Appearing before the health committee of Parliament, Nyanzi said that many MPs may be mentally sick following what happened in Parliament in September.
Suspended Makerere University lecturer Stella Nyanzi appearing before the Health Committee of Parliament to contribute to the Mental Health Bill on February 7, 2018. Photo by Kennedy Oryema
KAMPALA-The outspoken feminist and Makerere University researcher, Dr. Stella Nyanzi has said that chaotic scenes that unfolded in parliament last year may have caused mental disturbance to many members of Parliament.
In September last year, scuffle broke out in Parliament during a debate on plans to remove the presidential age limit, and some members of Parliament including Betty Nambooze, MP, Mokena County and Mityana municipality Member of Parliament, Francis Zaake were seriously injured and hospitalized.
Appearing before the health committee of Parliament today (Wednesday), Nyanzi said that many MPs may be mentally sick following what happened in Parliament and that many may need counseling.
Nyanzi together with a team from Heart Sounds Uganda, a local mental health service user-led community based organization were presenting their submissions for possible consideration in the mental health bill 2014.
The bill once passed into law will oblige all health facilities starting with health center II, III, IV and hospitals to have a specialist to deal with mentally ill patients.
But MP, Ntwetwe County, Kyankwanzi district, Joel Ssebikali refuted Nyanzi’s allegations. He said the Makerere researcher could have been angry, adding all MPs are in their rightful minds, doing their work and no one has been taken to Butabika referral hospital.
The Kyotera Woman MP, Robina Ssentongo admitted that what happened in the house may have caused some MPs mental illness but not many as alleged by the Makerere researcher.
“We are still in our stable minds, but at that time, that situation affected those that were on the side of opposition psychologically, emotionally, and physically. At that time, the consequences were not good, some MPs ended up in the hospital,” she said
“Some may remain with the scars from what happened to them on that day, but it does not mean they are mentally ill,” she added.
Nyanzi asked the legislators to come up with a law on mental health that works for every Ugandan to be able to address the mental health-related challenges in the country.