You must have been prophetic in 2013! You did publish an article in one Weekend Nation editions (October/November, 2013) to the effect that one [Hon] Catherine Gotani Hara is not fit to be Minister of Health, and must resign! You have been vindicated in full.
Look, how can such a simple issue of upgrading nurses escalate to the point of having two street marches with petitions, an audience with the President, and a strike threat?
A Cabinet minister is there to safeguard the interest of the ruling party and the President. If the President has endorsed upgrading – rightly or wrongly, the minister concerned is supposed to come in full throttle implementing, defending or covering up his/her boss. Hon Hara has been nowhere in this whole saga.
The ‘squabble’ has taken one full year now, yet the solution being prescribed is so obvious and straightforward. It’s sad that the saga has claimed a casualty in the name of Dr. G. Chiudzu, chairperson of the Nurses and Midwives Council.
If truth be told, this is the issue of one Dorothy Ngoma, then health adviser to the President, now at safe motherhood as coordinator who ill-advised the President that enrolled nurses and midwives can easily be upgraded to state registered nurses.
By the way, Dorothy came from the same Nurses and Midwives Organisation of Malawi(Nonm) where she was kind of founding patron, or is it matron, after she lost a post in the Nurses Council.
To be fair and honest, Hon Hara should have been moved to another ministry now. The public hospitals, including the referral ones such as Kamuzu Central, do not have even simple medical kits as anaesthesia and gloves, not to speak of drugs.
There was a street march on this one to the sitting Nation Assembly, sometime last year, but the situation keeps getting worse.
In fact, it is because of the weakness of the minister that the advisers are misleading the State President for their own benefit.
Keep on enlightening the nation prophetically!
Biggi Saj Mlauzi
Dear Mr Mlauzi,
Thanks for your kind comments about My Diary.
I believed then and still do today that Catherine Gotani Hara does not have the necessary drive, acumen and competence to run such an important ministry as Health.
The Health Ministry is the difference between life and death as it runs the national healthcare delivery system affecting all of us, 13 million Malawians.
Just like education and agriculture, it is a social service delivery ministry to the people of Malawi. For some citizens, it is all they have when they are afflicted with life- threatening ailments.
But, as you rightly note, under Gotani Hara, the ministry has reeled from one crisis to the other that has centred on public hospitals, inability to provide quality health service to Malawians that we have come to accept that having no drugs or equipment in our hospitals as more normal than having them.
The result is unnecessary deaths of poor Malawians who cannot afford alternative private health care. I call this genocide and the buck stops at Gotani Hara as the person President Joyce Banda hired to head the Ministry of Health.
Obviously, she comes out as an incompetent person who does not know what she is doing. The ministry deserves as a minister somebody who knows the healthcare system. It deserves a minister in the likes of Dr Maxwell Mkwezalamba at Finance or Dr James Munthali at Agriculture to head it.
Gotani Hara is a politician and may be too busy with constituency politics to be entrusted with our lives as Minister of Health.
I do not know what kind of crisis the President wants to get convinced that what Hara needs is the boot. The people of Malawi deserve better.
Once again, thanks for writing and please write again.