Know your possible well-composed Malawi’s female Speaker Catherine Gotani Hara

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The race to elect a Speaker of Parliament has started, with names of people from governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) thrown in the hat ahead of the June 19 2019 elections.

The Speaker to succeed Richard Msowoya would be decided by a simple majority and voting is by secret ballot in Parliament Chamber.

Maravi Post post understands that female lawmakers have been dominating for possible elections.

For instance, MCP Lilongwe City West MP, George Zulu, said he would endorse Catherine Gotani-Hara for the post as time had come for Malawi to have a female Speaker.

“My vote goes to honourable Catherine Gotani-Hara. I, therefore, ask all other honourable members, irrespective of party affiliations, to give her the needed support as the right candidate for the position of Speaker of Parliament,” Zulu said

MCP Lilongwe City West MP, George Zulu, said he would endorse Catherine Gotani-Hara for the post as time had come for Malawi to have a female Speaker.

Gotani Hara in the middle

So, below is the full profile of Hon. Catherine Gotani Hara, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Lawmaker for Mzimba North-East


A graduate of the meritous Kamuzu Academy Grammar school, Hon Hara proceeded to study Political Science at the University of Malawi – Chancellor College – where she earned a Bachelor of Social Science Degree.

Between 1998, and 2000, Hon Hara also received professional training at the University of Brighton in the United Kingdom, in International Development and Project Planning and Management.


Hon Hara is a respected politician with parliamentary experience, plus extensive local, national and international political exposure and experience.

She was the first Malawian to be recruited to the level of Programme Officer,for the UK Department for International Development (DFID), where she was responsible for the twin sustainable livelihoods programmes of Malawi and Mozambique. Some of the examples of the key successful projects on which she worked and developed her technical expertise including negotiation skills include:

  • The Banja La Mtsogolo network of health clinics in Malawi.
    The multi-million Kwacha first Starter Pack programme funding to the Malawi Govt.
  • The Safe motherhood programme.
  • The fish export project between Mozambique and the EU.


A young but seasoned and natural politician who became a government minister in her thirties, Hon Hara started her political career as a teenager, running the University of Malawi’s (Chancellor College) wing of the Malawi Congress Party, successfully engaging young intellectuals and making it a vibrant political party on campus.

She advanced her political ambitionsto the national stage after she was elected as the Member of Parliament for Mzimba North East in 2009.

In this term, she solidified her natural political acumen, andshe gained a deep understanding of parliamentary procedures and processes including reading and contributing to proposed legislation such as the bills on Wills and Inheritance, or Plastics and the environment.

This was over and above consolidating her skills as an MP such as negotiating with the electorate, advocating for their needs in parliament, and campaigning.


Hon Hara has five years of experience serving the country in some of thehighest political offices such as during her capacity as the:

  • Minister of Health
  • Minister of Environment
  • Deputy Minister of Gender
  • Deputy Minister of Transport

These roles allowed her to build on earlier experiences with international donors and they consolidated her understanding of government workings and functions, including negotiating with development partners for a creative model of funding direct to hospitals.

  • Negotiated for £350 million from the British government at a time when international funding was dry and donor confidence was at an all-time low and direct funding was frozen.
  • Lobbied for increased Global fund funding to Malawi.


Chaired the SADC Ministers of Health
Hosted the SADC conference for Health 2013
Cochaired summit on TB in Mining with the then South African Vice President..


Hon Hara has gained extensive experience in diplomatic engagement from her previous roles which at times required representing the head of state at high profile international summits organised by or for Heads of other states such as:

  • Represented the Malawi Head of State on direct invitation from Hon David Cameron Ex- British Prime Minister, to his summit on nutrition London 2012.
  • Represented the Malawi Head of State on HIV/Aids funding summit in United States
  • Chair of Malawi delegation – Climate Change Summit Brazil
  • Co-chair of the Under-fives health and vaccines programme – She lobbied for increase in funding for under-five’s support and Co-Chaired with the Prime Minister of Norway and Bill Gates.


Board member Northern Region Water Board.


Hon Hara us a multi-talented woman who has been determined in succeeding at the highest level in the male dominated environment including politics and business. As a business woman, she has over the years developed a range of businesses in the following areas:

  • Agriculture  – livestock and Poultry farming
  • Transport
  • Energy – Fuel
  • Export – Timber and Agriculture.

Over the last 20 years, years she has created jobs for a lot of Malawians and their families, contributing to the economic development of the nation.

Based on the above experience and international exposure, Hon Gotani Hara deserves the leadership of Malawi Parliament for the next five years.

Even, UTM leader Dr. Saulos Chilima on Sunday told the Masintha thanksgiving rally that its high time Malawi could have a female Speaker.

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