Board of Trustees term of office.
11.0 Annual General Meeting (AGM)
- There shall be an AGM convened by the Executive Committee in any calendar year to be held at a date, time and venue determined by the Executive Committee.
- Decisions of the AGM shall be reached by a simple majority vote of the members present.
12.0 Functions of the AGM
The AGM shall, among others, carry out the following functions:
- Receive a comprehensive report of activities organised and carried out by the Association.
- Adopt a plan of action for the next financial year as may be proposed by Executive Committee.
- Discuss finances and expenditure of the Association.
- Conduct elections of office bearers of the Executive Committee.
- Discuss or approve any proposed amendment, if any, of the Constitution.
- Discuss any other matters as may have been on the AGM’s agenda.
13.0 Extra – Ordinary General Meeting (EGM)
The Committee shall convene an EGM in the following circumstances and or for the following purposes:
- To discuss any emergency or urgent matter that has arisen requiring the attention of Association’s members in a meeting
14.0 Official Communication
All official written communication from the Association shall be on the Association’s official letterhead with approved logo and emblem and signed by an approved office bearer. If communication is by email, it shall be from the Association’s official email address
15.0 Data Protection Disclosure of Information
No information or data contained on the Association’s membership register shall be passed on to third parties or non members without the knowledge, consent or approval of the Executive Committee or particular memberconcerned.
However, where disclosure is necessary, the Association shall only disclose Member’s information in any of the following circumstances:
Where the Association is legally required or obligated to disclose
Where the Association has a public duty or it in the interests of the public to disclose
Where it is in the interests of the Association to disclose
Where disclosure is made with member’s consent
Where appropriate the Association may also exchange information with relevant authorities or other bodies both within UK and overseas where such information is relevant required for purposes of complying with applicable laws such as verification of identity, prevention of fraud and in the fighting of crime and terrorism
Where such disclosure has been ordered by a Court of Law.
16.0 Grievance and Disciplinary Procedure
- Any member or any person feeling aggrieved with the actions of the Association or any of its Committee members or the actions of any other member of the Association, shall have the right to complain to the Executive Committee. Such complaint shall be in writing.
- The Executive Committee shall come up with and maintain an up to date Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures Rules and Regulations outlining in detail steps to be taken in addressing grievances and also outlining in detail what constitutes breach of discipline and what sanctions would follow for any breaches.
- The Executive Committee shall circulate for free the Grievance and Disciplinary Procedure Rules and Regulations to all its fully paid up members. All other persons or organisations can, upon request, have the Rules and Regulations Handbook upon payment of a fee to be determined by the Executive Committee
The Association shall only be dissolved by the passing of a Special Resolution by the members at an AGM or EGM. Such Special Resolution shall be proposed and circulated to all the Association’s members three months before the AGM or EGM where it is to be discussed
18.0 Legal Liability and Compliance of Charity Commission Rules
The discussion and passing of any Special Resolution to dissolve the Association shall take into account any outstanding legal liability of the Association and follow the Commission’s rules with regard to matters relating to dissolution of a charity