Malawi is a democratic republic with two spheres of government: national and local. Local government is enshrined in Chapter XIV of the constitution and responsibility for its administration rests with the Minister of Local Government and Community Development. The local government system has 35 single-tier authorities: four cities, 28 district councils, two municipal councils and one town council. The councils are responsible for raising and collecting local taxes and user fees and charges; however, the majority of their revenue comes from central government grants, both conditional (sectoral funds) and unconditional (general resource funds). All councils have the same responsibilities including primary education, primary health, forestry, natural resources and community services.
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22 May 2011: Local elections scheduled for April 2011 have been postponed due to the temporary closure of the Malawi Electoral Commission offices, which have since reopened. No rescheduled date has yet been set.