By Sandra Birungi
Police brutality is not new, if truth be told, Ugandans are used to it but what if it is as a result of mental and emotional break down that causes this kind of violent behavior.
According to a senior consultant psychiatrist, Dr. Margaret Mungherera, policemen and women should pay a visit to the psychiatrist before enrolling for the tough grilling exercises and training that would be policemen and women undergo before being approved.
She noted this citing that there could be some policemen who have psychological health troubles which could cause them to do unpredictable things that could bring harm to the population that they are supposed to protect not harm.
Speaking at a function organized by Basic Needs Foundation Uganda (BNFU), Dr. Margaret also cited MPs to go for the tests; the function was held at Hotel Africana.
She made the comments basing on the way some MPs and police officers act during their time of duty. BNFU’s duty is to make sure that Ugandans with experience of mental ill-health are engaged in the governance and management of economic, political, social development programs. The organization operates in Nwoya, Oyam and Amuru districts.
As an executive committee member of the organization, she was concerned about the way police officers torture people and cited that being punished by the law is not enough especially if there is a likelihood that it will happen again. “They (Police) need counseling. There is need to screen people who join the force and MPs also need psychiatric assessment,” she added.
Mungherera revealed that almost 40% of the people in Uganda have a mental health problem.